John Constantine (also known as Hellblazer) is a fictional character, an antihero, appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in The Saga of the Swamp Thing No. 37 (June 1985), and was created by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, and John Totleben. He serves as the lead character of the comic books Hellblazer (1988–2013), Constantine (2013–2015), and Constantine: The Hellblazer (2015–).
The titular Hellblazer, Constantine is a working class occult detective and con man stationed in London. He is known for his endless cynicism, deadpan snarking, ruthless cunning and constant chain smoking, but is also a passionate humanist driven by a heartfelt desire to do some good in his life. Originally a supporting character who played a pivotal role in the "American Gothic" Swamp Thing storyline, Constantine received his own comic in 1988. Pop artist Sting served as visual inspiration for the character. A live-action film was also released in 2005 entitled Constantine, where an Americanized version of the character is played by actor Keanu Reeves. Welsh actor Matt Ryan was cast in the role of Constantine for the 2014 NBC television series Constantine, a role he reprised on the CW series Arrow.
The Hellblazer series was the longest-running and most successful title of DC's Vertigo imprint. Empire Magazine ranked Constantine third in their 50 Greatest Comic Characters of All Time, while IGN ranked him No. 29 in their Top 100 Comic Book Heroes, and the character ranked No. 10 in Wizard Magazine's Top 200 Comic Book Characters of All Time.
Constantine (2005 Movie)
Constantine is a 2005 supernatural action-thriller film directed by Francis Lawrence as his feature film directorial debut, starring Keanu Reeves as John Constantine, with Rachel Weisz, Shia LaBeouf, Tilda Swinton, and Djimon Hounsou. With a screenplay by Kevin Brodbin and Frank Cappello, the film is loosely based on Vertigo Comics' Hellblazer comic book, which is also a part of and run by DC Comics, with plot elements taken from the "Dangerous Habits" story arc (issues #41–46) and the "Original Sins" trade paperback. The character of John Constantine was introduced by comic book writer/creator Alan Moore while writing the Swamp Thing, first appearing there in June 1985.
In 1988, the character of John Constantine was given his own comic book title, Hellblazer, published by DC Comics under its Vertigo Comics imprint. The "Dangerous Habits" story arc of Hellblazer was written by Garth Ennis in 1991, on which the film is partly based. The film, which was met by film critics with mixed reactions, portrays John Constantine as a cynic with the ability to perceive and communicate with half-angels and half-demons in their true form. He seeks salvation from eternal damnation in Hell for a suicide attempt in his youth. Constantine exorcises demons back to Hell in a bid to earn favor with Heaven but has become weary over time. With death looming, he helps a troubled police detective learn the truth about her sister's death while simultaneously unraveling a much larger and darker plot.
Constantine was released in the United States and Canada on February 18, 2005 and in Hong Kong on February 8, 2005. Constantine earned nearly $30 million at the North American box office on its opening weekend, making it the second highest earning movie for that weekend. It eventually earned $75,976,178 in North American and had a worldwide total of $230,884,728.
Dark Universe (2020?)
In January 2013, Guillermo del Toro confirmed that he was working on a film with the working title Dark Universe, based on the DC Comics superhero team Justice League Dark. Del Toro was then searching for a screenwriter for the film. He revealed Dr. Alec Holland / Swamp Thing, John Constantine / Hellblazer, Jim Corrigan / The Spectre, Boston Brand / Deadman, Zatanna Zatara, and her father Giovanni Zatara would be characters in the story, which would center around Constantine recruiting several of these characters.
The film would not be an origin story, with each character already established and elements of their backstory coming into play throughout the film. In May 2013, del Toro revealed that his script features Constantine, Swamp Thing, Nimue Inwudu / Madame Xanadu, Deadman, and Zatanna as the team, with others "in the mix." He also revealed that he was still waiting for the go-ahead from Warner Bros.
Del Toro revealed in an interview that he hopes the DC Extended Universe will become as cohesive as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and he added that if there was any correlation to that universe and this film, he would honor it. In November 2014, del Toro confirmed that the script was complete and that he had handed it in to Warner Bros. to be reviewed. In December 2014, del Toro revealed that the film would be a part of the DC Extended Universe. In June 2015, del Toro left the project.
Though many of the characters of the Justice League Dark team began under DC's Vertigo imprint and Vertigo characters have been moved to Warner's New Line Cinema division (such as The Sandman), the Justice League Dark characters remain under Warner Bros. and the studio hopes to include them in future DC Extended Universe titles despite del Toro's exit. Test footage for Swamp Thing was released online in July 2016. In August 2016, it was reported that Doug Liman had been hired to direct Dark Universe.
"Arrow" TV Series (2012-2016)
Arrow is an American television series developed by writer/producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg. It is based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, a costumed crime-fighter created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp. It premiered in North America on The CW on October 10, 2012, with international broadcasting taking place in late 2012. Primarily filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the series follows billionaire playboy Oliver Queen, portrayed by Stephen Amell, who, 5 years after being stranded on a hostile island, returns home to fight crime and corruption as a secret vigilante whose weapon of choice is a bow and arrow. Unlike in the comic books, Queen does not initially go by the alias "Green Arrow".
Constantine on Arrow
In May 2015, Amell revealed he had had discussions with DC Entertainment to portray Oliver Queen on Constantine because Constantine is an expert on the Lazarus Pit, a concept used on Arrow. In August 2015, it was confirmed that Matt Ryan would appear on Arrow in the fourth season episode "Haunted", per a "one-time-only-deal" that would involve his character being "brought in to deal with the fallout of the resurrection of Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) via Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus Pit." Due to Arrow and Constantine sharing the same studio, the producers of Arrow were also able to acquire Ryan's original outfits. John Badham, who was a director on Constantine, will direct "Haunted". On filming the episode, Guggenheim stated it felt like the production team was "doing a Constantine/Arrow crossover, and it's so exciting... we're just really glad we got the chance to extend Matt Ryan's run as Constantine by at least one more hour of television. I think you'll see he fits very neatly into our universe. It never feels forced, it feels right."
In May 2015, Stephen Amell, who portrays Oliver Queen / Green Arrow on The CW's Arrow, revealed he had discussions with DC Entertainment to portray the character on the show, saying, "The reason that I was going to guest star on Constantine, at least the idea that we were throwing around was [Constantine's] an expert when it comes to the Lazarus Pit, which is now something that is a part of and will continue to be a part of Arrow." Amell stated that, even though Constantine was not renewed for a second season, a crossover "was and is still on the table". Additionally, Arrow showrunner Marc Guggenheim revealed a desire to integrate Constantine into the universe that had been created with Arrow, saying, "A lot of the pieces are in place, except for that one final piece, which is what's the fate of Constantine? That's the tricky thing. But it comes up in the writers' room constantly — we have a number of ideas, one idea that’s particularly exciting to me. We're in a little bit of a wait-and-see mode." In July 2015, additional Arrow showrunner Wendy Mericle added, "We really want to [include Constantine]. It's something we've been talking to DC about and it's just a question of some political things, but also the actor's schedule. We're trying to work it out, but we don't know 100 percent if it's going to happen. But we're really optimistic and we would love to have him," presumably talking about Matt Ryan.
In August 2015, it was confirmed that Ryan would appear on Arrow in the fourth season episode "Haunted", per a "one-time-only-deal" that will involve his character being "brought in to deal with the fallout of the resurrection of Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) via Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus Pit" because "Unlike Thea [Queen], who wasn't fully dead [before being resurrected by the Lazarus Pit], the consequences of using the pit on someone as dead as Sara creates some unforeseen difficulties... and John Constantine is uniquely suited to help our team deal with those." Guggenheim said, "This is something the fans were clamoring for," praising DC for being so "magnanimous and generous in giving us this one-time dispensation." Due to Arrow and Constantine sharing the same studio, the producers of Arrow were also able to acquire Ryan's original outfits, with Guggenheim saying, "The trench coat, the tie, the shirt...the whole wardrobe is being taken out of storage and shipped up to Vancouver [where Arrow shoots]." John Badham, who directed the fifth episode of Constantine, "Danse Vaudou", will direct the Arrow episode. In addition, Mericle revealed that the version of Constantine that Matt Ryan will portray on Arrow is the same version of the character that was portrayed on Constantine. On filming the episode, Guggenheim stated it felt like the production team was "doing a Constantine/Arrow crossover, and it’s so exciting… We’re just really glad we got the chance to extend Matt Ryan’s run as Constantine by at least one more hour of television. I think you’ll see he fits very neatly into our universe. It never feels forced, it feels right."
"The Justice League" Part One
In Theaters November 17th, 2017
Motivated by Superman's selfless sacrifice, Batman and Wonder Woman assemble a team of metahumans to face a new catastrophic threat. The film introduces Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, James Gordon, Mera, Nudis Vulko, and Iris West to the DCEU.
The new Justice League film will be starring: Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Henry Cavill (Clark Kent / Superman), Jason Momoa (Arthur Curry / Aquaman), Gal Gadot (Diana Prince / Wonder Woman), and Ray Fisher (Victor Stone / Cyborg).
In October 2014, Warner Bros. announced the film would be released in two parts as the fifth and ninth installments of the DC Comics' shared universe films, with Part One releasing in 2017, and Part Two in 2019. Snyder will direct both films. It is expected that Fisher will appear as Cyborg, and Jason Momoa will appear as Aquaman.
On January 19, 2016, concept art was released for the film confirming Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and the Flash as the official lineup, though Geoff Johns hinted that a Green Lantern and the Green Lantern Corps will eventually join the roster and appear in the movie. Snyder later discussed that Doomsday, and his mythological origins will be more greatly detailed within the Justice League films after his debut appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In March 2016, it was announced J. K. Simmons would play Commissioner Gordon in the series. That same month, Heard confirmed with Entertainment Tonight that she will indeed be portraying Mera. According to writer Chris Terrio, the film will not be as dark as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and will instead feature a lighter tone. Filming for the movie started on April 11. In April 2016, Willem Dafoe was cast as Nuidis Vulko, an advisor to Aquaman. That same month, Eisenberg confirmed that he would reprise his role as Lex Luthor. In June 2016, Johns revealed the title for the film would be Justice League.
"Justice League" Part 2
in Theaters June 14th, 2019
The Justice League sequel will be starring: Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Henry Cavill (Clark Kent / Superman), Jason Momoa (Arthur Curry / Aquaman), Gal Gadot (Diana Prince / Wonder Woman), and Ray Fisher (Victor Stone / Cyborg).
In October 2014, Warner Bros. announced the film would be released in 2 parts as the 5th and 9th installments of the DC Comics' shared universe films, with Part One releasing in 2017, and Part Two in 2019. Snyder will direct both films. A Justice League movie sequel was scheduled to be released on June 14, 2019, but has since been delayed to accommodate the release for a standalone Batman movie that will be directed by Ben Affleck.