Seventeen years after the release of the DC Comics adaptation Constantine (watch it HERE), a sequel is finally moving ahead with director Francis Lawrence back at the helm and star Keanu Reeves reprising the role of occult expert John Constantine. Speaking with The Wrap, Lawrence revealed that his biggest regret about the first Constantine was the fact that it was shot for a PG-13 rating but ended up receiving an R rating anyway. With Constantine 2, he intends to aim for an R rating from the start.
Lawrence said, “One of the biggest things for me about the first one was we followed, per Warner Bros., the rules to make a PG-13 movie in terms of violence, blood, language, sexuality. But the ratings board gave us a hard R based on their the gray zone of intensity. And my big, big regret was that we have an R-rated movie that’s really a PG-13 movie. And if I was going to have to go have an R, I would have really made an R-rated movie. I would have made it much scarier and much more violent and I would have really made an R-rated movie. The idea is this time, at least for me, is to really go at it and make a real R-rated Constantine which is, I think, what people always wanted originally, not the PG-13 version that just happens to get an R.“
Scripted by Kevin Brodbin and Frank Cappello, the first Constantine had the following synopsis:
As a suicide survivor, demon hunter John Constantine has literally been to hell and back — and he knows that when he dies, he’s got a one-way ticket to Satan’s realm unless he can earn enough goodwill to climb God’s stairway to heaven. While helping policewoman Angela Dodson investigate her identical twin’s apparent suicide, Constantine becomes caught up in a supernatural plot involving both demonic and angelic forces. Based on the DC/Vertigo “Hellblazer” comics.
Lawrence said it took so long for a sequel to get off the ground because Warner Bros. had the Constantine character tied up in other projects. “We finally have been sort of given the permission to go ahead and do our version of Constantine because people are always saving him to be part of some shared universe thing or some TV thing or whatever. And now I think people realize that there might really be an appetite for another version of the Keanu Constantine.“
Constantine producer Akiva Goldsman will be writing Constantine 2. He’s also producing the film with J.J. Abrams and Hannah Minghella. Lorenzo DiBonaventura and Erwin Stoff serve as executive producers.
Are you glad Francis Lawrence and Keanu Reeves are returning for a Constantine 2 so long after the release of the first movie? Share your thoughts on this one by leaving a comment below.