Friday, 27 September 2013

NBC planning TV series based on CONSTANTINE graphic novels

Friday, 27 September 2013

It seems Marvel's success at multiplexes, coupled with The Walking Dead's success on cable television, is encouraging a lot of US studios execs to take a chance on network TV. Arrow's going to 'back-door pilot' a Flash spin-off this year, Fox have just ordered a crime drama called Gotham (taking place in Batman's home town), and now NBC have ordered a pilot of Constantine from David Goyer (Batman Begins, Man of Steel).

For the uninitiated, John Constantine is a chain-smoking English expert of the occult, created by graphic novel maestro Alan Moore as a supporting character in a 1985 issue of Swamp Thing. The blonde-haired magician proved popular enough to headline his own hit comic-book series, Hellblazer, which was loosely adapted into a 2005 movie starring Keanu Reeves—which upset purists because of the character's Americanisation and the setting's move to Los Angeles.

Constantine is a better fit for television, but one assumes this project at NBC will be a small-screen version of Francis Lawrence's 2005 movie. I certainly don't imagine they'll be filming on location in the UK, using an actor with a heavy Scouse accent. Although maybe they'll appease the existing fanbase by casting someone who's at least English, seeing how popular Johnny Lee Miller is on Elementary? There's also hope for a decent translation in terms of tone, considering NBC are the 'mainstream network' that gave us the extremely cable-like drama Hannibal. Constantine needs to take place in a world that's similarly bleak-yet-beautiful.

David Goyer's output is hit-and-miss (Blade Trinity, Da Vinci's Demons), but he tends to work better alongside more talented people (The Dark Knight), so it's good to hear this series is being co-produced by Daniel Cerone (The Mentalist)--who also worked on Dexter's first two seasons. Goyer and Cerone working together on a show NBC are happy to see go down a less mainstream avenue, like Hannibal, actually might work... but it still feels like a better fit as a True Blood replacement for HBO...