Keanu Reeves is bringing back an underrated DC character's cult classic film. The actor will reunite with Warner Bros. to develop a sequel to the 2005 horror thriller Constantine, working alongside Hunger Games filmmaker Francis Lawrence, who made his directorial debut on the original, reported Deadline. Upon its release 17 years ago, the DC comics adaptation grossed over $200 million at the box office.
Reeves will reprise as John Constantine, an exorcist and Los Angeles occult detective who can communicate with half-angels and half-demons. Since Constantine can see the influence of demons and angels on regular people, he is determined to send every last demon to hell and secure his place in heaven. Tarsem Singh was initially slated to direct the original, with Nicolas Cage starring. The director, however, said that he couldn't make the film he wanted to with Cage. Shortly after Singh departed, Cage left the project as well.
Constantine has also inspired an NBC series created by Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer and a series in development by J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions for HBO Max. Despite early talks with an actor for the lead role, Variety reported that the HBO Max series had ceased production, even though four scripts were already written for the contemporary London adaptation. Fans have long talked about the sequel, especially after both Reeves and Lawrence attended Comic-Con together 15 years ago. The John Wick star has also expressed interest in returning to his chain-smoking, cynical character's supernatural reality. "I just loved that world," Reeves told Variety, "and I love that character."
Regarding a sequel, Lawrence stated in 2011: "It's interesting that over the years, Constantine seems like it's become ... like it has this sort of cult following, which has been great. It's been embraced. It would be great to figure out a sequel, and if we did, and we've been trying to figure one out, it would be great to do the really dark, scary version. We got caught in that weird PG-13–R no man's land, and we should do the hard-R scary version, which I would love to do."
Peter Stormare, who played Lucifer in the first film, announced in a November 2020 Instagram post that a sequel was "in the works," however, representatives for Warner Bros. and Reeves did not respond immediately to requests for comment. Although details on the new installment are currently sparse, Akiva Goldsman is set to write the script and produce the film through his company Weed Road Pictures, in collaboration with Abrams and Hannah Minghella of Bad Robot.