The number of DC universe set shows that are coming to a television screen near you is increasing rapidly these days. The Flash is speedily spinning off of Arrow, Gotham, the Batman show without Batman, was announced yesterday, and now a series based on Hellblazer, the long running Vertigo title featuring the trials of John Constantine, is in development at NBC.
It is written/executive produced by The Mentalist executive producer Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer, the go-to writer for Warner Bros.’ feature DC adaptations. Constantine centers on John Constantine, an enigmatic and irreverent con man-turned-reluctant supernatural detective who is thrust into the role of defending us against dark forces from beyond.
With a high profile writer like Goyer behind the show, it’s got a good chance actually making it to screen. And a Constantine show that’s actually true to the character (unlike the still very enjoyable movie) would be somewhere between Supernatural and Breaking Bad. A paranormal investigation show where basically everybody is a terrible flawed person and true innocents are rare and just as likely to die as anyone else, i.e., very likely to die. But it’s still the second announced series in as many days to be based around one of the DC’s universes actually pretty tertiary characters, who, unsurprisingly, are white dudes. The odds of Contantine’s canonical bisexuality actually making it to screen are… well, I’m not holding my breath. Still no word, of course, on Amazon, the Young Wonder Woman show that’s development was “paused” several months ago.
A part of me is beginning to think that it might be safe to think that there’s a ray of hope in all these announcements. I know, I know, it’s never safe to assume that because Warner Bros. or DC is doing something that looks incredibly crazy that they’re actually secretly really smart. It seems crazy that Warner Bros. would have the drive to put four different DC universe based shows on television (Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, and a Hellblazer adaptation) and wouldn’t have investigated picking up its paused Wonder Woman project (or any project that features one of the many, many women or characters of color in the DC universe). It really does. One way in which it might not be crazy (and that is not to say that this is a way in which it isn’t crazy) is if they’ve paused their Wonder Woman television project because they are confident that they are bringing her into their movie universe soon.
Rumors have been surfacing lately that one casting call for the next Batman/Superman flick includes asking for a woman between 25 and 35 who appears physically strong. This is not a particularly strong rumor: it’s unlikely that a script for Batman vs. Superman (or whatever it winds up calling itself) is complete at the moment, so it’s also unlikely that they’re looking for castmembers. And even if the cast listing is for a woman to play Wonder Woman, they are probably looking for someone to do a faceless cameo, homage, or subtle reference to her. Warner Bros. is not going to cast the actress who will play one of the major tentpole characters in their universe with an open call. But just maybe, in this wild fantasy where what Warner Bros. is doing isn’t completely crazy, they’re looking for someone to play Wonder Woman in a brief cameo that sets up for a larger appearance in their movie setting after Batman vs. Superman.
Like I said. It’s a crazy possibility. But what’s really crazy is that John Constantine has his own feature film and Wonder Woman doesn’t.
I gave this advice to Gotham and so now I’m giving it to you, putative John Constantine show: I will watch you if you have some Johanna Constantine flashback episodes.
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