HBO Max Passes on J.J. Abrams’ Constantine and Madame X Shows
Today’s bombshell announcement that Warner Bros. is developing a sequel to 2005’s Constantine movie starring Keanu Reeves definitely made a lot of fans happy. But it also left us with a few questions. Namely, what does this mean for the Constantine TV series that J.J. Abrams has been working on for over a year? Thanks to Deadline, we have our answer. Abrams’ long-in-the-works shows featuring John Constantine and Madame X are officially dead at HBO Max. However, Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions banner will shop them around to other networks.
Abrams was developing both projects as part of an overall deal that Bad Robot inked with Warner Bros. in 2019. Abrams’ Constantine reboot was announced in early 2021, with showrunner Guy Bolton having already written the series’ pilot episode. Deadline now claims that three additional scripts have been written since then. Apparently, the producers were looking to cast a young and “diverse” British actor to play the lead role. But no casting rumors have surfaced over the last several months.
Meanwhile, Madame X was set to be a new take on Madame Xanadu, a sorceress that DC introduced in 1978. A version of this character previously showed up in DC Universe’s short-loved Swamp Thing series, where she was played by Jeryl Prescott. However, Abrams’ show would have been unconnected to this incarnation. The series was announced four months after Constantine with Angela Robinson coming aboard as its own showrunner and executive producer. Robinson has also completed a pilot script for the project.
Recent rumors suggest that Warner Bros. hasn’t been happy with Abrams lately. It’s been three years since Abrams and the studio closed a very lucrative exclusivity pact. And so far, Abrams hasn’t delivered a single show. WB’s new leadership may feel that it can recoup its investment by selling properties like Constantine and Madame X to rival platforms.
Bad Robot will reportedly begin taking the shows to other outlets next week. Deadline notes that Netflix could be a likely candidate for both shows, given its willingness to take a chance on Lucifer and The Sandman. The latter series is still waiting on a season 2 renewal, so it’s anyone’s guess what might happen.
Are you hoping to see Abrams’ Constantine and Madame X series land on other networks? Let us know in the comment section below!
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