Ever since his NBC series ended, Matt Ryan's Constantine has been more or less homeless on TV, but has continued to "live on," in the sense that he has appeared on Arrow, earning him a spot in the shared DC Universe of The CW's superhero shows.
Ryan also voiced the character in Justice League Dark, an animated movie that featured Constantine and a number of DC's occult and supernatural characters, and will do so again in Constantine, a CW Seed animated series set in the Arrowverse.
Every time Ryan plays the character, the inevitable question becomes when he will do so next, and the answer from Ryan is usually some variation on "anytime they ask. I love Constantine."
Executive producers usually say that they hope to do more with the character, but that the circumstances have to be right, both regarding the larger story at play and Ryan's own schedule.
But with a DC app in development that's bringing back at least one of their lost, beloved series, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow seemingly preparing to delve back into the world of magic, what do we think is the most likely place for him to show up again?
DC'S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW
The most frequent question we get from Hellblazers, the hardcore Constantine fans still dutifully @-messaging Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti, et. al. for a second season of Constantine, is whether John Con might turn up on board the Waverider on DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
This is something that we've considered ourselves before, and certainly it could work if it was done right. The Legends are a ragtag group of heroes, most of whom are not very highly-thought-of in their own time and place. That could certainly fit Constantine.
Magic was a big part of the show's first season, so it's hardly alien to the largely science-based crew of the Waverider...and even if it was, it might be fun to see how, say, Martin Stein would interact with Constantine, whose abilities fly in the face of everything the scientist holds dear.
That first season failed to really capitalize on the potential that Legends of Tomorrow had, though, and in the second -- more crtiically acclaimed -- season, they removed magic more or less entirely. It seemed unlikely that we would see Constantine joining the ranks of the Legends when the stage they were setting was that time was broken and the future was chock full of sci-fi weirdness...but this week, things took a bit of a turn.
Zari Adrianna Tomaz, a new member of the team aboard the Waverider for season 3, seems to be a modern, hacktivist riff on Isis, the Marvel Family character who first debuted on TV in the '70s before making her way to the DC Comics. While they likely won't call her Isis (for the same reason Archer's spy agency had to change its name), they appear to be keeping her Shazam!-related power source at least kind of intact as her character description says she has latent powers derived from an ancient, mystical source.
So...what are the odds here? We're going to say still not great that John would join up for more than an episode or two -- the cast is just big as it is, and they're adding Zari, so it's going to be hard to carve out time for new characters -- but the idea of bringing him in for an episode or two, perhaps to help explain the magic behind Zari's latent powers to her? Don't count it out.prevnext
While Stephen Amell has said that he believes the involvement of magic may have led Arrow astray a little bit during its divisive fourth season, that doesn't guarantee we'll never see it again in smaller doses.
It's impossible to guess where Arrow will go next season: the series had a major shift in its gears in season 5, followed by a cliffhanger ending that will feed into the narrative tha season 6 is kind of a soft reboot. That certainly doesn't mean that they can't revisit things that have worked in the past -- we fully expect them to, especially with Deathstroke and Olicity -- but it likely means some potentially less Arrow-y elements will be less likely to recur, magic included.
So, our verdict?
We doubt we'll see magic or magical characters on Arrow at all this season, but if we do, we bet it will be John Constantine.prevnext
THE DC APP
In a perfect world, the recently-announced DC app, which will be bringing fans a new season of Young Justice, would also make Constantine season 2 a reality.
At NBC, Constantine's ratings were actually not terrible. It just didn't bring in enough people to justify its huge budget, a decent chunk of which was licensing fees being paid to DC for the use of Constantine and related characters.
Obviously, a DC-owned Constantine series wouldn't have that concern to worry about, although effects and the network-quality talent NBC brought in to make the show a reality would certainly be costly either way.
It's difficult to say just what kind of programming DC will want for the app -- what mix of nostalgia versus new, animation versus live action, and expensive versus bargain. Certainly fans are going to be disappointed if Greg Berlanti's planned Titans live-action show isn't a visual spectacle.
This one's a toss-up. If DC feels -- and they did at one point, but it's been a couple of years now, and comic book TV is way different than it used to be -- that Constantine is still worth revisiting, this might be the most realistic way to do it. The CW's slate is full and with so many DC shows already, adding another one that failed at another network a few years ago is probably an uphill fight.
Doing it on their own platform, assuming their own risk and potentially reaping their own rewards, though? That's potentially something we can see DC doing.
Here's where we caution, though: On The CW, it's rare (not uneard-of, mind you, but rare) to see major characters appearing on TV while also appearing in the movies. As long as the currently-in-development Justice League Dark, for which Constantine is rumored to be the title lead, is happening, it may be unlikely to get more than one or two live-action appearances by the characters on TV...in any form.prevnext
THE DC LEGEND RETURNS — Seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine (Matt Ryan) is armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and a wickedly naughty wit. With his soul already damned to hell and the balance of good and evil on the line, Constantine will use his skills to travel the country, find the supernatural terrors that threaten our world, and send them back to where they belong. Created by David S. Goyer ("The Dark Knight").
Constantine ran for one season on NBC, but proved to be a cult favorite and is currently being revived as an animated series on CW Seed, where fans can re-watch the complete (live action) first season.