Constantine is already aging like a fine wine. 15 years after the release of the supernatural action movie, based on the Vertigo comic book series, it’s only grown more beloved among fans. While nostalgia may play a part, the film itself is an artful and character-driven comic book that is unlike most major blockbusters. Constantine is an anomaly. A sequel to the modest hit was talked about for years, but it never came to fruition.
Nonetheless, filmmaker Francis Lawrence, Keanu Reeves, and producer Akiva Goldsman still want another crack at the chainsmoking, anti-hero demon fighter.
We recently spoke to Lawrence about Constantine for its 15th anniversary (look for the full interview soon). The filmmaker explained why a sequel didn’t happen, and why it still may not happen, but that the original team behind the film are still keen to make it one day:
“I think we all wanted to do it. It was successful enough. We wanted to make a responsible, more R-rated movie. By responsible, I mean we’d make a movie that wouldn’t cost quite as much as the original, which we thought was going to be PG-13. We worked on the sequel for a while. It was tricky to come up with where to take it. What I really liked about the first one was it was a really personal story, so I thought it’d be a mistake to get caught up in the supernatural gobblygook. The idea of a personal story was really interesting, and that was the hard thing to come across. We have been talking about it recently. It’s always stuck with all of us because we all love the movie, and especially realizing there’s a real cult following for this movie, it’d be fun to make. Keanu, Akiva, and I have actually talked about it. Unfortunately, I don’t even remember who has it, but with all these shared universes that exist now, with Constantine being a part of Vertigo, which is a part of DC, people have plans for these shared universes. You know, possibly different Constantines and things like that. Right now, we don’t have that character available to us for TV or movies, which is a bummer. We all investigated it, but I think it’s kind of crazy when you have Keanu, who would love to do another Constantine, and us wanting to do another Constantine, and people are like, “Uh, no, we got other plans.” We’ll see what happens.”
A Constantine sequel all these years later with Reeves’ triumphant return reads as a surefire hit on paper. After 30 years of making movies, Reeves is more popular than ever. With the success of the John Wick franchise, Reeves’ stock and the lovefest surrounding him is at an all-time high.
Given that a big-screen Constantine reboot never happened, the door is still wide open for the actor to play John Constantine again with all the gruff swagger and existential despair still intact. When I mentioned to Lawrence how ridiculous it’d be not to greenlight a Constantine sequel starring Keanu Reeves, he replied, “I know. I agree. I’m with you, man. It’s not for a lack of trying.”