In 2014, Matt Ryan took on the lead role in the TV series based on arguably the DC Universe’s greatest magician (he’s unarguably its greatest jerk). The series only lasted one season, but thanks to Ryan’s pitch-perfect portrayal, this incarnation didn’t die with cancellation, but moved to the Arrowverse, where he is now a member of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
But what could have been? Had Constantine’s own series been able to delve more into the supernatural side of the DC Universe, where would it have taken its fans? In an interview on the Discussing Film YouTube channel, Constantine showrunner Mark Verheiden recently offered some insight to that question.
“I believe we had already set up the Spectre [The spirit of vengeance in the DC Universe], so we definitely had plans to go forward and introduce more DC Universe characters from the dark world, but trying to remember exactly who now,” said Verheiden. “Obviously, we had Papa Midnite, we had the Spectre, we had characters from the Constantine series that we brought in… I can’t remember specifically off the top of my head now if we had any specific plans on any specific large-scale DC Dark type characters, I do know we had more plans for the Spectre.”
If we had to wager a guess, since Constantine was a member of the Justice League Dark in the comics, Zatanna and Deadman would be at the top of our list of potential characters. They are the two that epitomize the realm of magic and the realm of the dead. Watching them interact with Ryan’s Constantine would have been a treat. His chemistry with the Legends is already high, so heroes that are in his wheelhouse would be that much better.
Verheiden also talked about his excitement for being the showrunner on the new Swamp Thing series for DC Universe, DC's new streaming platform. He couldn’t say much, other than it goes into production soon, and will follow Titans and Doom Patrol as the app’s third original series. Whereas Constantine had to abide by network rules, Verheiden mentioned that being on DC Universe gives him a chance to have a more adult edge on Swamp Thing.
From the House of Secrets to the Green, Verheiden has his hands all over the supernatural realm of DC, and he doesn’t seem like he’d have it any other way.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow featuring Matt Ryan as John Constantine premieres Oct. 22 on the CW. Swamp Thing should creep onto DC Universe sometime next year.