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

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | January 15, 2014 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | January 15, 2014 |

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.

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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