Keanu Reeves recently told Variety, “I’ve always wanted to play John Constantine again. I just love that world…and I love that character. I just had a blast playing a character and that world.” The character, John Constantine, was played by Keanu back in 2005 in the film Constantine, which was based on the Hellblazer comic series. Fans of Hellblazer were none too keen on Reeves or his performance in the film, and as someone who read the comics, I understand their frustrations.
This was a pre-MCU timeframe for comic book movies. Hell, in 2005, Christopher Nolan was just barely redefining superhero films with Batman Begins. Spider-Man and X-Men both had franchises that were running pretty strong, but when Constantine hit, it didn’t really have those superhero vibes, and so it didn’t appeal to non-fans of the comic book and it didn’t really appeal to fans of Hellblazer. I personally enjoyed the hell out of it. I had my issues with the film and its adaptation of the Hellblazer story, but I felt like Reeves kicked ass as John Constantine as much as he wasn’t really playing the version of the character I remembered reading.
It was true, and there wouldn’t be a proper version of the John Constantine character until Matt Ryan played in the short-lived 2014 series, and no one watched that either.
With all that being said, I really liked Reeves’s take on the character, and I definitely liked the style that director Francis Lawrence, who would go on to direct films in The Hunger Games franchise as well as I Am Legend, had developed for the film. I felt like there was a lot of potential for a franchise, but we haven’t seen Keanu Reeves as John Constantine in 14 years.
I would love to see him return as the character, but you would have to be very careful in how you approach a sequel. It would have to have a title like Constantine: Hellblazer or Constantine: Another Subtitle, something that wouldn’t flat-out call your film a sequel.
After that, you would have to develop a story that didn’t specifically pick up after the first film, but would be a reboot without starting the continuity over again. That way, you could utilize the wonder Djimon Hounsou as Midnite or Peter Stormare as Satan without recasting the characters. This way, people who forgot about the 2005 Constantine would not feel discouraged or, in the event they never saw the original film, unable to understand a sequel.
But I think it could be done. Oh yes, I believe so.
The question begs to be asked, though. Would anyone watch it this time around? That I’m not so sure of.
So what do you think? Would you watch a Constantine 2? Do you think it will ever happen? Let me know/Drop a comment below!
-Kyle A. Goethe