Warner Bros. Animation recently rolled out DC Showcase – Constantine: The House of Mystery, an anthology that featured some eccentric DC heroes, and featured a Constantine short that served as the coda to Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. In that movie, John Constantine helped Barry Allen reverse the bad fortune of the DC Universe by essentially doing a Flashpoint-style reboot, setting the stage for a new generation of DC's animated feature films. The universe, it seems, wasn't too keen on being messed with yet again, and in House of Mystery, Constantine finds himself exiled to a Hell of his own making.
Warner Bros. Animation has shared some short videos exclusively with ComicBook.com, giving Ryan a chance to reflect on the era of DC animation that his Constantine helped to shape. Of course, barring a big change coming up, Ryan's days as that nasty piece of work John Constantine are likely over, since the character departed DC's Legends of Tomorrow a year or so ago.
Calling it "a real joy" to play the character, Ryan says in the first clip (seen above), "What I love playing about John Constantine is the fact that he's a really dark soul, but the way that he handles his humor and his wit, he can go from being really serious to really flippant like that, and it's a really fun thing to play, and as an actor, he's a real three-dimensional character."
During a recent Instagram story, Legends of Tomorrow star Olivia Swann, who played Astra Logue, said that she was impressed by Ryan's ability to stick the landing when it came to Constantine's spells. Often using elements of different languages, the spells can be daunting -- but by the time he was done with his time in Constantine's coat, Ryan says he was pretty happy with how the process went.
"I did enjoy the spellcasting dialogue," Ryan said. "To be honest with you, it was a breeze. I've gotten used to it over the years in a way. I've played the character for four years now in different mediums, so that muscle is used quite a lot."
As he has said before, Ryan would love a crack as the "real" John Constantine as envisioned by his creators in the comics. The version of John that Ryan plays in animation is much closer to that, but for years, both on Constantine and Legends of Tomorrow, he played a version of John that fit in with the DC TV world, moreso than the horror roots of the character.
So, yes. For now, The House of Mystery is his last outing. But if he were given a chance to really go dark with the character, he'd be there in a flash.
""I feel so blessed, really, being able to play John Constantine throughout all these different mediums, and for so long," Ryan said. "It's been years since I first started playing this character, and I'm still here, and I think that is partly down to the fans' acceptance of me. the character is such an iconic role, and the first thing you want to do is try to be true to those original comics which I've fallen in love with. That can be difficult sometimes in the various different mediums you're working on, whether it's on network television, or whatever you're working on. I feel like I've come to really love John and he's a part of me in a way. There' a much darker, more grittier aspect to the character that I'd love the opportunity to get to flesh out in whatever medium that would be. I feel like in some of the various different mediums that Iv'e worked in, predominantly the television stuff, we're doing a somewhat lightened version of him for television. There's a part of me that yearns to do the R-rated stuff, and really show that I can really do that part of the character, as well -- the nasty, dirty con artist type of guy."
In DC Showcase – Constantine: The House of Mystery, occult detective John Constantine is trapped in the House of Mystery, a secret domain where none can escape from.
You can get the movie now on DVD, Blu-ray, or digital. It is not yet streaming for free, but should be headed to HBO Max soon.