'Constantine' Reboot Series Being Developed by J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot for HBO Max

Smoke ’em if you got ’em because a Constantine reboot is in the works at HBO Max. J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot is developing the series, which is based on the DC Comics character who first appeared in the pages of The Saga of Swamp Thing and went on to lead his own book Hellblazer. A Constantine movie featuring Keanu Reeves was released in 2005 and a previous Constantine TV series ran for one season on NBC, and now a new one is on the way.

Deadline is reporting the news that a Constantine reboot series is in the works over at HBO Max. Guy Bolton, a UK author of the books The Pictures and The Syndicate, is handling the pilot and expected to assemble a writers’ room next month. Deadline adds that the rebooted Constantine will be played by a “diverse lead, a departure from the one played by Matt Ryan in the NBC series.” They also add that J.J. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot is working with WarnerMedia, who own HBO Max, on the reboot, and the show is expected to feature the lead character “as a young Londoner.”

The comic character was created by Alan Moore, Rick Veitch, Steve Bissette, and John Totleben, and first appeared in a Swamp Thing comic before branching off into his own series. In the comics, the character is described as “a working-class warlock, occult detective, and con man, who is stationed in London. He is known for his endless cynicism, deadpan snarking, ruthless cunning, and constant chain-smoking, but he is also a passionate humanitarian driven by a heartfelt desire to do some good in his life.” Fun fact: singer Sting was the original visual inspiration for the character. So if you’ve never read the comics, just picture a chain-smoking Sting doing all sorts of mysterious magic stuff, and you’ll get the idea.

Constantine was brought to life on screen in 2005 via a film featuring Keanu Reeves. The movie strayed from the source material, which angered fans, but I want to go on record right here and say that the Constantine movie is good, actually. Of course, I’ve never read the comics, and I might have a different opinion if I had. Beyond the Keanu Reeves movie, there was also the aforementioned TV series with Matt Ryan. That series, which was developed by Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer, premiered in 2014 on NBC and lasted only one season. However, Ryan would reprise the role in the CW shows Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow.

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