While promoting The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes in an exclusive interview with Gamespot, Constantine director Francis Lawrence set the record straight about the status of his long-awaited sequel to the 2005 DC/Vertigo Comics adaptation. “So Constantine 2 got obviously held up by the writers strike,” Lawrence said.
“And we had to jump through a bunch of hurdles to get control of the character again, because other people had control of the Vertigo stuff,” he continued. “We have control. Keanu and Akiva Goldsman and I have been in meetings and have been hashing out what we think the story is going to be, and there’s more meetings of those that have to happen — the script has to be written — but really hoping that we get to do Constantine 2, and make a real rated R version of it.”
Based on the Hellblazer graphic novels, 2005’s Constantine starred Reeves as a chain-smoking exorcist with the ability to see half-angels and half-demons on Earth. At the time of its release, Constantine was met with mixed reviews and earned $230 million worldwide. Despite Warner Bros. creating the short-lived NBC series starring Matt Ryan and attempting a J.J. Abrams-produced reboot that stalled, Lawrence never gave up his dream for a sequel.
How Keanu Reeves got Warner Bros. to greenlight Constantine 2
As Constantine gained a cult following over the years, Reeves’ stated interest in reprising the anti-hero cynic during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert gave Warner Bros. the confidence to greenlight a sequel.
“[Reeves] was asked what character he’d love to play again,” Lawrence said. “And he said John Constantine, and the crowd went nuts. People finally saw that and went, ‘Oh, wait, maybe you guys can go and make the Constantine sequel.’ So it was sort of a variety of factors.”
In addition to Reeves and Lawrence returning to their respective roles, Goldsman will be penning the script. The sequel will not be a part of James Gunn and Peter Safran’s new DC Universe slate and currently does not have a release date. Should it be made, however, it is likely to fall under the DC Elseworlds banner alongside The Batman Part II and Joker: Folie à Deux.