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Warner Bros. is officially development Constantine 2 with leading actor Keanu Reeves as a sequel to his 2005 movie, and both he and the movie’s director have now addressed the status of the project amid James Gunn’s DCU reboot.
The John Wick star had his DC comeback shockingly announced in September 2022 ahead of Gunn and Peter Safran boarding the blue brand reboot.
Constantine 2 will follow up on Reeves’ 2005 DC flick which landed poorly with critics at just 46% on Rotten Tomatoes and stumbled at the box office with a $230.9 million worldwide gross.
Keanu Reeves and Francis Lawrence Speak On Constantine 2
Constantine director Francis Lawrence has recently been on the press circuit as his latest movie, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, makes its way into theaters. And naturally, his supernatural DC sequel has come up.
During an interview with The Wrap, Lawrence explained how have had to work to “wrangle some control” over Constantine across the years as various other versions of the character have been in development:
“No, but we’ve had many obstacles. Me, Keanu, Akiva [Goldsman] have tried over the years to wrangle some control of the character again, because it had been handed over. I think NBC did a TV show, and then J.J. [Abrams] was going to try and do something. And then the regime at DC changed, and they’ve got their plans.”
He noted how they have finally managed to gain some of that control and are “working on some ideas” for Constantine 2, seemingly suggesting development is rather early on. While the strike put a hold on the project “for a little bit,” Lawrence expects to return to work properly on it after Thanksgiving
“But luckily, we managed to wrangle some control and started working on some ideas for Constantine 2, which we’re really excited about. It’s still the very beginning, as the strike put it on hold for a little bit. So we’re probably going to start getting back together after Thanksgiving, and dig back in to try and crack it.”
Later asked about I Am Legend 2 which he is working on at Warner Bros. with a script by Akiva Goldsman, just like his DC sequel, Lawrence revealed his “focus is on Constantine 2” at the moment:
“I know that Akiva is working on something now, but honestly, my focus is on Constantine 2.”
Lawrence isn’t the only one to comment on the sequel, as Constantine actor Keanu Reeves spoke with Total Film (via Slashfilm) earlier in the year and offered his first public comments regarding Constantine 2 going into development.
Reeves explained just how much he loved playing the role in the first movie, joking that he was similar to the titular character from Oliver Twist in asking the studio “Can I please have some more?”
“I don’t know if it was unfinished business but it was definitely a role that I loved. And I thought that Francis Lawrence, the director, did such amazing work. I loved playing that character, and I really enjoyed the film. I was like, [adopts Oliver Twist voice] ‘Can I please have some more?'”
This apparently became a regular conversation between Reeves and Warner Bros., with the studio regularly saying no to his requests:
“I kept asking almost every year. I’d be like, ‘Can I please?’ [and] they’d be like, ‘No, no!'”
Once the studio finally said “sure” and greenlit the sequel, Reeves and his team quickly got to work and are now “just starting to try and put a story together.”
Reeves was unable to contain his excitement, making it clear that he’s going to “try [his] darndest to try and realize that dream” of making this movie even with all the obstacles in the way:
“So it’s exciting. It’s almost like an open playground that we can hopefully cook something up and play in, and I guess get out of the playground and prepare a meal. But I’m looking forward to it, and hopefully it can happen. You don’t know how these things go. But I’m definitely going to try my darndest to try and realize that dream.”
Having continued his franchise mega-stardom with movies like John Wick 4 and The Matrix Resurrections, Keanu Reeves remains as active as ever in the Hollywood blockbuster scene. He’s also recently dipped his toes into other sects of the DC Universe with his voiceover role as Batman in the animated DC League of Super-Pets, but it’s clear that he’s had Constantine on his mind for a long time.
Reeves has even looked for other superhero roles in the meantime, having spoken to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige about finding an MCU role that would suit both of them.
When Will Constantine 2 Be Made?
In the nearly two decades since the first movie debuted, Constantine has been a struggle for Warner Bros. and DC to get onto both the big and small screen alike.
Matt Ryan brought his version of the hero to the Arrowverse starting in 2014, and while there was actually a different Constantine show in development for HBO Max over the last few months, its development is reportedly dead as Gunn and Safran rework the DCU for a fresh reboot.
It’s currently uncertain whether Rachel Weisz’s Angela Dodson or Tilda Swinton’s (spoilers, now mortal) Gabriel could return for the sequel, though their reappearances would certainly help the follow-up feel more like a proper Constantine 2 as opposed to just another Keanu Reeves romp.
Should this movie continue further into development, it would likely fall into the Elseworlds category of projects in the DCU, which Gunn has already said will be a piece of his extensive story as new movies are brought to life.
With the script still being underway under writer Akiva Goldsman, it’s likely that the movie will be a few years out yet. A release sometime in late 2025 would seem appropriate given where the film is in development, which would also allow for a release around Halloween to match Constantine’s grimmer aesthetic.
That said, the movie still has plenty more hurdles to overcome, especially as James Gunn has been clear the bar is “going to be higher” for an Elseworlds project to see the light of day. So, Goldsman, Lawrence, and Reeves are going to have to produce a rather impressive script for Constantine 2 to become a reality.
With Constantine 2 now at the forefront for Goldsman and Lawrence, one challenge for the movie after getting the official greenlight will come in finding an opening in Reeves’ busy shooting schedule, which may not be for some time as the actor has a number of movies in the works.
It’s still unclear when more progress will be made on making the movie, but should Reeves get what he wants, it won’t be too long before it becomes a reality.