2005’s Constantine was a letdown. Fans of the character were dismayed that the movie ditched John Constantine’s British origins in favor of making him American, and beyond that, the film itself simply wasn’t particularly good. That said, there were a couple of high points. Peter Stormare and Tilda Swinton were typically excellent as Lucifer and Gabriel and there were some imaginative visual effects. These days, though, it’s not talked about much, with the character having received a much better live-action adaptation in The CW’s Arrowverse as played by Matt Ryan.
But now we’re hearing some interesting talk that the 2005 John Constantine might not be completely forgotten. Sources close to WGTC – the same ones who told us The CW was planning an Arrow spinoff, a Green Lantern show is coming to HBO Max and Kevin Conroy was playing Kingdom Come Batman in “Crisis on Infinite Earths” – say that Warner Bros. is planning on bringing John Constantine into the DCEU. Initially, one idea was to have a comic-accurate Constantine on the screen, with earlier reports saying they were eyeing Legion and Beauty and the Beast star Dan Stevens for the part. That plan seems to have fallen through, though, and now the studio is re-evaluating the 2005 movie.
From what we’ve been told, the DCEU version will be both a soft-reboot and a sequel to the 2005 film, with both Keanu Reeves and Tilda Swinton in early talks to return. Neither have officially signed on just yet, but if the studio can lock them down, we’re told the plot (with a script from The Batman co-writer Mattson Tomlin) would see Gabriel out for revenge against Constantine.
If you’ll cast your mind back, the finale of the 2005 movie saw Constantine manipulating Gabriel into losing her divine protection, allowing Lucifer to burn her wings and make her mortal. This new film will apparently see her trying to regain her divinity and bring down John Constantine. And while it certainly sounds like a plausible sequel, will audiences really care about a continuation of a mildly successful movie from fifteen years ago?
Perhaps, but my thinking is that Warner Bros. are just hoping to get Reeves in a comic book movie while he’s hot. After all, the next year or so will see him reprise his most iconic roles in Bill & Ted 3: Face the Music, John Wick: Chapter 4 and The Matrix 4. And honestly, the older Reeves gets, the more interesting he is as an actor, so he’d almost certainly be a better Constantine now than he was in 2005.