Before going all-in with expansive shared cinematic universes, major movie studios approached superhero filmmaking with the idea of following just one hero (or one team) across several sequels or one-off productions, depending on their box office clout. Popular superhero characters can see multi-picture deals like “Spider-Man” or “X-Men” for Marvel, and “Batman” for DC. Others might get only a one-and-done like 2005’s “Constantine”, based on DC’s “Hellblazer”. The movie starred Keanu Reeves as the titular cynical bounty hunter treading the living world between Heaven and Hell. After several animated appearances and even a one-season live-action series, John Constantine is coming back to the big screen, with Reeves in tow too.
Deadline tells us that Warner Bros. Pictures are looking to develop a sequel to their 2005 supernatural superhero film “Constantine”. To do so, they are reuniting original director Francis Lawrence and star Keanu Reeves, to work on a screenplay by Akiva Goldsman, who is co-producing with J.J. Abrams via their respective labels Weed Road Pictures and Bad Robot Productions. Announcement of “Constantine 2” comes about 17 years following the premiere of the original, which made some $200 million in the global box office well before emerging superhero cinematic universes began routinely breaking the billion-dollar mark.
The return of John Constantine to live-action has been a dream for many comic-book fans of “Hellblazer”, given that the character has risen to become one of the pillars of the supernatural side of the DC superhero multiverse. Warner Bros. Pictures co-chairpersons Michael de Luca and Pam Abdy look to finally help Constantine fans scratch that silver-screen itch, particularly as interpreted by Reeves. A Goldsman screenplay is also a matter of interest, given that he is a DC superhero veteran with credits for the Joel Schumacher “Batman” movies among others. He also co-developed the “Titans” streaming series on HBO Max.
“Constantine” and its source comic “Hellblazer” follows John Constantine, an occult detective and exorcist. In the first movie, Constantine is a cynic driven by how his ability to see supernatural phenomenon and beings led him to commit suicide in his teenage years. Although miraculously resurrected at the time, the fact that he killed himself meant he was doomed to go to Hell if he should die again. Nevertheless, he strives to do the right thing even if his methods are questionable. There is no further information yet on the sequel, and when it might release.
Image courtesy of Hollywood Reporter