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HBO Max's Constantine Reboot Scrapped In Favor Of Keanu Reeves Movie

ScreenRant logo ScreenRant 9/17/2022 Terry Phillips
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In the wake of recent news about Keanu Reeves’ return for a Constantine sequel, HBO Max has reportedly decided to pass on the planned TV series that was to be helmed by J.J. Abrams. First created by Alan Moore, Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Veitch, and John Totleben for the Swamp Thing comics, the occult detective known as John Constantine would eventually go on to headline his own line of Hellblazer comics in 1988, becoming one of the longest running and most successful titles in the DC Vertigo imprint. The character would later come to be played in live action by both Reeves in 2005 and more recently by Matt Ryan in his own NBC series and then later as part of the CW Arrowverse.

Early last year, news broke that Abrams would be developing his own take on the character for HBO Max as part of his overarching 2019 development deal with Warner Bros. Studios. Though nothing official was ever announced, it was rumored that Abrams was potentially eying SÌ£oÌ£pẹ́ Dìrísù for the role. While there were some concerns about the project’s future when a number of DC projects planned for HBO Max were axed following the controversial Batgirl cancelation, it was initially reported that Abrams' Constantine series was safe and was even looking at a potential 2023 production start date. Now, with news that Reeves will be returning to the role on the big screen, all that seems set to change once again.

Related: Harley Quinn References John Constantine's Most Awkward Romance As reported by Variety, HBO Max’s plans for the series are now dead despite supposedly being engaged in early talks to sign an actor for the title role. Also suffering the same fate are the plans for another of Abram’s series - a Justice League Dark show called Madame X that would focus on the immortal sorceress Madame Xanadu. Despite HBO Max passing on both series, Deadline is also reporting that Abram’s Bad Robot productions remain committed to the shows and are now expected to begin shopping them to other potential outlets.

While this latest move comes as bad news for fans who were hoping to see Abrams’ Constantine show lead into an eventual Justice League Dark series, hope remains that he will be able to find a new home for the projects. Given the overwhelming success that Netflix has enjoyed with The Sandman, another Warner Bros. DC property, perhaps the rival streamer will be quick to swoop in to rescue the show from HBO Max’s growing list of cancelations. Such a move would also allow Netflix to boast ownership of two versions of the character, with The Sandman already featuring Joanna Constantine, an alternate version of the fan-favorite sorcerer played by Jenna Coleman.

However it may play out, at least fans are still guaranteed to see much more of John Constantine with the much-celebrated news of Reeves’ return to the role on the big screen. With any luck, there may even still be room for multiple iterations of the character, and audiences may still get the chance to see Constantine make his television return. In the meantime, fans will likely be keeping their fingers crossed that J.J. Abrams manages to find a new home for his long-gestating Constantine series.

Source: Variety / Deadline

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