Just because Constantine is coming to the small screen doesn't mean his creators are making money.
Creating characters for Marvel and DC has become something that most writers and artists are increasingly skittish about. Generally speaking, when you make something for the big two, what you make is theirs and not yours.
Still, that isn't always the case. Sometimes creators retain some rights, which was close to being true with Constantine. In this case, Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben brought Constantine to life in Swamp Thing #21. Moore waived all his rights and left them with Bissette and Totleben.
So those two creators are getting paid for the Constantine TV series, right?
Seems there was already an option paid out for that Keanu Revves' Constantine movie in the '90s. Bissette explains the situation:
As of this morning, it appears there will be NO payment to the Constantine creators for this series.
This option apparently rolled out of the already-paid-for option for the CONSTANTINE movie in the 1990s. Thus, we’ll only see $$ waaaay down the road, it appears, IF this series makes it to being a series. If it makes money. If it trickles down.
The bottom line -- the creators only get paid once unless the TV show is wildly successful.
As "comic creators get ripped off" stories go, this is not the worst, but it still serves as a reminder that crafting original characters for DC and Marvel doesn't guarantee much of a payday, if any at all.
(via Bleeding Cool)