Marvel may have Agents of SHIELD, the upcoming Agent Carter series and a deal with Netflix, but let's face facts, of the two comic book giants it's DC that really own the small screen right now. This Friday night they add to their already impressive roster of Arrow, The Flash and Gotham with NBC's adaptation of Constantine. Here's what we know about the series....
The official synopsis reads like this:
Based on the wildly popular comic book series “Hellblazer” from DC Comics, seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine (Matt Ryan, “Criminal Minds”) specializes in giving hell… hell. Armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and his wickedly naughty wit, he fights the good fight — or at least he did. With his soul already damned to hell, he’s decided to leave his do-gooder life behind, but when demons target Liv (Lucy Griffiths, “True Blood”), the daughter of one of Constantine’s oldest friends, he’s reluctantly thrust back into the fray – and he’ll do whatever it takes to save her. Before long, it’s revealed that Liv’s “second sight” — an ability to see the worlds behind our world and predict supernatural occurrences — is a threat to a mysterious new evil that’s rising in the shadows. Now it’s not just Liv who needs protection; the angels are starting to get worried too. So, together, Constantine and Liv must use her power and his skills to travel the country, find the demons that threaten our world and send them back where they belong. After that, who knows… maybe there’s hope for him and his soul after all.BUT, don’t get too attached to Liz as she's only in the pilot. Basically NBC did a deal that meant they had to screen this episode regardless of series order. Well they ordered a series but wanted changes, so after the first instalment Liz will be replaced with a character from the comics, namely the sorceress Zed.
That won't be the only additional comic book character we will see. Just as Arrow has plumbed the depths of the DC archive, so will Constantine, so expect to see a lot of the mystical characters that just wouldn't fit in in any other TV series. That at least includes the Spectre, who has already been cast, and Doctor Fate has also been hinted at.
Some changes had to be made to the character of Constantine to bring him to television. For instance, live-action Constantine does not smoke, as director Neil Marshall explained:
"It’s the one thing, a compromise I guess... you can’t smoke on network. That’s one of his character traits. We’re working around that. We’re trying to get aspects of it in there as much as possible. We’ll see."But it certainly won't be a light affair:
"Whatever the regulations are, you can be as dark and disturbing as you want and we’re going to go in that direction. The intention is to be as dark and scary as possible with the show. And that was our whole kind of plan going in, to make it scary."Which sounds pretty good to us.
Marshall's previous work includes of Game of Thrones and Dog Soldiers, and NBC are scheduling Constantine in their Friday night genre line-up. Many network's see Friday as a bit of a dead zone, but NBC have done well with show's like Grimm and Hannibal, and they've stood by their series' and helped them grow. All of this is great news for Constantine.
Matt Ryan clearly looks the part, and the early reviews for the pilot have been very promising indeed. NBC recently released a first look/behind the scenes featurette that's worth checking out. There are some brief interviews with cast and crew interspersed with clips from the pilot. It looks like there’s going to be no shortage of demons and fire in this particular take on the story, which is good, but it also appears to have quite a bit of dry humor, which is also good...
So, simply put, even on TV Constantine is still kind of a jerk, and still better at fighting demons than the demons themselves realise. So we’re excited for Constantine, are you?
Constantine premieres this Friday, October 24th on NBC.