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Just Leave the Bottle: NBC Orders Pilot of 'Constantine'

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trade News | January 15, 2014 | Comments ()


john-constantine-sad-keanu.jpg

First they took a Keanu dump on our souls.

Then they cancelled the comic, after a twenty-five year run of continuous story spanning 300 issues, taking the character from his thirties to his sixties. Oh, but they replaced it with some PG-13 reboot where he’s young, and I presume, hip.

So then NBC announced they were looking into a television adaptation. I drank, you drank, we all drank but it still stank.

Now that we found no answers at the bottom of our respective glasses, we turn to the inevitable next chapter: the actual order of the pilot. It’s like NBC is dedicated to putting us through the stations of the cross on this, walking us step by step through mounting pain and sorrow. Is this performance art at the television executive level?

Decades ago we would clamor for a network adaptation of the books we loved, which gave way to the hope that we’d get a cable adaptation instead, which in these latter days has twisted full circle so that we hope for HBO, would settle for FX or AMC, and would rather the actual networks just lost their library cards so we could all avoid the awkwardness of conversation as with an ex. It’s not you we say, it’s us, we’ve just grown in different directions. [a pat on the hand] And then we file them straight into the friend zone of this twisted metaphor: “but we’ll still watch football on you.”

And to go full nerd for a moment, I’m just going to channel Sir Patrick Stewart and say that there are FOUR lights. It’s not “Constantine”, no matter what the movie studio says. Not “Constantine” despite what NBC says. And it’s not “Constantine” even if DC Comics says so. It’s goddamned “Hellblazer” and always will be. If you can’t call it by its name, you don’t deserve to adapt it.

Edit: it’s “Hellblazer” not “Hellraiser” of course. Don’t let sloppiness ruin a righteous rant.




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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Jezzer

    They killed the Hellblazer comic specifically so they could bring the character back to the DC Universe for their "New 52" line. Because really, the logical next step for your gritty, critically-acclaimed, fan-beloved adult comic is to have him running around again with Superman and the Green fucking Lantern after the writers spent years distancing him from that universe.

  • BlackRabbit

    The Keanu one wasn't terrible. Just let the BBC do a good one, then we can have the shot-for-shot American remake, and all will be well.

  • Sean

    I just don't know why HBO didn't give this a shot. TimeWarnerTurnerAol owns the damn character. Do a straight forward adaptation of the comic. Let it run 10+ seasons. Make everyone happy. Instead, it will be on NBC. Where no one will even know it is on.

  • MarTeaNi

    My heart dropped just a little. I used to be able to say, "at least if the show/movie/whatever sucks, I can still read the comic." But I can't even do that anymore. The comic is abysmally dull. Adam Levine is more punk rock than Connie.

  • idiosynchronic

    I'm just glad it's not Preacher or Mage.

  • http://tvline.com/2013/11/16/a...

    Though in better hands...

  • idiosynchronic

    It's that better hands detail . .

  • Afferbeck

    Why is it never called what it's actually called? Is it because americans don't like seeing the word 'hell'?

  • "It’s goddamned “Hellraiser” and always will be. If you can’t call it by its name, you don’t deserve to adapt it."

    Or, er, Hellblazer.

  • That is the most mortifying mid-rant mix up I think I have ever made in print.

  • bastich

    Funny thing is, the comic book was originally going to be named "Hellraiser", except that a certain Clive Barker movie of the same name was about to premier at the time.

    So you were correct in spirit, I guess?

  • mswas

    Since print is dead, you should be ok.

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