John Constantine. Exorcist. Demonoligist. Master of the Dark Arts.
John Constantine has never been more popular than today, even though it has been 13 years since the Keanu Reeves film and three years since the cancellation of NBC’s live-action show starring Matt Ryan.
Yet, the character, as portrayed by Ryan – perhaps the best melding of actor and comic book character of all time – has continued, jumping to Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow in live-action, and continuing as the voice of the Hellblazer in DC’s animated film Justice League Dark, and Constantine: City of Demons, a CW Seed show turned into an R-rated, feature-length, film out today, from executive producers David S. Goyer and Greg Berlanti.
At NYCC last week, our man Jace Milam from his podcast The Comic Source (found here on LRM), had the opportunity to partake in several round-tables with all sorts of artistic folks behind Constantine: City of Demons, including screenwriter J.M. DeMatteis.
DeMatteis commented on whether or not he hears Ryan’s voice in his head while writing, or if he writes for the actor:
“He is so identified with that character now that when I think Constantine, I think Matt. I was saying before, I think he’s just one of the great comics to screen casting jobs ever done. It was like he stepped out of the book. Like someone did a spell that’s pulled Constantine out of the comic and make him into a person and then they had Matt Ryan and then they were done you know?”
Damn straight. As I said, I don’t think there has ever been a better casting of any comic character – perhaps J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, but that’s it – than Ryan as John. I can’t read the comic without his voice!
Hopefully, the folks behind DCEU or “Worlds of DC” can recognize this too and get a live-action Justice League Dark or Hellblazer film going… with Matt Ryan, of course!
Have you ever seen Ryan play or voice Constantine? From his show on NBC to Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, or his animated fare? Do you dig him, or am I crazy? Let us know in the comment section below!
Constantine: City of Demons is now available digital and on Blu-Ray!