In a recent rumor-killing news dump, the subject of supernatural DC Comics character Constantine came up. For years there have been talks of a sequel to the cult favorite film that starred Keanu Reeves as the chain-smoking mystic, but recently those rumors have really kicked up. But the most recent update was that no movie was in the works for him at Warner Bros., which is interesting in light of recent comments by Francis Lawrence, who directed the previous Constantine film.
Speaking with Slashfilm, Lawrence made it clear that he’s still down to do a Constantine sequel, and that Reeves and producer Akiva Goldsman are into it, as well. But he says Warner Bros. has “other plans” for John Constantine that do not involve them…
“I think we all wanted to do it. It was successful enough. We wanted to make a responsible, more R-rated movie. By responsible, I mean we’d make a movie that wouldn’t cost quite as much as the original, which we thought was going to be PG-13. We worked on the sequel for a while. It was tricky to come up with where to take it. What I really liked about the first one was it was a really personal story, so I thought it’d be a mistake to get caught up in the supernatural gobblygook. The idea of a personal story was really interesting, and that was the hard thing to come across. We have been talking about it recently. It’s always stuck with all of us because we all love the movie, and especially realizing there’s a real cult following for this movie, it’d be fun to make. Keanu, Akiva, and I have actually talked about it. Unfortunately, I don’t even remember who has it, but with all these shared universes that exist now, with Constantine being a part of Vertigo, which is a part of DC, people have plans for these shared universes. You know, possibly different Constantines and things like that. Right now, we don’t have that character available to us for TV or movies, which is a bummer. We all investigated it, but I think it’s kind of crazy when you have Keanu, who would love to do another Constantine, and us wanting to do another Constantine, and people are like, “Uh, no, we got other plans.” We’ll see what happens.”
It’s possible Lawrence is referring to the Justice League Dark series for HBO Max which is being developed by JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot. Constantine is closely associated with the group, and would be its most visible member so any project about them would certainly include him. As Lawrence says, though, it’s a shame that everybody wants to do another movie and that WB simply isn’t interested. The movie did well, earning $230M when it opened in 2005, and the character has since lived on in a short-lived TV series, which then saw him move over to the Arrowverse as part of Legends of Tomorrow.