Matt Ryan might now be the definitive on-screen version of blue-collar warlock John Constantine with his live action performances in the Arrowverse and voice performances in various DC animated projects, but Keanu Reeves is quickly becoming a favorite to reprise the role he also once played, with some fan art now reflecting this.
The image is by BossLogic, a popular artist who frequently imagines actors in roles that might suit them or have been widely touted for them. The unusual difference here is that this is an image of an actor in a role they’ve actually played. However, it ties in with similar work in that the realization of the character is far closer to his comic book version than was seen in the 2005 movie.
Constantine’s black suit jacket is replaced with the familiar tan trench coat, the clean-shaven face is now spotted by a few days’ worth of beard growth, and mystical tattoos can be seen disappearing under his short collar, promising a far more extensive collection than two halves of the alchemical Red King on each forearm. Most significantly, a cigarette is seen hanging from his lips, continuing the character’s defiance of the bafflingly puritanical perception of the dangerous habit in American media.
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Although Constantine wasn’t the runaway success it was hoped to be, it still pulled in more than double its budget at the box office, and has become something of a cult film over the years. Also, it was released almost a decade before the arrival of John Wick that began Reeves’ Hollywood renaissance and brought to him a newfound respect for his talents among general audiences that had hitherto been unfairly absent. Should he return to the role, he would no doubt bring with him that reverence he’s gained in recent years and lacked at the time of the first movie.
The future of Constantine, beyond his appearances in Legends of Tomorrow, is a little up in the air at the moment, with an HBO Max series for the Justice League Dark team and a new and possibly unconnected big screen version at varying stages of development. However the projects unfold, given Reeves’ current standing among audiences, he would certainly be a welcome addition in one of them.