Deadline has confirmed that a Constantine sequel starring Keanu Reeves is in the works, and Francis Lawrence will return to direct. Akiva Goldsman, who wrote the script for the first film, will also return. Goldsman will be one of the sequel’s producers through his company Weed Road Pictures, along with J.J. Abrams and Hannah Minghella’s Bad Robot production company.
The funny thing is that in 2020, Peter Stormare, who played Lucifer in the film, out of the blue, wrote on his Instagram “Sequel in the works.” Few people believed this to be true due to the very long time that had passed since the first film came out and the changes that DC and WB had made. It is also worth mentioning that Keanu Reeves himself, whenever he is asked what movie sequel he would like to return in, always replies that he would like to return as John Constantine. Well, we’ve heard him, and apparently so has WBD.
Constantine is an undeniable piece of DC movie history. When the film came out, many people didn’t realize it was DC, they thought it was just another sci-fi or superhero movie. It did not receive many positive reactions at first, but over the years it has been appreciated more. The film cost $100 million and had a box office of about $230 million, which is a very impressive result for the time.
For those who haven’t watched the movie already but are familiar with the comics, Keanu Reeves’ Constantine is not the same as the one from DC comics. The character is not from the U.K., but from the USA, and the whole religious setting around him with exorcisms, dark arts and the use of magic is different than in the comics.
[Warning: Spoilers for Constantine (2005) discussed below!]
What was Constantine about?
In the first Constantine, John (who is a big jerk) trains his friend Chaz Kramer (Shia LaBeouf) to become his assistant even though he knows it won’t end well. While exorcising one of the demons, he learns that this one is different from all of them, as he almost managed to get from Hell to Earth. Constantine knows it’s impossible, but nevertheless decides to investigate and learns that it’s really an evil omen which means the son of Lucifer (Peter Stormare) himself is coming to rule the Earth.
Angela Dodson (played by Rachel Weisz) learns that she’s seeing the same things as her recently deceased sister and John. She finds herself in danger as demons want to use her as a “gateway” for Lucifer’s son to come to Earth. While saving her, Chaz dies, and Gabriel (Tilda Swinton) betrays God and men to help Lucifer’s son.
John sacrifices himself to save Angela, summoning Lucifer, who has been waiting for this moment since John first committed suicide, to personally take him to Hell. In the end, Gabriel loses wings, Angela is saved, and Lucifer’s son does not come to Earth. John, due to his noble non-selfish sacrifice, was supposed to go to heaven, but Lucifer cured him of his cancer and other wounds and told him that this is not the end and that they will see each other soon in Hell.
The Constantine sequel and his place in DC world
What’s most important to me about this sequel is that it should be its own thing and not merge with other DCEU films or other stories like Matt Reeves‘ Batman or Todd Phillips‘ Joker. For me, the original film worked best on its own, and the sequel can easily do the same without all the multiverse stuff or crossover.
There are no signs that the sequel would do anything to connect Constantine’s Earth with some events or heroes from another Earth, but we could get Easter eggs or teases that there are other heroes on this Earth. Perhaps there is only Batman or Superman or perhaps there is only John. What this sequel can do is use some arcs from the previous movie to clarify what happened for all those years since the first film’s events, and give us something new.
What story arcs can a Constantine sequel continue and expand?
There were many story arcs and threads in the first Constantine film, some of which we didn’t see foreshadowed, such as the end credits scene where Chaz Kramer is in his angelic form. This could mean that during the time that passed between films, he may have been helping John. This could be similar to the Constantine series starring Matt Ryan, where the angel Manny appeared to John to inform him of strange phenomena or even help him kill demons.
We don’t know what happened to Angela after these events. We only know that John gave her a spear that belonged to Lucifer’s son to hide it where no one would ever be able to find it. She could easily live somewhere protecting the spear or have hidden it and started a family.
Papa Midnite is the most interesting character to me if he appears in the sequel. We know that in the first film he was neutral due to his belief that there is a balance between Earth, Heaven, and Hell and that no one can travel between these realms to cause chaos or for that matter make peace.
Now all his beliefs are ruined, which means he could go back to his so-called Voodoo magic and help people again as the Witch Doctor (as John called him) and fight demons and helping people. Djimon Hounsou was perfect in the role, and learning more about Papa Midnite’s past and future would be wonderful.
We know that Tilda Swinton’s Gabriel betrayed everyone and lost wings so maybe the ending of this story arc will give us a new villain. Or maybe there could be a redemption arc for Gabriel in the sequel, assuming that creators will have plans for using the character.
At the end of the last movie, John stopped smoking and started to believe in God, and he could go to Heaven by doing good and not selfish things. As we remember, John always sent as many devils to Hell as possible to make sure he went to Heaven, and other people’s safety was in the background. He was really selfish, but now there are two paths John could take between movies, either he became a very good man who started to care about others and all is well, or the darker one where he started to care about people and met Astra Logue.
If you don’t know who that is, Astra is the daughter of John’s old friend who was taken to Hell when John’s exorcism didn’t work. This dark path could make Reeves an even darker, closed-off, and depressed Constantine. A man who knows he can’t be happy or care about anyone ever again because he will lose everyone no matter what he does.
This is something we could see in the sequel in the form of a more human but damaged version of Constantine. Something like Matt Ryan’s Constantine, where we learned all about him, the people he lost, the deals he made, and the fact that while he showed himself to be a badass and unafraid of anything guy, he was very afraid of anything related to magic and demons.
Previous Constantine sequel story ideas
At the 2020 San Diego Comic-Con, which was held online, there was a panel on the 15th anniversary of Constantine. The panel included director Francis Lawrence, producer Akiva Goldsman and, of course, Keanu Reeves.
They talked about their love for the original film, how excited they were to shoot every scene, and most importantly they talked about their ideas for a sequel. But they couldn’t execute them due to the studio not treating it as a big box office and critical success. All three of them wanted to start work on the sequel as soon as the first film was completed, and they talked to the studio about how much they wanted to do it and how many ideas they had for it.
Akiva Goldsman said on the panel about the sequel plans:
“Yes. Oh my God, yes. [Sequels] endlessly came up. Boy, we wanted to, we wanted to do a hard-R sequel. I think we’d probably make it tomorrow. We tried a lot of different ways… to the studios who make it, which was Village Roadshow and Warner Bros., it was always sort of a feathered fish. Its oddness, the thing that you’re talking about, which I do think is one of the most lovely parts of the film, the way it is equally comfortable in a character scene between Keanu and Rachel [Weisz] as it is with demons hurling themselves at a man who is going to light his fist on fire and expel them. It’s odd. It’s not really action-packed, it just has a bunch of action. This movie isn’t really a thing, it’s a few things. Which is what I think is beautiful about it. But those seem to get harder and harder to make, and even then… we talked about it, we had ideas.” (via Collider)
Goldsman provided some details on some ideas for the sequel at the time,
“I love that one of [John] wakes up in a cell, he has to identify a prisoner. Remember? It was [screenwriter Frank Cabello’s] idea. [The prisoner] was Jesus. He comes up and he’s in New York. Just…yeah we talked about a few scenes.” (via Collider)
This film was supposed to be a preparation for the historically symbolic battle between Satan and God, where John as the main character will be forced to fight this battle. Everything he had done so far, like exorcisms and stopping black magic, was just a drop in the ocean in comparison.
I’m a big fan of Constantine and I believe that the director, producers, and Keanu Reeves himself will give us an honorable legacy sequel with new interesting characters. Potentially, it could release in 2025 for the 20th anniversary of the first movie.
Assuming that greenlighting a Constantine sequel is one of David Zaslav’s better ideas, perhaps there are other forgotten DC films from 10-15 years ago that they want to continue. Stories from other Earths, such as Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern or even Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns with Brandon Routh continuing the story arc from the CW’s Crisis On Infinite Earths.
Variety has also recently confirmed that J.J. Abrams’ Constantine series for HBO Max starring Sope Dirisu has been canceled. It looks like the only live-action Constantine at this point will again be by fan-favorite Keanu Reeves. Who knows, maybe DC will bet on continuing and honoring the legacy instead of creating more new stories with new characters.
For now, however, we have to wait for more news and hope that it won’t take long for them to start working on it. Are you excited about a Constantine sequel with Keanu Reeves? Let us know on Twitter what you think!