John Constantine’s first live-action outing in the 2005 film Constantine earned mixed reviews, but the character is getting a second chance to shine with his own NBC series that debuted last month. The show has done well enough to have more scripts ordered, and one of its primary draws is series lead Matt Ryan, who is a dead ringer for the snarky occultist. Despite only four episodes having aired, the actor is already interested in taking his character to the big screen.
While chatting with IGN, Ryan was asked whether he had any interest portraying John Constantine in a movie. Here was his response:
“What’s so great is that there’s so many great storylines and the Justice League Dark stuff as well. How fantastic would that be if we could do something like that? Obviously those things are out of my hands, so we’ll see.”
Ryan is referring to Guillermo del Toro’s long-gestating Justice League Dark film, which is tentatively titled Dark Universe. The Justice League Dark is a team of supernatural heroes introduced in the New 52, whose lineup has included Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman, Swamp Thing, Frankenstein (yes, that Frankenstein) and many others. With del Toro busy with other projects like Crimson Peak and a Pacific Rim sequel, it will be a while until we see this film, and since it wasn’t included among the DC film slate announcement last month, it’s possible it won’t be part of the DC Cinematic Universe. Instead, it might be classified as a Vertigo project (DC’s imprint of more mature comics), similar to how Neil Gaiman’s Sandman will be handled.
While it’s too soon to judge an actor’s overall performance in a series after only four episodes, admittedly Ryan has been doing a solid job as John Constantine so far. If the series were to suddenly be cancelled or is off the air by the time Dark Universe is released, Warner Bros. would be wise to consider Ryan to reprise the role. However, there is a catch. Del Toro has stated that the TV show would not have any effect on the movie, meaning that if Ryan would even get signed on to play Constantine, it’s possible it would not be the same version we have seen on TV. This isn’t much of a surprise given DC’s mandate of their movies and shows not existing in the same universe. Rarely do actors get to play the same character in movies and TV, so if Warner Bros. asks Ryan to play an alternate-universe John Constantine, he would be wise not to pass up toe opportunity.
Even if Dark Universe never gets off the ground, Constantine is building its own mystical universe on the small screen. This week will introduce Jim Corrigan, future host of The Spectre, and characters like Zatanna, Doctor Thirteen and Felix Faust have been teased to appear this season. So if you’re looking to delve into DC’s magical offerings, just turn on your TV to NBC on Friday nights at 10 EST to follow Constantine and his allies fighting the forces of darkness.