WB Reportedly Eyeing Downton Abbey Star To Play Constantine In DCEU

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The unofficially-styled DC Extended Universe that began with Zack Snyder’s 2013 film Man of Steel before faltering through his ambitious but fractiously-received Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and his incompletely-realized Justice League seems to have finally regained its footing in its post-Steppenwolf era with the franchise’s first billion-dollar blockbuster, Aquaman, and this year’s highly-anticipated Patty Jenkins-helmed sequel, Wonder Woman 1984.

Now we’re hearing rumblings from the same sources who indicated to us that Viola Davis will be returning as Amanda Waller in The Suicide Squad and that Diana will don the Golden Eagle armor in 1984, both of which have since come to fruition, that the creative team is interested in bringing Liverpudlian occult detective John Constantine back to the big screen within their burgeoning comic book universe, but are having difficulty determining how to best execute his return.

Some execs allegedly want to revive a version of the character they’ve already used. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t involve Matt Ryan’s incarnation, who has already navigated his way across space, time, and television networks from NBC’s Constantine to The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow. Instead, this interest lies in bringing back Matrix and John Wick star Keanu Reeves, who played a sorely underrated Americanized version of the Hellblazer back in 2005’s Constantine. There doesn’t appear to be any communication between camps thus far, though, so this may just be wishful thinking around the corridors of WB’s Burbank offices.

Other execs at the studio, however, are said to be more interested in finding a fresh face to play an iteration of the chain-smoking conman that’s more representative of the character – who was visually inspired by The Police’s lead singer Sting – as he appears in the source material, and those parties reportedly have their sights set on English actor Dan Stevens, who played Matthew Crawley over 25 episodes of Downton Abbey. Stevens is no stranger to playing tormented comic book characters, either, having portrayed the schizophrenic mutant David Haller in 27 episodes over three seasons on the FX series Legion.

We recently reported that Warner Bros. is also eyeing Witcher co-star Anya Chalotra to play their cinematic version of second-generation mage Zatanna Zatara, which may indicate that the studio finally means to move ahead with its long-gestating Justice League Dark film project. They’ve been holding onto a script for the pic penned by Academy Award winning writer/director Guillermo del Toro since 2014, after all, having most recently hired Gerard Johnstone to touch up the screenplay in 2017.

One way or another though, in whatever form he takes, we can all be assured that the working-class warlock will find his way back to the big screen, because, to borrow a phrase from Indiana Jones, John Constantine is like a bad penny: he always turns up. And given that this intel comes to us from the same sources who also told us Paramount is rebooting the Transformers series, which is now confirmed, we’ve no reason to doubt it.

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