Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Constantine 2 - Will It Ever Happen?

In this age of multiple, mega-blockbuster franchises and cinematic universes built around supernatural and extraordinary heroes, it's downright unfathomable that a major studio would produce and release just one star-studded movie about a well-known comic book character. And yet nearly two decades later, 2005's "Constantine" remains film number one of one. No sequel — however much it's been teased, promised, or hoped for — has yet to see the inside of a movie theater.

In Francis Lawrence's "Constantine," Keanu Reeves brought DC Comics' "Hellblazer" saga to life. Here, the A-list star plays John Constantine, a Hell-bound demon hunter who travels between the realms of the living and the underworld, tries to do enough good (by hunting down evil) to earn a spot in Heaven, helps police officer Angela (Rachel Weisz) investigate her twin's death, and gets wrapped up in a battle against the forces of darkness. It's a repeatable formula with years of comics to draw on, but still, "Constantine 2" has never been filmed. Here's why the cameras haven't rolled quite yet and whether or not this sequel will finally see the light of day.

Why isn't Constantine 2 happening yet?

In 2005, "Constantine" was a moderate box office hit, but evidently, Warner Bros. executives considered it a self-contained film and not a viable franchise starter. However, 17 years later, Warner Bros. Pictures bosses Pamela Abdy and Michael De Luca reversed that internal opinion, and in September 2022, it was announced that a sequel was in the works, with the original star, director, and producer — Keanu Reeves, Francis Lawrence, and Akiva Goldsman, respectively — all involved.

Of course, around three months later, the hierarchy of power in the DC universe majorly changed. James Gunn and Peter Safran were appointed the heads of Warner Bros. subsidiary DC Studios, and they announced an ambitious slate of upcoming projects. Their release schedule included an extensive list of films and TV series revolving around characters like Superman, Batman, Supergirl, and Swamp Thing. Nowhere in their plan — with titles set for release between 2025 and 2027 — was there any mention of a "Constantine" sequel.

Needless to say, fans started getting worried, but that's when a Warner Bros. representative told Entertainment Weekly that "Constantine 2" was still very much in the works, although it was likely to fall under the umbrella of "DC Elseworlds" — a category meant for films like "Joker" and "The Batman" that aren't part of the DCU. So that means a sequel is definitely happening, right? Well ... not so fast. In March 2023, Keanu Reeves sat down with ComicBook.com and said "Constantine 2" was no longer a sure thing. When asked if the film was moving forward, Reeves replied, "I was hoping it would, but we don't know. Yeah, we're trying."

Did J.J. Abrams slow down the Constantine sequel?

A big reason why a "Constantine" movie hasn't happen yet — or at least why one didn't enter production years ago — is because of complex issues over the rights to the franchise's characters. 

According to a Collider interview with "Constantine" director Francis Lawrence, John Constantine originated in "Hellblazer," a title published by Vertigo Comics until it was taken over by DC Comics. That comics giant is in turn a division of Warner Bros., where "Lost," latter-day "Star Wars," and rebooted "Star Trek" producer J.J. Abrams had a deal in place to develop a "Justice League Dark" universe. With Abrams at the helm, plans were in the works for multiple films and TV series (to air on Warner's HBO Max streaming service) featuring the team of supernatural-oriented characters, such as Doctor Fate, Zatanna, and, you guessed it, Constantine. 

One of the first entries in the saga — on which Abrams spent two years developing — was going to be a "Constantine" show, but in September 2022, HBO Max said no to Abrams' "Justice League Dark" approach. However, around the same time, Warner Bros. announced that it had ordered a sequel to Lawrence's 2005 film — with Abrams on board as a producer. Of course, if that doesn't pan out, perhaps Abrams is some sort of Constantine curse.

What the cast has said about Constantine 2

Keanu Reeves has proven himself a tireless advocate for a "Constantine" sequel, fighting the good fight since 2005. "I kept asking almost every year," he told Total Film (via MovieWeb) of his personal lobbying of Warner Bros. executives. In 2021, he spoke about the character to Esquire, effusing, "I love playing Constantine. ... I'd love to have the chance to play Constantine again." And when Stephen Colbert asked Reeves about the possibility of a sequel on "The Late Show," the actor sadly responded, "I've tried. I've tried."

Reeves isn't the only actor who's considered showing up for part two. Peter Stormare, who portrayed Lucifer in the original "Constantine," told ScreenRant in 2022 that discussions about a sequel began within a year after the first film's 2005 release and that interest from producers gradually increased. "The DVD sold pretty good, and social media started to come around, and 'Constantine' was always something that people did love." 

Stormare also said that sequel talks grew especially promising around 2007, 2009, and 2011 without production ever officially beginning. The Lucifer actor shared that Reeves was a principal agitator, urging producers to not wait too long. "If we have the same director, the same writer, the same cast, we might be able to pull it off," Stormare hypothesized. "That's the problem of doing 'Constantine 2,' this might be too late."

In April 2023, Rachel Weisz — who played twins Isabel and Angela Dawson — discussed the possibility of another film, but her involvement doesn't seem likely. "No, I haven't heard anything about it," she told ComicBook.com.

What could be explored in Constantine 2?

In February 2023, original "Constantine" producer Akiva Goldsman signed a production deal with Warner Bros., and he told Deadline that one of his top priorities was getting the new "Constantine" off the ground with director Francis Lawrence and star Keanu Reeves, with himself writing the script. Goldsman also revealed the themes he and his collaborators would like to consider. "The character is very much Keanu and the way he and Francis saw the world of good and evil, and the wonderful and authentic noir where there is a world behind the world of good and evil coexist with our world right up close." 

Further elaborating on what we could expect, Francis Lawrence told TheWrap that he's shooting for a mature and heady film, one that earns an R-rating. "We have germs of ideas and dedication," he teased, explaining that as of late 2022, a script had yet to be written.

Now, if we were to guess about the plot, we've got a few possibilities. J.J. Abrams is a listed producer on the new "Constantine" film, announced just after the death of the filmmaker's streaming project about DC Comics' "Justice League Dark." That would've prominently featured John Constantine, so there's a solid chance that a "Constantine 2" could concern itself with that spooky, gritty hero squad and its dealings with the supernatural. "Constantine 2" could also address the first film's cliffhanger ending. In a post-credits scene, Constantine visits the grave of deceased Chas Kramer (Shia LaBeouf). That's when Chas suddenly appears — growing wings and flying away.

Of course, with Reeves' cryptic comments in March 2023 that the film might be in trouble despite earlier positive developments, we might not ever see any version of the story play out.

What has the writer said about Constantine 2?

"A Beautiful Mind" and "Batman and Robin" screenwriter Akiva Goldman produced the first "Constantine." He'll serve in that capacity on the sequel to the 2005 supernatural comic book thriller, while also adding to his responsibilities by penning the script for the sequel. As of July 2023, "Constantine 2" remains an active project in development, although progress has stalled significantly in part due to the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike. As a member of that screenwriting labor union, Goldman is professionally barred from working on the screenplay for "Constantine 2."

"My pens are down, so there's nothing to do," he told The Playlist while promoting his Apple TV+ series "The Crowded Room," Goldman also revealed that he and star Keanu Reeves and director Francis Lawrence had "broken" the story, or hammered out the plot for the long-awaited sequel. "I just haven't started typing yet."

Constantine 2 never happened, but Constantine lives on

Sadly, we live in a miserable hellscape where a "Constantine 2" with Keanu Reeves has yet to materialize. However, the hard-bitten exorcist has made enough of a positive impression with fans of comics-derived media that the Hellblazer has consistently popped up in various television projects. In 2014, NBC debuted a weekly "Constantine" TV series, with Matt Ryan subbing in for Reeves. Unfortunately, the series garnered low ratings (an average of 3.3 million viewers) and aired just 13 episodes. 

Ryan would continue to portray the character on various DC-based shows broadcast on The CW, including "Arrow," "Batwoman," "The Flash," and "Legends of Tomorrow," where John Constantine became a regular character for four seasons. Ryan additionally voiced the character in animated projects like "Justice League Dark" and "Constantine: City of Demons," while Jenna Coleman portrayed a gender-flipped take on the figure, Johanna Constantine, on Netflix's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman."