Despite following a cult favourite character, CBS’ Constantine – starring Matt Ryan as DC’s occult detective John Constantine – didn’t live past its initial 13 episode debut season. That wasn’t the end of this version of the antihero, though, as Ryan later reprised the role for an episode of Arrow and, more recently, Legends of Tomorrow. This year, he’ll also be leading his own animated webseries.
But how will this new show compare to the short-lived live-action version? Will it strip away the darker edges of the demonic world Constantine inhabits to make it more family-friendly? Not at all. In fact, it’s going to do the opposite and push the boundaries even more than the CBS series did.
While speaking with Collider, CW Seed’s VP Peter Girardi claimed that the upcoming animation will be even darker than Matt Ryan’s live-action appearances. The topic came up as he was discussing the thinking behind making certain Arrowverse projects into animation rather than live-action. For Constantine, Girardi believes that animation allowed them to stick closer to the acclaimed Vertigo comic.
“Constantine was a great example as well because the Constantine that we’re doing … it’s Constantine, if you’re familiar with the character. It’s Constantine from the Vertigo comic; it’s dark. Darker than the show.”
He then went on to jokingly advise parents to be “responsible” when letting their children watch the animated webseries:
“Certainly for Constantine. Clearly, it should be, responsible parents. [laughs].”
This is great news for Constantine fans. As the most popular character created for DC’s adult-oriented Vertigo imprint, you’d think the prior screen versions would have been able to nail what worked so well on the page. Unfortunately, the 2005 movie starring Keanu Reeves was Constantine in name only and the aforementioned CBS series had problems tackling some of the core characteristics, such as his chain smoking and bisexuality.
Thankfully, then, the Constantine animated series looks to be sorting out a few of those issues, leading us to believe it’ll be another big win for The CW.