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SYFY WIRE Constantine

'Constantine' director Francis Lawrence wants to make a ‘real R-rated’ sequel with Keanu Reeves

"The idea is this time, at least for me, is to really go at it and make a real R-rated Constantine."

By Vanessa Armstrong
A still from the film Constantine (2005) featuring Keanu Reeves.

It’s been a couple of months since Warner Bros. announced that Keanu Reeves, director Francis Lawrence, and producer/writer Akiva Goldsman were officially attached to put together a sequel to their 2005 film, Constantine. There’s been a lot of shake-ups at Warner Bros. since then, especially on the DC Universe side of things. The studio has appeared to settle down, however, with James Gunn and Peter Safran now overseeing all DC projects. And now we have more word on that Constantine front.

In an interview with The Wrap to promote his latest film, Slumberland, Lawrence also gave an update on where things stand with the Constantine sequel. “We finally have been sort of given the permission to go ahead and do our version of Constantine because people are always saving him to be part of some shared universe thing or some TV thing or whatever,” he said. “And now I think people realize that there might really be an appetite for another version of the Keanu Constantine.”

RELATED: Hell(blazing) yeah! 2005’s 'Constantine' getting a sequel, Keanu Reeves set as titular warlock

And while Lawrence said his next film likely won’t be Constantine 2, the director did say that he was sure about one thing: He wants the sequel to deserve its R-rating, something he thinks the first film failed to do. 

“One of the biggest things for me about the first one was we followed, per Warner Bros., the rules to make a PG-13 movie in terms of violence, blood, language, sexuality,” Lawrence said. “But the ratings board gave us a hard R based on the gray zone of intensity. And my big, big regret was that we have an R-rated movie that’s really a PG-13 movie. And if I was going to have to go have an R, I would have really made an R-rated movie. I would have made it much scarier and much more violent and I would have really made an R-rated movie.”

Lawrence doesn’t want the sequel to fall into the same trap. “The idea is this time, at least for me, is to really go at it and make a real R-rated Constantine which is, I think, what people always wanted originally, not the PG-13 version that just happens to get an R,” he said.

Lawrence, Goldsman, and Reeves still haven’t gotten together to hammer out the specific story for the sequel yet, though the director teased that they had some ideas. “We have germs of ideas and dedication,” he said. “And Keanu and I have been batting around for a while and we’ve always wanted to do it. It’s just that we've finally gotten past the hurdle of now we can go ahead and, and really do it. Now we have to just roll up our sleeves and dive in. But we have lots of ideas.”

Given there’s no script yet, there’s no news on when Constantine 2 will go into production, much less make its way to a theater near you.

Looking for some fantasy content to tide you over? Click here for our list of the best fantasy films available on Peacock.