Ah, Constantine. Keanu Reeves’ demonic detective certainly put the ‘cult’ in occult when the comic book movie was released in 2005 – but it so easily could have been the beginnings of an R-Rated franchise instead of one-and-done, as revealed during the movie’s 15th anniversary panel at Comic-Con 2020.
“It endlessly came up,” producer Akiva Goldsman said when asked about a sequel. “We wanted to make a Hard-R sequel, I think we could probably make it tomorrow.”
Goldsman continued, “Yes, we tried a lot of different ways... It was always, to the studio who made it, a little bit of a feathered fish. Its oddness, the way it's equally comfortable with a character scene between Keanu and Rachel [Weisz] as it is with demons hurling themselves at a man who is going to light his fist on fire and expel them. It's odd. It's not exactly action-packed, but it has action... Those seem to get harder and harder to make.”
There was even one idea which would have brought a little more heaven than hell into proceedings – while literally having Jesus Christ in the same scene as Keanu Reeves.
“We've talked about it and we've had ideas, and I would love that, what if he woke up in a cell, he has to identify the prisoner? [Co-writer Frank Cappello’s] idea that it was Jesus... Yeah, we've talked about a sequel,” Goldsman lamented.
Director Francis Lawrence revealed, however, that conversations never reached official levels because of the critical and box office reaction back in 2005: "We talked about sequels more than the studio... It wasn't a knockout success or critically acclaimed at the time,” Lawrence admitted
Constantine arrived at a time, pre-Batman Begins and pre-MCU, where comic book movies didn’t quite garner the attention and audience they do now. If things were different, we could have been looking at a mid-00s that was dominated by Keanu Reeves going to hell over and over. For more on Comic-Con, check out our round-up of everything that has happened here.