Hellblazer's Constantine NBC Pilot Episode Greenlit

Hellblazer's Constantine NBC Pilot Episode Greenlit

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No word on cast yet.

NBC, which optioned DC Vertigo's occult con-man drama Constantine last September, has greenlit the series pilot. Man of Steel's David S. Goyer will executive produce the series, while The Mentalist's Daniel Cerone will write it, and also act as showrunner. No word on casting yet, so there's still a chance that [insert name of your favorite actor here] may get the role. Actually, The Mentalist's Simon Baker wouldn't be a bad choice; he's certainly got the right look.

Hellblazer first got its start, way back in the mists of time, as an offshoot from Alan Moore's Swamp Thing. John Constantine first appeared as a mentor figure for Swamp Thing, guiding it through nightmare-strewn American Gothic towards the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Constantine got his own title soon after that, and remained a mainstay of DC's Vertigo line until relatively recently, moving to the New 52 in 2012 as one of the Justice League Dark leads. Justice League Dark, coincidentally, is getting some attention from Guillermo del Toro, and may yet get a movie of its own.

There's no telling where this one will end up, but at least you've a pilot to look forward to. Presumably it won't be borrowing from any of the Vertigo storylines, which is a bit of a shame; I wouldn't mind seeing John take on evil sadist Batman-a-like, S.W. Manor. Or better yet, help ghost J.F.K. recapture the White House in Hell. Mind you, if I had to make any one prediction for the TV series, it'd be this: those trademark cigarettes are gone, gone, gone. Constantine might be able to summon demons from the nethermost pit, but tobacco use may be a step too far for NBC.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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As we all know, the big consideration for the show is gonna be money. Having a show mostly revolving around the heaven/hell demon/angel dichotomy is going to require a certain amount of special effects. And unless NBC is willing to give this at least a few years to gain momentum, or DC gives NBC enough money for that to happen, it'll crash and burn just like anything else on that channel NBC decides is too expensive to keep up.

Karloff:
Mind you, if I had to make any one prediction for the TV series, it'd be this: those trademark cigarettes are gone, gone, gone. Constantine might be able to summon demons from the nethermost pit, but tobacco use may be a step too far for NBC.

Maybe not, considering the downside of it was very explicit. John Constantine smoked cigarettes constantly and even more profusely around the times he's dealing with the freaky supernatural. As a result, he got cancer. Terminal cancer. Life message: Smoking is bad. I think NBC could swing it.

Still, the problem will be cast. After that shit movie, you can be sure the fans'll crucify anyone who hasn't got an english accent, blonde hair, and a brown trenchcoat.

FalloutJack:

Maybe not, considering the downside of it was very explicit. John Constantine smoked cigarettes constantly and even more profusely around the times he's dealing with the freaky supernatural. As a result, he got cancer. Terminal cancer. Life message: Smoking is bad. I think NBC could swing it.

People are going to see smoking on TV and freak out regardless of the message.

FalloutJack:

Karloff:
Mind you, if I had to make any one prediction for the TV series, it'd be this: those trademark cigarettes are gone, gone, gone. Constantine might be able to summon demons from the nethermost pit, but tobacco use may be a step too far for NBC.

Maybe not, considering the downside of it was very explicit. John Constantine smoked cigarettes constantly and even more profusely around the times he's dealing with the freaky supernatural. As a result, he got cancer. Terminal cancer. Life message: Smoking is bad. I think NBC could swing it.

Still, the problem will be cast. After that shit movie, you can be sure the fans'll crucify anyone who hasn't got an english accent, blonde hair, and a brown trenchcoat.

Unless you can trick the devil and his two brothers into a stalemate. Then it all just goes away.

OT. Pinch me, because it feels like I'm dreaming. This, The Question and Booster Gold are 3 of the shows I've wanted to exist for a long time. And as long as he's a cheeky Scouser, I'll be happy as you like.

EDIT. Just read the end of your post. Too right I'll crucify anyone who doesn't at least look and talk like I imagine John Constantine should. Stuff creative licence. Stuff creativity. Stuff everyone with expectations that aren't exactly mine. Grrrr.

2nd Edit- I wonder if it will be set in Thatchers Britain, or Camerons?

Could be a neat show, though Constantine on NBC is no Preacher on HBO (which is what I'd really like to see).

My vote goes for Rupert Graves (LeStrade in the BBC Sherlock) as Constantine. While it'd be bad for the cigarettes to go the worst case scenario I'm dreading is that NBC decides it's too confusing to have him be British and make him from NYC instead.

LordJedi86:
2nd Edit- I wonder if it will be set in Thatchers Britain, or Camerons?

It's a lovely dream, but remember: this is for an American audience. There's a slim chance the audience will recognize Cameron; not a hope in hell it'll remember Maggie. Odds are this will be set in the States somewhere, but maybe a Brit - or someone with a convincing accent - will get the lead. I keep coming back to Baker; he's got just enough of a transatlantic twang, and he wears sharp suits well.

10 bucks says con is on the patch or gum and quitting smoking :P. He will get many one off one liners about that fact. And he will be short tempered for the entire rest of the series because of it.

NBC put on air a chain smoker, cancer or not terminal or not, i think hell might literally freeze over.

Karloff:

LordJedi86:
2nd Edit- I wonder if it will be set in Thatchers Britain, or Camerons?

It's a lovely dream, but remember: this is for an American audience. There's a slim chance the audience will recognize Cameron; not a hope in hell it'll remember Maggie. Odds are this will be set in the States somewhere, but maybe a Brit - or someone with a convincing accent - will get the lead. I keep coming back to Baker; he's got just enough of a transatlantic twang, and he wears sharp suits well.

I suppose you're right with that, but it is a lovely dream. So, if not London, the question is where would he be best based out of in the States?

Still, I'm just kinda chuffed to see one of my favourite non-super heroes getting a series! This combines with The Flash getting a series at some point soon to make me a really happy bunny. Even if they both flop, (like the 90's Flash series shouldn't have- I still think it was fantastic.) I'll be happy to have seen them at least tried!

Karloff:
It's a lovely dream, but remember: this is for an American audience. There's a slim chance the audience will recognize Cameron; not a hope in hell it'll remember Maggie. Odds are this will be set in the States somewhere, but maybe a Brit - or someone with a convincing accent - will get the lead. I keep coming back to Baker; he's got just enough of a transatlantic twang, and he wears sharp suits well.

Actually - and I might not be the best voice for all Americans - but Ms. Thatcher isn't as obscure here as you may think. In my mind she's very closely linked with President Reagan-era 1980s Republicanism. Granted, I'm very hazy when it comes to her specific policies but I seem to remember she and Reagan shared a bad record with social services, favored the rich, generally pushed for stronger military. Correct me if I'm wrong or overlooking anything huge (as I likely am).

All that being said, for an American audience setting it in Thatcher-era Britian might necessitate a Basil Exposition character.

LordJedi86:

I suppose you're right with that, but it is a lovely dream. So, if not London, the question is where would he be best based out of in the States?

I can't think of one, specifically. NYC and LA are in every-damn thing and bore me to tears. Baltimore seems like it'd fit the mood of Hellblazer pretty nicely, but has been done a bit. Actually, I'd dig the show as a traveling kind of deal rather than rooted in one place. Arcs get set in a city, then on to the next. Visit the places which tend not to get covered as much by standard shows - Gary, Indiana and Detroit, Michigan for rustbelt setting. Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona for the southwest vibe, etc etc.

I'm curious as to whether this series will be based on Hellblazer, or not-quite-so-dark Constantine. The former would be nice, but is a bit......hardcore for television sometimes.

Elijah Newton:

.... a bad record with social services, favored the rich.....

I'd say that pretty much sums up Tories in general. (I'm what you call a 'floating voter' I drift towards whoever seems like they'll wreck my yard up the least when it comes to local & general elections.)

Elijah Newton:

I can't think of one, specifically. NYC and LA are in every-damn thing and bore me to tears. Baltimore seems like it'd fit the mood of Hellblazer pretty nicely, but has been done a bit. Actually, I'd dig the show as a traveling kind of deal rather than rooted in one place. Arcs get set in a city, then on to the next. Visit the places which tend not to get covered as much by standard shows - Gary, Indiana and Detroit, Michigan for rustbelt setting. Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona for the southwest vibe, etc etc.

I guess that would be in keeping with the spirit of the comics as well, because after a while he did pretty much just kinda stop living in one place and drift around (I recall it was something to do with being framed for a murder?). And some of the more commonly used places could be cool as well, you could all sorts of storylines with Vegas and New Orleans. Casino's run by daemons and voodoo stories. It would even be cool to see him on a reservation at some time or other.

EDIT. cleaned up some context in the first reply.

LordJedi86:

FalloutJack:

Karloff:
Mind you, if I had to make any one prediction for the TV series, it'd be this: those trademark cigarettes are gone, gone, gone. Constantine might be able to summon demons from the nethermost pit, but tobacco use may be a step too far for NBC.

Maybe not, considering the downside of it was very explicit. John Constantine smoked cigarettes constantly and even more profusely around the times he's dealing with the freaky supernatural. As a result, he got cancer. Terminal cancer. Life message: Smoking is bad. I think NBC could swing it.

Still, the problem will be cast. After that shit movie, you can be sure the fans'll crucify anyone who hasn't got an english accent, blonde hair, and a brown trenchcoat.

Unless you can trick the devil and his two brothers into a stalemate. Then it all just goes away.

OT. Pinch me, because it feels like I'm dreaming. This, The Question and Booster Gold are 3 of the shows I've wanted to exist for a long time. And as long as he's a cheeky Scouser, I'll be happy as you like.

EDIT. Just read the end of your post. Too right I'll crucify anyone who doesn't at least look and talk like I imagine John Constantine should. Stuff creative licence. Stuff creativity. Stuff everyone with expectations that aren't exactly mine. Grrrr.

2nd Edit- I wonder if it will be set in Thatchers Britain, or Camerons?

I am calling it now that they will do an Elementary. John will be English (but not from Liverpool) but it will be set in LA or New York City. I also highly doubt that he will smoke but he might still get cancer at some point. As for meeting the Devil it has been done in shows like Supernatural but I don't think they will have the balls to portray The First of the Fallen the way they did in Hellblazer.

Going by how they handled Hannibal (good and separate from the original while still paying homage to it), I'm cautiously optimistic.

I suspect they will base it in the US, with the opening scene of the pilot being the title character getting the final bad news about his cancer, who then decides to switch to one of those e-cigs (hello in-program advertising). Heaven and hell will be probably be done in "blank room style" with heaven being pristine with glowing white walls and hell having the same walls, but dirty and ash colored (possibly run down).

Beyond that, I'm not familiar with the character enough to figure out what would be a good path forward.

Did they at least get a British guy this time?

I haven't read a lot of Hellblazer past the first graphic novel. But assuming the format doesn't change that much after Original Sins, I would say that the comic already reads like a typical Detective show. ie Some unfortunate soul going about their everyday business till something really horrific happens. [Opening credits] Cut to Constantine monologuing in metaphors about something unrelated.

However looking at a the posts by people who are more clued in to the politics of American studios, I am a little worried. Of course I have no illusions that it will the perfect adaptation of Constantine (given the view that a vast majority of American audiences will have some trouble understanding certain English accents), but still would be a shame to have it all just be an American guy wandering around New York talking solving paranormal mysteries, throwing in the occasional out of place slang.

Like a lot of people here have voiced before me, I have two concerns.

1 - That he's going to be some American actionhero.

2 - That it's going to be overly light

Lenny Magic:
I haven't read a lot of Hellblazer past the first graphic novel. But assuming the format doesn't change that much after Original Sins, I would say that the comic already reads like a typical Detective show. ie Some unfortunate soul going about their everyday business till something really horrific happens. [Opening credits] Cut to Constantine monologuing in metaphors about something unrelated.

However looking at a the posts by people who are more clued in to the politics of American studios, I am a little worried. Of course I have no illusions that it will the perfect adaptation of Constantine (given the view that a vast majority of American audiences will have some trouble understanding certain English accents), but still would be a shame to have it all just be an American guy wandering around New York talking solving paranormal mysteries, throwing in the occasional out of place slang.

The format sort of works like that, except when it doesn't. Hellblazer was 300 issues long, Original Sins is only the first 9, so there's a lot of room to play. The stories tend to focus more on John's random misadventures and him coming to terms with the SHITTY things he's done to the people he loves, than they do with him solving other people's problems. Sometimes he just stumbles on something dangerous and solves it, other times he takes a more active role with no clear antagonist. Its a weird series. If they made it an episodic "supernatural detective" show (like, I dunno, Angel with less vampires), they will be doing the series a great disservice. Of course, this is just my opinion. Who knows. Fingers crossed they don't mess it up, though being on basic network doesn't give me a lot of hope for what should be a very adult series.

 

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