HBO Max is developing a Constantine series for the streaming network but has no plans to have Matt Ryan continue in the role.
Matt Ryan has portrayed Constantine for the DC world since 2017 but it appears HBO Max is looking for something different in their lead character.
HBO Max bringing back Constantine
According to The Illuminerdi, who has a “casting grid” for the upcoming HBO Max show, there will be a stand-alone John Constantine series coming to the streaming service.
However, unlike the 2005 movie, which cast Keanu Reeves as John Constantine, and the television stint with a more comic appropriate Matt Ryan in the lead role, the HBO Max series has a very different outlook on how Constantine should look.
HBO Max is looking for a BIPOC actor to fill the role. Riz Ahmed is someone that HBO Max is looking at, although there is no word on whether he would be interested. This would drastically change Constantine from his comic book persona.
Screenwriter Guy Bolton is attached to the project as writer.
“What an amazing start to our association with the wildly imaginative Bad Robot team under J.J. and Katie,” said former HBO Max chief Kevin Reilly when the show was first announced.
“What could be better than an original J.J. [Abrams] idea and then Warner Bros. letting them loose on iconic IP from Stephen King and the DC Universe and to provide more must-have programming on HBO Max.”
Constantine first appeared for a DC Comics banner called Vertigo, a British warlock that first appeared in Swamp Thing comics before getting his own title called Hellblazer.
He had the interesting premise of aging in real-time, unlike almost every other comic book character.
Eventually, Constantine crossed over and became part of the main DC Comics universe, where he has encountered everyone from Superman to Batman in his adventures.
In 2005, Keanu Reeves starred in the movie Constantine, and while it was a fun comic book movie, criticism swelled about the lack of recognition to the source character.
In 2014, NBC brought Constantine to television with Matt Ryan in the lead role. While the series only lasted one season, fans praised the portrayal of Constantine as comic’s accurate. It was so beloved, that it resulted in an animated sequel with Ryan voicing Constantine, and then eventually he was brought back for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
Now, HBO Max is looking at a third version of Constantine and it is a waiting game to see if it matches up to Ryan’s version of the character.