NBC has taken a different direction with its new DC-adapted series, Constantine, and has switched its female leads. Lucy Griffiths starred in the pilot as the non-DC character, Liv, who was originally intended to serve as a student-protege type to the titular character. Instead, the network has decided that the series called for someone already in the Constantine universe and has cast Angelica Celaya in the role of Zed, hoping to give the existing fan base another reason to tune in.
“She’s someone who can go toe-to-toe with John [Constantine], and that’s ultimately something we felt like we needed,” said executive producer Daniel Cerone of the new DC Comics character to be introduced early in the season. “We wanted a more dynamic relationship, as opposed to someone who is a teacher/mentor and a student. It just didn’t feel as fertile and rich of an area as just a strong a man and a strong woman who are both very different.”
The network was actively looking for an “authentic Latina actress” to fill the role of Zed, who is the first of several DC-characters set to appear on the show. Her character is a psychic with a mysterious dark past and will serve as the perfect foil for Constantine’s character. The Zed character originates from both the Hellblazer and Constantine comic book series.
Although the network opted against re-shooting the pilot based on the creative change, they announced that there will be a scene in the second episode explaining the exit of Griffiths.
Previous to Constantine, the former telenovela actress has appeared in Dallas and Burn Notice. Here, she will star along with Matt Ryan (who plays the title role), Harold Perrineau (Sons of Anarchy) and Charles Halford (True Detective).
Constantine is set to premiere on NBC on October 24 at 10/9 P.M.