2014 will be a big year for DC on television. Arrow’s currently enjoying its second season, which will spin off into a Flash show, Gotham is moving forward at Fox and David S. Goyer is working on Constantine for NBC.
Based on the Hellblazer comics series from DC’s Vertigo imprint, Constantine is being developed by Goyer and The Mentalist executive producer Daniel Cerone. The show got a pilot order a few weeks ago, with Game of Thrones alum Neil Marshall at the helm. Now, we have word that Welsh actor Matt Ryan (Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour) has landed the titular role in the supernatural detective series.
The news comes from Deadline, who also gives us the first plot details about the show. As expected, it will center on John Constantine, an “enigmatic and irreverent conman turned reluctant supernatural detective,” who is thrust into the role of defending us from dark forces when the daughter of a late friend is targeted by demons. John is described as a “working class Londoner with rakish good looks, scruffy blonde hair, deadpan humor” and of course, his signature trench coat.
That description fits the comic book character well, and Ryan certainly looks the part. The actor’s resume is full of television work too, so he’s got the experience that’s required. And, if nothing else, he at least fits the character a lot better than Keanu Reeves did in the 2005 film, so that’s a good start.
Adapting Constantine to television will be quite the undertaking (as those who’ve read the comics can attest to), but it’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility. The talent behind the camera, the long comic book history and large fanbase all tip the scales in its favor. Let’s just hope that Ryan, in his biggest role yet, won’t buckle under the pressure.