10 Things We Know About the Constantine Pilot

constantineThe television world is opening its arms to John Constantine, the beloved DC comic book character who has graced the screen once (in a film with Keanu Reeves) and is getting his own series, appropriately entitled Constantine

David Goyer and Daniel Cerone penned the pilot which is being directed by Neil Marshall (The DescentGame of Thrones). Matt Singer plays the eponymous supernatural investigator; he's joined by Lucy Griffiths, Harold Perrineau and Charles Hafford.

Shock managed to get its claw on the script for the pilot. While a fun read (it has a bit of a playful edge to it), it's clear that NBC – the network behind the proposed seris – is eager to get in on Sleepy Hollow's success. I think a lot of what makes the Constantine pilot script work is, well, the character himself, yet, story-wise this series will need to do a bit more to separate itself from becoming the aforementioned Fox series or CW's Supernatural. As long as it maintains focus on John and his personal journey/redemption and doesn't devolve into "demon of the week" shenanigans, it will find its identity.

Now…things we've learned:

  1. The pilot takes place in and around New York City (which I don't think has been known about until now).
  2. When we first find John, we learn he has voluntarily checked himself into a psychiatric clinic. He's haunted by an incident in which he lost a 9-year-old girl to a demon who has dragged her soul to hell. This incident has a significant impact on his life and it's hat is driving him. He checks himself out of the hosptial after six months to find something sinister is afoot in the realm of the supernatural.
  3. John's a clever wise-ass. His business card reads "Exorcist, Demonologist and Master of the Dark Arts," but as he tells his doctor, he should replace "master" with "petty dabbler" because he hates to put on airs. He also doesn't like to talk much about his past; he masks his emotions with wry humor.
  4. We won't see John in his classic trenchcoat right away, but he gets there.
  5. An angel – Manny – has been assigned to John to help ease his soul into damnation. John hates angels.
  6. Liv Parsons, a young woman who works at a rental car facility, gets caught up in John's world when she discovers something is after her. Liv's deceased father, Jasper, knew John and John owes a debt to him.
  7. Papa Midnite – an imposing Cuban man who can dream the future – is ailing when we first find him. He's doing a lot of cocaine because he has to stay awake.
  8. Expect to meet "Chaz," John's driver who is a tall, sensitive, quiet type yet is quite knowledgeable about the supernatural himself.
  9. The pilot is brimming with possessions, ghosts (Liv discovers a way to see the dead) and demons and the story does an adept job at not losing its audience in the mythology. Liv is our conduit to John's world of rituals, pendants, black magic and more and it handles the exposition well.
  10. The foundation is set for a long-lasting partnership between Liv and John. Now that she's aware of the world beyond ours, she wants to use her knowledge to help others. But is John willing to assist her?
  • Chris Lovecraft jr.

    Sounds okay I guess, not so sure about the New York setting though. He is English in the series right, I mean they cast a British actor so he better talk with an English accent.

    • RTurek

      He will.

    • ikeamonkey89

      Actually, the actor is Welsh.

  • Geoff Johnston

    So it’s decent, but nothing like the source material then? Which begs the question why call it Constantine?

    • Ran1976

      because that’s the character’s name?

    • brassai2003

      What’s not close to the source material? You’ve got Newcastle (the little girl whom John couldn’t save), Papa Midnight, Chaz, and the trenchcoat. John spent a long time in American with Azzarello’s run on the book.

  • Hyde

    It’s closer to the comic version, but still it’s seems too watered down & too convoluted from the source material to really be John Constantine in the New 52 version or Hellblazer. David S. Goyer really is hit or miss with anything he adapts from comic books. they should have really left out any of the story traits that were created for the movie.
    Goyer said (in a youtube interview) that John Constantine probably won’t smoke since it’s Network TV, but Midnite is doing loads of cocaine!? That makes sense how?

    • RTurek

      Thought the same thing (re: cigarettes/cocaine).

      • oreodogvomit

        Probably because Papa Midnite is a “bad guy.”

  • Billy Bob Throrton

    Compared to the word on the street about the Gotham pilot,this is good news.

  • detectivedee

    I hope this is coming soon. Not a fan of the “we will learn how he got his trenchcoat” detail though. I don’t like it when movies and series (especially prequels) spend too much time on explaining how the hero/ine came to his/her trademarks. Looking at you, “Smallville” and “Lone Ranger”.

    • RTurek

      I think you misread. I just said, we don’t see him in his trench coat right away (because of the previous points I made – he’s in the hospital). When we see him out as a civilian, he’s got it on. No “origin” or anything behind it.

      • detectivedee

        Ah, good. Then I stand corrected.

  • xerocochrane

    So, essentially the only thing that’s survived from the original series is part of point #2. I really want this to be good, but I’m just not feeling it.

  • ChainSmokingChaos

    So no smoking in this one then?

    • Jose Cascante

      He is seen putting out a cigarette, but they won’t show him smoking.

  • Daniel Heidt

    “Matt Singer plays the eponymous supernatural investigator.” His name is actually Matt Ryan.

  • oreodogvomit

    Still not sure about this character, Manny.

  • Damn Heathen

    Supernatural is losing steam, so this will be welcomed.

  • Mozzarellacheese

    Is it bad I liked the campy Keanu version better than this? I mean, I know some shows that are good now had terrible pilots, but this was a terrible pilot. Bad dialogue, bad writing, okay to substandard acting, unoriginal straightforward monologues that sound contrived. The only thing I liked about this was Chas.

    I’m gonna watch the followup episodes in case it gets better but the intelligence that was in the comics is not at all present here.

  • Mozzarellacheese

    If it undergoes the same change between pilot to main series that Sherlock did (the Sherlock pilot was meh, the series was vastly better) or Teen Wolf (they didn’t change the style of the show from the pilot but the writing got much better) then I’ll be glad for it.

    Goyer, you can write smart work. Make this smarter! Make the pacing better! For the love of Hellblazer, make it work!

    …. and make him bisexual too!