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Constantine Getting It Right?
First Official Photo Released From NBC Pilot

Keanu Reeves is a tosser.

Right off the bat, the character description tells us things are looking up. In releasing this photo of actor Matt Ryan starrings as John Constantine, Warner Brothers describes the character as an "...enigmatic and irreverent Liverpool con-man-turned-occult-detective... reluctantly thrust into the role of defending our world against dark forces from beyond."

What? They're actually describing the character as we're at least reading him in the New 52, if not quite as hard-edged as in his long long Vertigo run? (We'll probably get something in between -- and I am absolutely okay with that.)

And Matt Ryan looks Hollywood rumpled, sure, but what did you expect? He at least has the smirk -- that crucial, crucial smirk -- that defines Constantine, even when facing down the darkest depths of Hell.

"I've been a fan of John Constantine since he was first introduced in 1985," said executive producer David S. Goyer. "This Constantine, envisioned by Neil Marshall and embodied by Matt Ryan, looks like he sprang directly from the comics' covers."

It's hard to disagree on that point. And Marshall has a track record of edgy, fun genre work. Production began this week on the pilot, aiming for Fall 2014. IMDB has it listed as a TV movie, which means that at worst, we'll get an interesting 2-hour pilot that will show up somewhere.

But it's for NBC. Chances are really good this will see the light of day. And Goyer really excels in dealing with the darker corners of comics, so this still feels like a really good match.

Notice, however, that he is smoking without a cigarette.


Derek McCaw

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