While SYFY WIRE just hosted a Twitter Q&A with Red Sparrow director Francis Lawrence, one subject that didn’t come up was what he’d do different with his first feature film, Constantine. The Keanu Reeves vehicle is a cult favorite, but differed from the source material in many ways.
Speaking with Coming Soon, the director dove into his regrets about the film with hindsight fully operational. In response to a question about how he could’ve pushed the film to an audience now more accustomed to seeing comic adaptations, Lawrence had the kind of insight that comes from experience.
“It’s tricky because if I’m starting from scratch I would have had him, like in the material, be blonde and English,” Lawrence said. However, as he clarified, he “wasn’t the first one hired on the movie, so it’s a whole different thing,” not to mention his love of Keanu Reeves’ performance as a very different kind of John Constantine.
Aside from the discrepancies from the source, Lawrence also noted “definite story issues” that he would change as well as adding levity. “I think the biggest things I would change are in the story, I think it gets too bogged down in supernatural gobbledygook at the end of the movie.” That said, very few superhero movies avoid that — especially modern blockbusters centering around the destructive powers of alien/robot/robot alien armies.
However, the smaller-scale weirdness of Constantine could’ve been even stranger and darker had Lawrence had his druthers and known about his film’s rating ahead of time. “If I’d known we were getting an R I would have really made an R-rated movie. We followed all the PG-13 rules, but still got an R so it’s not really an R.”
A bloodier, odder, more profane Constantine may not be in the cards for Lawrence, but with the character’s continued popularity in all his adaptations, it may yet still come down from the heavens to fans.