NBC's Constantine Will "Cling" to Its Source Materal

NBC's Constantine Will "Cling" to Its Source Materal

John Constantine

Writer/producer David Goyer says NBC's Constantine will try to follow the original comic book more closely than the 2005 film.

Up until just a few years ago film and television tended to be unkind to comic book adaptations. Sure, you might get the occasional gem (usually animated), but overall the history of people trying to transform comics into other media is lined and littered with failures.

Case in point, the 2005 Keanu Reeves version of Constantine. Sure, it's probably not the worst film version of a comic ever made, but it was a pretty terrible adaptation of the Hellblazer book on which it was based. It's understandable, in turn, that franchise fans would perhaps be a bit apprehensive about ongoing plans to bring the franchise to NBC.

That said, according to writer and producer David Goyer, fans can expect the new TV series to "[cling] more closely to the source material then the film." For instance, the character of John Constantine will "actually [be] played by a British guy," he said. The "British guy" in question was, of course, recently confirmed to be actor Matt Ryan. Goyer also said that the character's costume will mirror his comic counterpart and that viewers can expect visits from other DC characters.

Even if fans from of the book can expect a more accurate rendition of the series, Goyer conceded that the show might still have to make some compromises before it can air. For instance, John Constantine's character likes to smoke, a vice that NBC may not allow. "That's a tricky one on network TV," he said. "We're negotiating right now. He will have his signature trench coat and skinny tie." Whether or not that will be enough to earn the affections of comic fans is something we'll have to wait and see. All we know is that there's a lot of room for this to go wrong.

Source: I Am Rogue

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Listen, NBC. The smoking habit is essential. In fact, all of John's vices are important, in that they've been how he deals with the bad shit going down in his life. I mean, when he came out of Newcastle...well...let's not go there. The point is that everyone knows John smokes like an old steel mill, and it's suppose to be painted in a bad light because such had consequences in his life. You can probably do without some of the other raunchy stuff John's been doing, but that's one that has to stay.

StewShearer:
Source: I Am Rouge

I was disappointed to realise this wasnt an actual tongue-in-cheek website name playing on the typo, but just a typo...

FalloutJack:
Listen, NBC. The smoking habit is essential. In fact, all of John's vices are important, in that they've been how he deals with the bad shit going down in his life. I mean, when he came out of Newcastle...well...let's not go there. The point is that everyone knows John smokes like an old steel mill, and it's suppose to be painted in a bad light because such had consequences in his life. You can probably do without some of the other raunchy stuff John's been doing, but that's one that has to stay.

Yup. Especially since one of the best Hellblazer stories ever written, Dangerous Habits, couldn't possibly have existed if it weren't for his smoking habit. They're pretty damn vital: the last ever Hellblazer story was called Death and Cigarettes, for goodness' sake. That title pretty much sums up John Constantine's entire life, to be honest.

I'm apprehensive about this TV show. Frankly, I'd much rather Guillermo del Toro got to make his Dark Universe movie, but I'll withhold judgement until I've actually seen this. Hellblazer could make an amazing TV series, but it would be better suited to HBO or AMC. We'll just have to wait and see.

"Up until just a few years ago film and television tended to be unkind to comic book adaptations"

And after that point as well, I'm thinking...still a lot of rubbish and pretentious drivel wandering away from the source material around.

FalloutJack:
Listen, NBC. The smoking habit is essential. In fact, all of John's vices are important, in that they've been how he deals with the bad shit going down in his life. I mean, when he came out of Newcastle...well...let's not go there. The point is that everyone knows John smokes like an old steel mill, and it's suppose to be painted in a bad light because such had consequences in his life. You can probably do without some of the other raunchy stuff John's been doing, but that's one that has to stay.

I'm more worried that they might try and make him more of a heroic figure, like the Keanu movie attempted. Yeah, he does some heroic things and it decent at his core, but John is basically a cunt. Probably not an easy sell on network TV, a protagonist so bitter and spiteful that he makes Sherlock Holmes look like a people person...

I actually quite liked that film. I never even know it was based on a comic. Which was probably for the best.

I love Hellblazer, so I'm a bit hesitant on this...

But if it sucks I'll just ignore it.
And I agree, the smoking habit is pretty essential. He has a lot of unlikable habits, and is pretty self-destructive. Smoking is just a part of it.

Although I'm more afraid it will turn out more actiony.
Also I'm interested in knowing at what time it takes place in, I'm assuming the present?

Nimcha:
I actually quite liked that film. I never even know it was based on a comic. Which was probably for the best.

It's an okay movie on it's own right.
But it has nothing to do with the original comic. I'd be far more charitable towards it if it didn't borrow the name.

By "original comic book," do they mean Hellblazer or Constantine, I wonder.

Personally, I'd like them to resurrect Delano's version, complete with politically charged storylines. But there's been a lot of other good (and bad) Constantine comics since then.

Anachronism:
Yup. Especially since one of the best Hellblazer stories ever written, Dangerous Habits, couldn't possibly have existed if it weren't for his smoking habit.

Let's facce it: even the Keanu Reeves movie would be impossible without John's smoking habit.

It's pretty bad to imagine a non-smoking Constantine, but at least in this respect we get an acceptable excuse for it, in the sense it's not David Goyer taking creative liberties with the source material, it's NBC going "No you can't do that". How acceptable this excuse is though your mileage may vary.

Maybe they'll at least paint him as trying to quit (even if he has no reason to). Either way, I'm really interested to see how they handle the character. Although according to Matt Stone, you can get away with a lot more on TV in recent years than you could before.

FalloutJack:
Listen, NBC. The smoking habit is essential. In fact, all of John's vices are important, in that they've been how he deals with the bad shit going down in his life. I mean, when he came out of Newcastle...well...let's not go there. The point is that everyone knows John smokes like an old steel mill, and it's suppose to be painted in a bad light because such had consequences in his life. You can probably do without some of the other raunchy stuff John's been doing, but that's one that has to stay.

Nailed it.
Take note NBC. There's a reason he smokes and drinks and it's always shown in a bad light.
If Mad Men can get away with it, so can you.

Well, that it was going to be a little different was evident from the get go. I mean, for example, even if they wanted to get political, they couldn't do it about the Thatcher government, since it's sure that they will set in current days. The smoking habit block was to be expected, but that turns me a bit off anyway. Well, at least Ryan is good. After Connor, Edward's character was a breath of awesome fresh air.

Blunderboy:

Nailed it.
Take note NBC. There's a reason he smokes and drinks and it's always shown in a bad light.
If Mad Men can get away with it, so can you.

The catch is NBC has something that HBO doesn't and that is the FCC breathing down its neck. With how society views towards smoking are changing they might have the FCC raising issues that "the show is encouraging it for children" even if it has all the warnings and labels for being an adult only show. To me if HBO was airing Constantine then I would probably wonder why its not being included.

You can't say you're going to "cling" to the Hellblazer roots and then say he might not be able to smoke. As silly as it sounds, it's essential that he smokes. That he smokes OFTEN.

I'm also concerned over the idea of various DC characters charging in. I hope it's not like Arrow, where a bunch od Batman D-List villains show up every episode. "Blimey, there's Firefly for some reason! I'd ask him for a light, but I'm on these patches..."

Then again, Hellbazer finished a while ago. I've lost all interest in the new watered down Constantine. If this turns out to be a faithful adaptation, great. If not, I don't care. There's still all the classics to re-read, anyway.

Thinking about it, I did read this was going to be set in America. So, I'd imagine they're going to go for the watered down version. I can't see it getting political, either.

Shame, they should have made it 20 years ago, starring Sean Bean or ideally Tim Roth. That would have been worth watching.

 

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