Adapting the look of comic book characters to the screen is no easy task, and over the years we’ve seen our fair share of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Characters like Loki, Iron Man, The Joker, Superman, and Spider-Man seem to have the best track records, while others like X-Men, Hulk, and even Batman have been hit and miss.
On the far end of the spectrum, we have those we’d like to forget, like Catwoman, Green Lantern, Sam Raimi’s Green Goblin/Power Rangers villain, and absolutely everyone in Joel Schumacher’s Batman films. On television, it’s even harder to get it right because of lower budgets. While Arrow has done a bang-up job in the costume department, Smallville wasn’t so lucky and stuck Clark in that damn red jacket for far too long.
Thankfully, recent adaptations seem to be on the right path. A few days ago we saw Grant Gustin in full costume in the CW’s Flash series, and today we finally got our first look at another DC character that’s headed to television: Constantine. The image above shows Welsh actor Matt Ryan in John Constantine’s iconic trenchcoat, crooked tie, and scruffy facial hair. It’s a near-perfect adaptation. Granted, getting his look right is far easier than adapting someone like Hawkman (another so-so costume on Smallville), but that didn’t keep Keanu Reeves from looking absolutely nothing like the titular con-man/detective in the 2005 film adaptation.
Constantine has a pilot order over at NBC, and the character is described as “a working-class Londoner with rakish good looks, scruffy blonde hair, deadpan humor, and signature trench coat, who has been studying the dark arts since he was a teenager.” Now that they’ve nailed the look, we just have to sit back and hope they get the rest of the show right as well.