Keanu won't be there, but his projects will....
Comic-Con 2005 - San Diego, California, USA
From the schedule for Thursday, July 14:
1:30-2:30 Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly: The Movie: Like a graphic novel come to life, A Scanner Darkly, based on the science fiction novel by author Philip K. Dick, will use live action photography overlaid with an advanced animation process (interpolated rotoscoping) to create a haunting, highly stylized vision of the future. The technology, first employed in Richard Linklater's 2001 film Waking Life, has evolved to produce even more emotional impact and detail. Appearing in person to present a look and discuss the creative process of this ground breaking film will be producer Tommy Pallotta and lead animators Sterling Allen, Evan Cagle, Nick Derington and Christopher Jennings. Also on the panel, in order to answer the question: "Do Androids Dream of Being Phil Dick?" will be Philip K. Dick in android form! Come and see for yourself, he'll even answer your questions! Written for the screen and directed by Richard Linklater, the film stars Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder and Rory Cochrane, and will be released by Warner Independent pictures in 2006. Room 6CDEF
5:30-7:00 Constantine: From Comic to Film Warner Home Video hosts key Constantine film and comics luminaries for a special presentation and discussion. The panel features actress Rachel Weisz (Mummy series), film director Francis Lawrence, VERTIGO editor Karen Berger, comics writer Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets), and artist Tim Bradstreet (Punisher). Moderator Jeff Conner interrogates the participants and raffles off signed movie memorabilia and prerelease DVDs. Room 6B
IGN.com has more info on the Constantine DVD, including the release date of July 19. It looks like it's going to be a 2-disc set that will run about 30 bucks.
Because of everything going on, I wasn't able to see Constantine as many times as I would have liked to, so I'm glad to hear news about the DVD release (thanks tess!). DVDAnswers.com has a look at the packaging and features of the disc, which should be out sometime in June or July.
I'm mostly excited about the deleted scenes. Maybe we'll get a look at the demon sex.
It might just be the cough syrup in me talking but...
What in the flaming hellfire of highway 101 are some of these lame-ass reviewers talking about? I've read some that are so off the mark, they don't even have the characters straight. Plus some are just mean.
Screw 'em with a stick of gum. Skits liked it, so there.
By the way, This person makes a wonderful point(thanks kaz!).
The reviewer for The Catholic News must have been enraged by the film, he uses the word *gasp* 'poppycock' in his review. *snicker*
Mike Szymanski gets it, as does Larry Carroll over at FilmStew.com. Also at FilmStew is this interesting bit about the preparations Keanu made for the role (thanks amphora!). I guess it's knowing how hard Keanu works that compounds the annoyance when some of these hacks write his performance off with the same old weary catch phrases (wooden, surfer dude, etc).
Bah. I need more NyQuil.
And possibly a siesta.
According to BoxOfficeMojo, Constantine made over 46.5 million dollars worldwide on its opening weekend. Its competition included a film starring an adorable dog that uses his munipulative cuteness to entice ticket buyers and something called Because of Winn-Dixie.
Consider this the official keanuvision Constantine reaction/discussion thread. Don't click below or in the comments if you haven't seen it yet because there be spoilers.
I'm going to want to see it again this weekend (of course) but after seeing the film this Monday, I can say I really liked everything about it for the most part. I loved the look of the film and all the actors gave great performances.
Like Parsi's comments in an earlier entry...
"Saw the movie today and I was blown away. Its NOT like any other movie & I was not born yesterday so I've seen a whole lotta movies. Can't wait to see it tomorrow, & I really can't wait to have it on DVD! This movie will remain a classic for those who appreciate the genre. I expect there will be a lot of copycatting.... Keanu's performance as Constantine was perfectly INSPIRED (I have read the entire Hellblazer collection) and the rest of the cast were brilliant as well."
I remember when I put that countdown up, the days numbered in the hundreds. Finally, today Constantine gets released (in the US).
To celebrate, Warner Brothers is going to give a spiffy Constantine prize to a lucky keanuvision.com reader. Lucky You!
Here's the contest question:
[contest now closed - the correct answer was Silk Cuts]
That Keanu Reeves. Can't turn your back for a second and he's off saving the world from the spawn of Satan while helping hot young models transition into Oscar-winning actresses. Last time he was going mano a mano with Al Pacino's Lucifer in The Devil's Advocate, now he's facing a white-tuxed, lisping Peter Stormare in Constantine. As a post-Matrix career move, rediscovering religion-specifically, Catholicism-might be just the ticket.
Intellectually cheeky and visually audacious, Constantine is based on the DC comic Hellblazer, but only comic-book geeks-excuse me, graphic novel enthusiasts-will care about the liberties taken with the source material. The rest of us are free to bask in Keanu's fabulousness and the movie's jaw-dropping images which, unlike most CGI-heavy productions, possess real aesthetic weight: When a young girl teeters on the roof of a skyscraper, you can feel the vertiginous tug of the void below her.
Cool to the bone, Reeves inhabits John Constantine, a chain-smoking paranormal gumshoe who dresses unvaryingly in the colors of his moral universe (black and white) and lives in a grungy apartment decorated with overflowing ashtrays and gallons of holy water. Men's souls, we are told, are caught in the eternal tug-of-war between God and Satan, neither of whom are permitted to manifest on earth. They can, however, influence us by means of "half-breeds"--demon-human hybrids who speak in British accents, dress like spokesmodels for The Men's Wearhouse, and look eerily like Gavin Rossdale, erstwhile frontman of the band Bush.
Constantine's thoroughly original hook is that our hero's ability to see these creatures caused him to attempt suicide as a teenager. Condemned to hell when he dies, he now spends his days patrolling LA on the hunt for demons to exorcize in a desperate bid to buy his way back into heaven. ("This is Constantine, John Constantine, asshole," he tells his prey with Neo-Bondian style.) Things get exponentially stickier when the Spear of Destiny used to pierce Christ on the cross and previously in the possession of Mel Gibson turns up in the hands of a Mexican farmer and the Antichrist begins its journey down the birth canal of an unsuspecting major character.
Joining forces with a gorgeous detective (Rachel Weisz) investigating her twin's suicide, Constantine questions his "contacts" for clues to Satan's immediate plans. The angel Gabriel (a wonderfully androgynous Tilda Swinton), wearing what appears to be Tony Kushner drag--distressed straitjacket and six-foot wings-merely mocks his efforts; while a shady character named Midnite (Djimon Hounsou), who manages an afterhours club for the afterdead, advises him to give The Dark One some space. Undeterred, Constantine plants himself on the electric chair from Sing-Sing, sticks his feet in a bucket of water, and takes a trip to Hell.
Constantine is best enjoyed by ignoring the Milton-heavy mythology and surrendering to the movie's lush atmosphere and wicked performances. Director Francis Lawrence and acclaimed cinematographer Philippe Rousselot (Big Fish, Dangerous Liaisons) have created a post-apocalyptic LA where rats and crabs infest the gutters and demons dissolve into clouds of scurrying roaches. Rousselot keeps the center of the screen deep and dark while framing everything-cowering bums on damp sidewalks, a body crashing through a skylight in fizzing streetlights and sickly-yellow fluorescents. The light in this film is as absolute as its morals. Messy and illogical, Constantine works mainly because of Reeves. Like a magnet, he draws all the disparate elements beneath his flapping black coat and holds them up for our attention.
And if you have trouble accepting a tortured anti-hero driven not by philanthropy but by his own mortality, just watch Keanu. He'll make you believe.
-(4 out of 5 stars)JEANETTE CATSOULIS - Las Vegas Mercury
Thanks to STH, I was lucky enough to get to go to the WB chat yesterday with Francis Lawrence and Keanu. I didn't get any questions in (although the things submitted were eventually asked by other people, so I got answers, just not the thrill of seeing my name on screen)
Keanu was in typical form, with a couple of one word answers that still made me smile.
Imma says: to keanu: how do you relate to supernatural matters?
Keanu: With wonder.
firestar311 says: Keanu, I am currently a senior at Cincinnati's School for Creative and Performing Arts as a Drama major, and i wondered what made you want to become an actor?
There's a transcript over at the Hellforum for those interested.
Keanu, looking yummy as usual last night.
Check CK's gallery for more pictures as well.
Good thing I didn't go. How embarassing would it have been to show up
wearing the same thing as Gwen?
I had band practice last night and forgot to get someone to tape MTV's "Never before Scene" program on Constantine.
LUCKILY, MTV has a transcript and clips up!
Another interview, this one with Paul Fischer at DarkHorizons.com. More of the same but this one's a bit longer and discusses some of his other current projects as well.
Over the years that one has interviewed Keanu Reeves, it is apparent that this Hollywood star would rather be left alone than meet and greet the media. Not that he is a difficult interview by any means, but he has always been more closed off than most. However, promoting his new film, Constantine, Keanu was in good spirits, perhaps because early buzz on this new comic book adaptation was positive, but perhaps these days he seems more relaxed than this most reluctant of stars.
Reeves stars as John Constantine, a world-travelling, mage-like misfit who investigates supernatural mysteries and the like, walking a thin line between evil and good. Constantine teams up with a female police detective, Angela (Rachel Weisz), who seeks Constantine's help while investigating the suicide-like death of her twin sister. Does it have something to do with a mysterious group called "The First of the Fallen"? And what is it about Constantine that puts him in a position where he is making deals with representatives from both Heaven and Hell? In a wide ranging discussion, Reeves talked about his initial love of film back in Canada, Constantine, and everything in between.
Read the interview at Dark Horizons or in the extended entry below...
Dark Horizons: What was your familiarity with the comic books and what did you feel about some of the changes such as the fact he was changed from British to American?
Keanu Reeves: I wasn't familiar with the character before I read the script, and when the script came to me, that aspect of the character - being based in London and being English - had changed already. So I wasn't aware of that. When I read the script and then familiarized myself with the work, I saw that what was important was really the essence of Constantine, and we worked really hard to keep that aspect of it, because it's really what it's all about. That kind of hard-edged, hard-boiled, world-weary cynical, fatalistic, nihilistic, self-interested - with a heart. I think we did, I mean I hope so. I hope that fans of the comic don't feel that we sabotaged something that is so well loved.
DH: Several roles you've played have had a very spiritual side to them?
Keanu: Like The Gift (laughter)
DH: Some of the actors we talked to talked about your preparation and said that you kept a lot of journals about various sides of spirituality. Can you talk a little bit about the research?
Keanu: They have no idea what they're talking about. In the process for me it's writing things down, thoughts... for working on the role. In terms of - I wasn't keeping - I wasn't carrying around the Path of the Peaceful Warrior in that sense. I think the film speaks for itself in a way, and that's really what I was working on. If I had anything that was like that, it was a script called Constantine and the journey that character takes - learning about this kind of curse that was given to him as a kid. "A gift," another character says, but Constantine doesn't see it quite like that. I think part of the journey is Constantine understanding his life and the circumstances, and he comes to a kind of ambivalent peace of sorts. So really in a way it was the script, and we were all part of that.
DH: You were in "Thumbsucker" at Sundance, and I was wondering whether or not it's important of you to try to mix and match... Going from a very small movie like that to a big one?
Keanu: I've been really fortunate to be able to do different kinds of films in different scales - different genres, different kinds of roles, and that is important to me. Sometimes, you don't want to play the hero. You want to play another kind of character in another genre, and it's been something I've been trying to do if I can in my career so far, and it's something I hope to continue because it's interesting to me and you know, you get to do different things as an actor. There's a certain - for me - joy in the diversity of roles. It's something I like to do if I can.
DH: You've been Buddha, you've been Neo the Messiah, you've been Johnny Mnemonic the Messiah, you've been pitted against Satan (Al Pacino)... This one seems to have dug deepest into established religious tradition, all kinds of vocabularies & rituals. I'm wondering how much of that for you is make believe, means something to other people, and how deeply this spiritual conflict... resonates with you, if at all?
Keanu: To answer your question - I'll start with Constantine. The aspect for me - I think of it as a kind of secular religiosity. The piece itself is using icons and a platform in a kind of catholic heaven-and-hell, god-and-the-devil, human souls, fighting for those. But I find that the piece itself - Constantine because of the fact that he knows - and I was hoping that these concepts could become a platform that are humanistic, that the journey of this particular hero is hopefully relatable to - even though they're such fantastic characters and situations - that it's still a man trying to figure it out. In terms of the other roles, I hope ultimately - not only are they interesting - I think that those kinds of journeys, a hero journey, or Siddartha - these are all kind of seeking aspects that have something of value in terms of - to our lives - that we can take with us - and hopefully in the works that are entertaining and - these kinds of journeys that I think all of us - especially in western traditions - relate to. I think these motifs of seekers, messiahs, of anti-heroes, heroes - all of these aspects are journeys that I think deal with things that we deal with in our day-to-day in a way, and are entertaining. They offer up - coming from where do you come from, what are you fighting for... and coming into a kind of - I don't mean it in a facile way but into a kind of life. I think they're worthwhile, and if we can make them all kinds of stories, story-telling, that is always couched in this kind of engaging entertaining manner, whether it is a shadow play, a circle, a storyteller, our literature... the mediums that we communicate these things often times.
DH: What do you get from acting at this point?
Keanu: I really love it. it's my craft. When I was 15, I went up to my mother and said, is it okay if I'm an actor? She was like - whatever you want, dear. In three weeks I was enrolled in an acting class doing Uta Hagen's Respect For Acting. And acting itself. I think of it as kind of like - and I've heard Anthony Hopkins say this - you learn about doing it, and it's like painting, I would imagine. The craft of it, the skill of it, the way that you work the paint, the way that you can act. The more you do it, the more you know it, and for me, it's what I love. A good day on the set, creating the work, the piece, the collaboration, expression, is a hoot. I love it. I love it. And hopefully it will continue.
DH: John Constantine seems to be seeking redemption in the wrong way... trying to earn forgiveness... trying to buy off God. Do you think repentance is something he needs to do?
Keanu: Repentance. I think the aspect of repentance is born and expressed in his final act when he asks from - as he calls Lucifer - Lou - that's his repentance, and I think any sacrifice and what goes on there - I think that's what gives him the shot of going upstairs. But there's also the Constantinian twist of - make the sacrifice so that he can go to heaven, or does he really mean it? But he does. Ultimately he does, so the man upstairs knows. He's just like Santa Claus.
DH: At what point did you feel you knew the character?
Keanu: I really enjoyed the character, but in terms of embodying it - when seeking a costume, I went to the costumer and she had a rack of clothes and choices and shoes and stuff, and I was just trying things on. There was a concept for the piece. What clothes fit? It was like trying on the hat - it's this one. And I found that moment - I remember putting on the jacket and the shoes and I felt a certain way: Yeah, this is the Constantine. So going to rehearsal, you wear your wardrobe and eventually I find that not only do I have a feel but it seems that... they seem kind of connected natural... when that happens it's great and and... So I kind of knew his core but in terms of embodying the character - I worked on - I lowered my register a little bit, working on the way he spoke, I was guided by Francis Lawrence the director in terms of wanting a kind of hardboiled... (guided) by the comic itself, a kind of noir aspect. And that has certain traditions in it that I wanted to utilize, especially with his humor, that kind of deadpan humor... When did I know... yeah, it kind of happened a couple of days before I shot. The exorcism was the first scene and that helped a lot too. When I walked from the window and got on the bed - how to I get on this bed? And when Constantine stands up and walks over, it's like he's trying to walk over a puddle. I was like - okay, I've got it.
DH: Talk about the non kissing scenes with Rachel?
Keanu: It's more fun. It's one of those things that you can see that in the couple that it can be there, and yet it can't be there because it's not the time or place. So there's a bit of a conceit to it, but I think it's part of the enjoyment of the piece, I hope. It's almost like the same thing as an editing choice, like when the car hits the man who finds the spear, hopefully it's enjoyable and it's something that I think is in the relationship. There's something with what they're going through or some - actually, I'm not going to go there, but yeah, I think it's there. It's there. They can't kiss, they want to kiss but they can't kiss so they kind of don't kiss but they wanna kiss. And at the end of the film they do say that they have an interest in seeing each other again, so it's romantic in that sense.
DH: How do you feel about the possibility of another franchise, risking a sequel not living up to expectations?
Keanu: Well, we better not do that because that would suck. You know, my contract didn't have a second film, but myself and some of the producers and Francis Lawrence, the director, and I certainly would - because we fell in love with the guy. I fell in love with the guy. I had one of the best times I'd ever had working on a film working on this particular project. So, we would talk about what could we do? What happens to Constantine? He's a heroin addict in Morocco. He's got a spell, he's killing people and he's trying not to kill people so he's knocking himself out. Then Akiva Goldsman was like, 'No, he wants to stop Revelations.' So we would do these kinds of things and ultimately it is up to the audience because that would mean that the studio would have resources to go forward with it. But I would love to play Constantine again as long as I worked with the same people. I mean, definitely Francis Lawrence and Akiva Goldsman and everyone involved in this project because I could not imagine doing this with everyone involved. But I love playing the guy.
DH: A trilogy?
Keanu: Trilogy, why stop there? We could have Son of Constantine. And I'll play him too. CGI. No, but it's a character just as how it exists in the graphic novel, so I would love to play him again. Who knows? I mean, February 18th, probably by the 30th we'll know. But also, I'm sure Francis Lawrence after this film, because he did such a remarkable job, we're not going to be able to hire that guy. He's gone. He's gone.
DH: He'll want to protect his baby.
DH: Are you more attracted to something serious? Why attracted to Constantine?
Keanu: Well, I first came across the script when I was working on The Matrix in Sydney, Australia. I was working on working, so the script came to me and I read it and really enjoyed it. It took, I guess from my first reading to principal photography, it was over a year and a half. So, and in terms of making choices again, it's like what I said earlier, it's trying to have a kind of variety of genre and character. But I said yes to it while I was making The Matrix because I didn't feel that I was repeating myself. I didn't feel like - Constantine's a very extroverted role. And so much about it is very different to me than the experience I was having in Constantine but it was still a great script and a great idea and a great character.
DH: Did you have input into the spirituality of the character? Francis said nine months on the script.
Keanu: Yeah, I had some great time. He's a wonderful collaborator. And I worked with Akiva Goldsman as well who's producing and writing, and met with Frank a couple of times in Sydney. In terms of my impact, the spirituality is a word that I really don't feel is something to apply to Constantine. And if it is, then it's a very humanistic approach as it always is obviously, but it's more flesh and blood somehow than spiritual. I feel like some kind of flesh and blood aspect of it. My impact in terms of what it was and what it became, one of the expressions is in the end of the film, he's like, "I guess there's a plan for all of us. I had to die twice just to figure that out. Like the book says, he works his works in mysterious ways. Some people like it, some people don't" is mine. That's mine. And that to me was the ground for where Constantine ends up. And there's still that ambivalence of some people like it and some people don't, but there's an acknowledgment and in that acknowledgment I feel that you're watching the character who's dealing with something that happened to him that he didn't understand. He was given this curse or this gift to be able to see the world beyond the world. And in despair as a young man overwhelmed, he takes his own life and he goes to hell. Comes back from hell, he has no idea why. And I think that search of his trying to orient like, [looks up] 'Hey, fella, I'm doin' all this work, what are you doing to me?' and with people. So that was how I felt, so that was my impact. I don't know if that's - it's not spiritual - but it's flesh and blood.
DH: Are you trying to affect the world in a positive way?
Keanu: In my art. I'm making up for what I do in life. That's my penance.
DH: Tell us about that.
Keanu: Oh yes, do tell. See, no one cares about heaven, they just want the dirt. Because we can relate to that.
DH: Is acting a vehicle to affect the world?
Keanu: I think for me personally, I like that aspect in the work that I do because it's what I enjoy in art. I think to go watch a film and spend two hours, to go out or to be entertained, and this doesn't necessarily - I don't mind showing a negative side as well, like working in a film like The Gift. I didn't play - that's not a redeemer, that character. But it was part of a story that was about grief and about dealing with grief. So but that film had that element to it. So it's something that I don't want to go to a movie and not have something that I can come away with, that I can either think about that adds to something because if I don't, then it's like why do I want to spend my time for two hours with assholes? It's just like come on, man. Thanks. Thanks for the pedophilia. It's like, "Yeah, I know, we're fucked up, great." Unless of course it's like really good, like kind of anime, but even at the end of that they have transformation, big shooting light. But yeah, if it doesn't have that element to it, I don't really - it doesn't usually attract my interest. I might look at it and think of it as pornography and it's like oh, great. But it's not worthwhile enough for me to try. Unless of course I'm broke.
DH: Any tough physical stunt work you did yourself instead of stuntmen or CGI?
Keanu: I don't think there are any CGI Constantines in this one. What did I have to do? I had to, when Constantine gets punched by the demon and he goes flying backwards, I got to do that. Chad Stahelski, a man I've worked with through The Matrix on stunts, he was helping me coordinate it. He's my double. He was just like, "When you land, taco." I said, "What do you mean?" He goes, "Relax, don't fight it." So when I launched, I almost went out of frame. I don't know if you see the film again, I almost go out of frame because I pushed off really. And I'm glad he gave me that information because I was just like [woosh]. But the stuff was pretty- - I mean, there was some wirework. Did that roll in the street when the car is coming, dove and stuff like that, but it's all pretty basic things. Nothing too like - it wasn't like a triple side kick or a wire deal. But it was fun. I like fake fights and doing all that kind of stuff.
DH: You asked your mom at 15 if you could do this?
Keanu: I was a good boy. It wouldn't have mattered what she said by the way, but you know.
DH: What inspired you to want to be an actor?
Keanu: I had an experience once in second grade. You know how people often talk about how they see a fireman or - often times it's mostly firemen or policemen. They see a fireman or a fighter pilot or something like that and they go, "Oh, I want to be that" and they don't know why. I remember this teacher and these two actors came from high school and they came to do a class with the second graders just to do improv's and theater games. And I remember I was looking up at them and I was like, "I want to do that." I have no idea what that means. Was it their bohemia? I don't know. Maybe. I mean, I'm sure I'm obviously reacting with my eyes but I don't know what it was about them.
DH: You must have enjoyed them being there.
Keanu: I don't remember that part. My stepfather, I remember he's a director and I went to a couple of rehearsals when I was younger. I was a production assistant on a production he was doing. I was bringing soda to Lilian Gish when Star Wars was coming out. She's like, 'Cinema these days.' And I had read a book about D.W. Griffith when I was 14 so I was like, 'I know what you mean.' It was a great honor for me. She was a lovely, lovely lady. So I was always around it. I was going to theaters and rehearsals with my stepfather when I was a kid. So I guess it's probably my tradition.
DH: Did you go to movies all the time?
Keanu: Yeah, I did. Sometimes instead of school.
DH: Instead of school?
Keanu: Shhh. Yeah, but also the Toronto Film Festival, the first year I went was in 1983 when Blood Simple was there. That was the year I went. I remember I would write down all the films I saw that year and I think it was like 76 films.
DH: You missed school that week.
Keanu: Well I was going to films and that, and I remember like, you know, there's a beautiful, wonderful cinema in Toronto called the Bloor Street Cinema. And I remember like, summer nights just like riding my bike and just going, getting, locking my bike up and going into a movie - I didn't even know what it was! But I would just go and they had salty good popcorn and I'd just chill out and..
DH: Keanu, as both you and Gavin are musicians, I was wondering if you guys talked shop and what it was like to do such adversarial scenes with him.
Keanu: The adversarial scenes are good clean fun. You know, I like how Gavin had such an enjoyment, he's such a.you know, he's such a, he's one of those guys who you'd love to hate but you can't. You know, but he is such a gentleman in person and he's, you know. But in terms of terms of us acting them, it was like, I love that constant thing where you just can't . and he's like Aarrrrggg, and when you come close he'd be just like 'I'm going to stinkin' kill you'. So we had good, we had fun. It was really enjoyable and he was working on his album, that I believe he is almost finished, my god, I mean he is still making a recording, you know , we spoke a little bit about that and, but umm, umm, yeah.
DH: Did you 'jam'?
Keanu: Pardon me?
DH: Did you 'jam'?
Keanu: No, no, no.
DH: Did you play guitars at all?
DH: Does Dogstar still exist?
Keanu: No it doesn't
DH: Do you know what you are doing next?
Keanu: Yeah, hopefully I am working with Sandra Bullock on a film called.
DH: Speed 3?
Keanu: well it's um.. (laugh) don't laugh, we might make that! Um.. what would that be? Sped. Yep, there it is! Ummm, Darn it. aaarrrggghhh.
DH: You got a role?
Keanu: No, yeah hopefully working with Sandra Bullock, it's an adaptation of Il Mare and it is with Alejandro Agresti and it is just straight out romance.
DH: What is it called?
Keanu: Well the titles are changing, it is not going to be Il Mare, the script that I, the last draft that I read it was called The Lake House.
DH: You mentioned before the ambivalent peace that you admire that he was able to seek.
DH: The gift that he was given, there seems like there is a parallel with what you have to deal with. To find some sort of ambivalent peace with all of the fame and success versus the artistic work that you want to do.
Keanu: No I don't think that those are two separate things...I mean those are not disconnected.. I mean if I have any kind of success per say it comes from the work that I do or am involved in, um. and so that, that is connected and in terms of the other aspects, I did Constantine with Warner Brothers, but they hired me and I don't know if they would have hired me to do this, if I, they hadn't had any success with a project that I was involved in, you know with Matrix or The Devils Advocate, the studios have shown, they have been a great supporter of the work I do and want to do. That aspect of star and fame is a by-product of you know, work that I have done or been involved in and people have enjoyed hopefully.
DH: So it doesn't get in the way, you put on a black suit and people say Matrix rather than the character that you are premiering?
Keanu: Do they. I mean for me when I saw the film I was transported by the film and hopefully the film was engaging enough for the whole two hours and six minutes that you are not going he is wearing a black coat, he is wearing a black coat...he is wearing a black coat. You know I am sorry I don't mean to be flippant, but hopefully they are not. You know what I mean...and um, you know - wasn't he wearing a stethoscope before? And there is an aspect to it that I don't want to be personally. You now in that sense, you know a lot of people say why are you guarded. I'm not, I just want the character to be able to exist of the screen and trappings and anything things that I can not bring to that is, to just have the character to exist is my aim and hope and you know if they both wake up searching for worlds and or if they both have a similarity in costume that hopefully it does not get in the way of them getting engaged in the piece and enjoying it, you know.
DH: Keanu, the purpose of film is to connect with other people, obviously one of the major purposes, your character John Constantine seems very alienated both from other people and also from God --
Keanu: No he is very connected with God, he just doesn't understand what is happening. He is very connected, his whole life is intertwined God.
DH: But there is a sense of in terms of he can't seem to get there and do what God wants him to do to get to heaven.
DH: How do you see this resonating in an alienated culture, how do you expect your audiences to connect with your character?
Keanu: Well this is an alienated character in an alienated culture. I don't know what else to say and a part of that journey is about connecting, and he does connect, and so hopefully part of the film is about the worthwhile offering it can bring.
DH: What is the period like between when you finish your job on set and then go and have to wait for the first cut are you often surprised by what you see is it something and then you put it aside?
Keanu: I tend to like to see things as soon as I can , but, like on this experience you know, you wait for the director's cut, you know, you might say Francis when are you cutting it? He like, he'll see. Um. it is always a developing process and Francis worked extremely and everyone involved worked extremely hard in editing this film and ah, and finding it. we did additional shooting, we did um, finding the character of it and working on it and ultimately we made the best film, Francis made the best film we could make and which I thank him for. Yeah I mean in the past there has been a couple of times that I saw a cut and I called the director up and I said can we meet but that has only happened a couple of times, in the past seven years before that, I remember this one film that I did called Young Blood and I played French and I played this character and I am like I'm gonna go see the movie, come on let's go see the movie and then I'm like where is my scenes? And that never goes away you know.
DH: But now you have the power to sort of influence how the final cut is going to be?
Keanu: No, no, no, no, at least now they pretend to listen, before I couldn't even get into the room, but now, that is nonsense, you it depends, you know with who I am collaborating with you know it depends.
DH: How open they are to it?
Keanu: No not how open they are to it, it is a process I would never presume to, you know like on a film like Thumbsucker, I have a small role, I am a character player in the piece and I would never presume to walk in the room, but in a film, where I am, where it is a lead character I might. I think that is in the relationship, you know.
Keanu Reeves starring in a big, dark fantasy movie. Hmm, where have we seen that before? Well, there were JOHNNY MNEMONIC, BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA and THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE. And let's not forget the smaller-scale THE GIFT and THE WATCHER. Oh, and how could we forget THE MATRIX and its sequels, RELOADED and REVOLUTIONS? Now Reeves is at it again with CONSTANTINE, based on the DC Comics/Vertigo series HELLBLAZER and opening from Warner Bros. February 18. Reeves stars as John Constantine, who's dying of cancer and desperately trying to stave off his destiny: having attempted suicide in his youth, and actually dying for a couple of minutes, he's doomed to hell. And so he's on a crusade, dispatching the half-breed demons that breach our earthly plane back to where they came from.
However, all hell's breaking loose on Earth. Demons, not just half-breeds, are trying to break through. A troubled but deeply religious woman, Isabel (Rachel Weisz), has just apparently committed suicide, and her sister, Los Angeles police detective Angela Dodson (also Weisz), doesn't buy it. And so she and Constantine join forces - interacting along the way with Satan (Peter Stormare), Gabriel (Tilda Swinton), Balthazar (Gavin Rossdale) and other allies, enemies and freaky creatures - to save themselves and, quite possibly, mankind.
"I first came across the script when I was working on THE MATRIX in Sydney, Australia," Reeves says, "and I read it and really enjoyed it. I guess from my first reading to principal photography, it was over a year and a half. In terms of making choices, it's about trying to have a kind of variety of genre and character. But I said yes to it while I was doing THE MATRIX because I didn't feel I was repeating myself. John Constantine is a very extroverted role. And so much about it was very different to me from the experience I was having in [the MATRIX movies], but it was still a great script, a great idea and a great character."
Reeves goes on to note that pre-CONSTANTINE, he was not familiar with HELLBLAZER, and thus didn't know that the comic was set in England or that Constantine himself was British. By the time he received the screenplay, those elements had already been changed. "When I read the script and then familiarized myself with the work, I saw that what was important was really the essence of Constantine, and we worked really hard to keep that aspect," Reeves explains. "He's kind of hard-edged, hard-boiled, world-weary, cynical, fatalistic, nihilistic, self-interested - with a heart. And I think we preserved that. I mean, I hope so. I hope that fans of the comic don't feel we sabotaged something that is so well-loved."
During publicity rounds on behalf of CONSTANTINE, several of Reeves' co-stars have spoken of his preparation efforts and how he kept journals chronicling the various sides of spirituality. Reeves, however, guns down such chatter. "They have no idea what they're talking about," he says. "It's just in the process for me - writing things down, thoughts for working on the role. I wasn't carrying around THE WAY OF THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR, in that sense. I believe the film speaks for itself in a way, and that's really what I was working on. If I had anything like that, it was the script for CONSTANTINE and the journey that character takes, learning about this kind of curse that was given to him as a kid. ''A gift,'' another character says, but Constantine doesn't see it quite like that. Part of the journey is Constantine understanding his life and the circumstances, and he comes to a kind of ambivalent peace of sorts."
Helping him embody the character, Reeves explains, was his outfit. He recalls visiting the wardrobe department, rifling through a rack of clothes and trying on assorted pants, shirts and shoes. "There was a concept for the piece," he says. "What clothes fit? It was like trying on the hat -'It's this one.' And I found that moment. I remember putting on the jacket and the shoes and I felt a certain way: 'Yeah, this is Constantine.' When you go to rehearsal, you wear your wardrobe, and eventually I find that not only do I have a feel, but they seem kind of connected, natural. When that happens, it's great.
"So I kind of knew his core, but in terms of embodying the character, I also lowered my register a little bit, working on the way he spoke," Reeves continues. "I was guided by Francis Lawrence, the director, in terms of wanting a kind of hardboiled feeling and guided by the comic itself - a kind of noir aspect. And that has certain traditions I wanted to utilize, especially with his humor, that kind of deadpan. When did I know [I'd nailed it]? It kind of happened a couple of days before I shot. The exorcism was the first scene, and that helped a lot, too. When I walked from the window and got on the bed - 'How do I get on this bed?' And when Constantine stands up and walks over, it's like he's trying to step over a puddle. I was like, 'OK, I've got it.' "
Reeves is due next in the comedy/drama THUMBSUCKER, in which he has a supporting role. He's also got his role in Richard Linklater's A SCANNER DARKLY (an animated film based on the novel by Phillip K. Dick) in the can and a reunion with SPEED star Sandra Bullock in the works. At some point, if CONSTANTINE gives 'em hell at the box office, it would surprise no one to see CONSTANTINE 2 put in motion. Reeves, though he doesn't mention the MATRIX follow-ups by name, knows full well that sequels don't always live up to expectations. "Well, we'd better not do that because that would suck," he says. "You know, my contract didn't have a second film [required], but myself and some of the producers and Francis Lawrence certainly would [consider another Constantine adventure] because we fell in love with the guy. I had one of the best times I've ever had working on a film, working on this particular project.
"So, we would talk about what we could do. 'What happens to Constantine?' He's a heroin addict in Morocco. He's got a spell. He's killing people and he's trying not to kill people, so he's knocking himself out. Then [CONSTANTINE co-producer] Akiva Goldsman was like, 'No, he wants to stop Revelations.' So we would discuss those kinds of things. Ultimately it's up to the audience, because that would mean that the studio would have the resources to go forward with it. But I would love to play Constantine again as long as I worked with the same people, Francis Lawrence and Akiva Goldsman and everyone involved in this project; I couldn't imagine doing this without them involved. I love playing the guy."
Mention the possibility of a CONSTANTINE trilogy, however, and touch of sarcasm slips through. "Trilogy, why stop there?" Reeves jokes. "We could have SON OF CONSTANTINE. And I'll play him too. CGI. Who knows? I mean, probably by the 30th [of February, after CONSTANTINE is out for a couple of weeks], we'll know. But also, I'm sure that after this film, because he did such a remarkable job, we're not going to be able to hire Francis again. He's gone."
-By ERICA ANDERSEN
Also, bless Ale for coming through with this wonderful review by Sean Clark from the horror Channel.com
Okay, I'll admit it. I went into this film with low expectations. Another big budget Hollywood F/X film about heaven and hell helmed by a music video director (Francis Lawrence) who had yet to tackle a feature film and anchored by leading man Keanu Reeves. If this doesn’t sound like a disaster waiting to happen I don’t know what does.
In case you were unaware, Constantine is based on the popular cult comic book series Hellblazer. I have to admit I have never read the comic and didn’t really know much about it. However, I had heard that it took place in London and that the main character John Constantine was British. Apparently that concept was tossed out the window early on, and the character is now an American living in Los Angeles. I’m just thankful I didn’t have to sit through an entire 2-hour plus film with Keanu doing an English accent...Bram Stoker’s Dracula anyone?
This film doesn’t waste any time kicking into gear. The action starts right out of the gate and delivers throughout in heavy doses. There are a few slow spots in the 2-hour-plus running time, but there is actually a story being told that is worth your time.
I have never been a big fan of Keanu Reeves, but I have to say that he plays this role quite well. Constantine is an anti-hero who really doesn't give a damn about himself or the people he is helping. Reeves' performance as the hardboiled Constantine is solid throughout and the best I have seen from him in a long time.
Rachel Weisz gives a very strong performance in dual roles as twin sisters Angela and Isabel Dodson. She is a solid actress who adds a level of believability to the story that, if played poorly, could have been disastrous for the picture. Angela’s love/hate relationship with Constantine adds a romance element below the surface that is performed perfectly by Reeves and Weisz and is very well written.
Actors Djimon Hounsou (Papa Midnite) and Shia LaBeouf (Chaz) also give outstanding performances in their supporting roles, as do other notables Pruitt Taylor Vince (Father Hennessy) and Tilda Swinton (Gabriel). The only real distraction is Bush front man Gavin Rossdale as Satan’s emissary Balthazar. It’s not that his performance wasn’t good, it’s just that if you know him as the singer/guitarist of Bush and husband of No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani, when he appears on the screen for the first time, that is pretty much all you can think about. It was the only moment that took me out of the film; but if I didn’t know who he was, I believe I wouldn’t have given it a second thought.
Director Francis Lawrence has proven that he can deliver a well-paced film that isn’t too flashy and over the top like some might expect from a music video director. I didn’t get a distinct style from Lawrence, but he has plenty of skill and what appears to be a long and successful career in feature film ahead of him.
As far as special effects go this film is packed to the hilt with them. I’m no fan of CGI, and this film does have more than its share, but it seems to work well and not be too much of a distraction. The practical make-up effects from Stan Winston Studios are top notch as usual and blend well with the CGI.
So yeah, I went into this Constantine expecting the worst and came out wanting more. It blends several genres together seamlessly. It delivers horror, action, suspense, drama, and just enough doses of comedy and romance without losing its edge. Constantine is a film that I believe will find a wide audience and another potential franchise for Reeves and Warner Brothers. Move over Neo; Constantine’s in town.
Also at the Horror Channel website is an interview with Papa Midnite - Djimon Hounsou, if you'd like to check that out as well.
The Demon Hunter
Keanu Reeves's Matrix character was a tool of destiny. In Constantine, he's the opposite -- 'hard-boiled, world-weary, cynical, fatalistic, nihilistic, self-interested'
Bob Thompson National Post
February 5, 2005
Keanu Reeves used to be unsure and unfunny, and painfully uncomfortable when grilled by reporters. What a difference a decade makes. As he saunters into a press conference promoting his new movie, Constantine, it's the journalists who look uneasy.
The Toronto native, on the other hand, grins broadly when he spots an ornate, oversized chair awaiting him at the front of the crowded hotel room. But rather than sitting down, he stands beside it and grandly announces, with impeccable timing: "I need," he says in a pompous English accent, "a bigger chair."
He gets the laughs he was looking for, then sits down, secure in the knowledge that being a confident 41-year-old does have its advantages.
So does starring as Neo in the wildly successful Matrix series, which wrapped last year. It gave him A-list leading-man status and earned him the biggest paycheque of his career. What did he do with the US$30-million-plus? "I bought a bigger chair," he says to more laughs.
Jokes aside, Reeves had to make some serious career decisions about whether he should pursue the lead in Constantine, which opens in theatres across North America next Friday.
Based on the English DC Comic graphic novel, the movie concerns John Constantine (Reeves), a demon hunter trying to win a place in heaven by eliminating the devil's messengers on Earth. There's terror and action, propelled throughout by the brash and sarcastic central character. An introspective Neo he is decidedly not.
"Constantine is a very extroverted role on the whole," says Reeves, getting down to business. "So much about it is very different from the experience that I was having with Neo. Constantine's that hard-edged, hard-boiled, world-weary, cynical, fatalistic, nihilistic, self-interested guy," says the actor, then, grinning, adds, "but with a heart."
Typecasting was not an issue. Reeves says he was more concerned that "fans of the comic don't feel that we sabotaged something that is so well loved."
To that end, the actor spent nine months of preproduction immersing himself in the world of Constantine, working on the wardrobe and the lines with first-time director Francis Lawrence.
"Even before we had rehearsals," says Lawrence, "we had this clear idea of what we wanted, and how Keanu wanted to play it. He doesn't like to leave anything to chance."
Reeves's passion for his roles says as much about his love of acting as it does his detail-oriented personality. "When I was 15, I went up to my mother and I said, 'I'm an actor,' " says Reeves, recalling his early days in Toronto.
And what did his mom say? "She said, 'Whatever you want, Keanu.' Within three weeks I was enrolled in an acting class [doing] Uta Hagen's Respect For Acting."
He also worked as a Toronto production assistant, talked his way into roles in local plays and, to learn his craft, became an inveterate moviegoer -- compulsively so when the film festival came around every September.
"Sometimes I did that instead of school" he says. "The first year that I went was in '83 when Blood Simple was there. That was the year I would write down all the films that I saw -- like 76 movies that time, I think."
A few years later, he was co-starring in River's Edge. In 1989 the first Bill & Ted film adventure got him launched. But it was Speed in 1994 that made him a bona fide movie star, a job title he rejected when he refused to do the sequel. But the success of The Matrix in 1999 forced him to accept his lot.
He will talk about his world view, but only in generalities. As for religion? No way. It's a topic the film Constantine uses to great effect, but he refuses to reveal his own philosophy beyond saying, with a wicked smile, that "God is like Santa Claus. If you're naughty or nice, He knows.
"Like the book says -- the Constantine book -- 'He works his works in mysterious ways.' Some people like it, some people don't."
Career moves work in mysterious ways, too. Constantine looks like it has the potential to be another Reeves film franchise.
He shrugs. "I fell in love with the guy," he says smiling. "But why stop there? Let's do The Son of Constantine, and I'll play him too with CGI."
Seriously? Not really. He is serious about one thing, though. John Constantine and Keanu Reeves have a lot in common.
"He's an alienated character in an alienated world," says Reeves. "Part of his journey is about trying to connect, and eventually he does."
Typecasting has never been an issue throughout his career, says Keanu Reeves, but in choosing his latest role as John Constantine, Reeves was concerned that "fans of the comic don't feel we sabotaged something that is so well loved."
Keanu is in Hong Kong promoting Constantine.
HONG KONG -- Hollywood star Keanu Reeves said he trained with an exorcist for his latest film, "Constantine," and he was relieved that no supernatural forces plagued the movie set.
"There were no paranormal events that took place on the film that I know of. Thank God!" said Reeves, 40, who plays the title character in "Constantine" - a man who battles to send demons back to hell.
He described his character as a "world-weary" and "nihilistic guy with a heart of gold."
Adapted from a DC Comics series, the film will have its world premiere in Hong Kong Tuesday - 10 days before its opening in the United States.
"I went with an exorcist for a bit. I just want to know really practical things, like how do you hold someone possessed by the devil," Reeves said.
The star of the "Matrix" and "Speed" action thrillers said his latest role also makes him less skeptical about the existence of hell.
"Constantine kind of knows it's fact. So I guess if I had any doubts before, I probably have a little few less doubts now," he said.
Update 2/9: KeanuWeb has footage of Keanu with the lion dancers, it's adorable!
I've also uploaded this to the Constantine Fan Art project at OriginalSins.net.
Some of the items up for auction include: [...] a pair of tickets to the Hollywood premiere screening and after party of Keanu Reeves' latest film, CONSTANTINE; [...]
With less than 30 days until opening, the Constantine machine throttles it up.
The Hollywood Premiere has been confirmed for Feb 16.
The Official Site has been updated with new stills.
As always there's heated discussion at the STH boards.
There's also several magazine articles to be perused at your lesiure.
Big Thanks to Jena .
MSN will have a Q&A with Keanu coming up, go here to see how to email your questions in.
MTV will air a program called Never Before Scene with Constantine content on Feb 10.
Oh, annd I want to add this comment snippet from an anon/guest poster over in the rating discussion at the hellboards:
[...]The mood, tone, and subject matter has EVERYTHING to do with the R rating. Those on board with this film did not give way to the pressures from the producers of this film aiming for the PG 13 are to be highly commended for not getting swallowed up by the Hollywood machinery. There was immense pressure and guidelines to stay within PG13 parameters and lines were intentionally crossed. There became a point to MANY involved with this project where the subject matter and content became more important than the money. Afterall, That was why they signed on in the first place- BECUZ of the subject matter. Do "PG 13" films historically make more money- YES! However, are we going to tone this movie down to the point that it compromises the subject matter, mood and tone adapted from the comic source material? Why don't we change the mature subject content- suicide. Let's tone it down. What about the notion of hell itself- (tone that down). What about Angel Gabriel and her role as betrayer- (ohhh so unacceptable), what about God- How do we view him...... and the devil???? What about Constantine being the antihero- Mainstream audiences aren't ready for that. FUCK THAT if you're saying there is no difference between the R and the PG13. Actors, writers, and director went up against the $$$$$$ from the powers-of-be and challenged their projected earnings formula. This was no little endeavor especially during the reshoot process and the editing room where the intense pressure STILL remained for the almighty dollar. [...] The R rating represents a degree closer to remaining true to the source material and IN KEEPING with the comic- FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY!!!!!!!!!! And Keanu is very much proud of being a part/player of that process.
The Constantine official site has been updated with some stills from the film in the 'photos' section.
A link to a Korean site with nine clips can be found here, it won't work on my machine here at the office so I'm not sure if they are the same nine from the German site or not.
I don't have much interest in the upcoming video game but if you do, you can always check the STHellforum thread about it for updates.
Speaking of our favorite comic fans....
Some of them have way too much time on their hands...
Heh, at least they admit they'll still be seeing the film at least once.
A Perfect Circle's Next Single 'Passive' Slated to be the Featured Song in the Upcoming Film 'Constantine' Starring Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz and Directed by Francis Lawrence; Single to Hit Radio on January 18
NEW YORK, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin Recording artist A Perfect Circle's explosive new single "Passive" will be the featured song in the upcoming motion picture "Constantine," from Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures, starring Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz. The supernatural-thriller, which marks the feature directorial debut of famed video director Francis Lawrence, will open nationally in the U.S. on February 18, 2005. "Passive," the second single from APC's critically-acclaimed album "eMOTIVe," is set to impact active rock and alternative radio on January 18, but the song is already burning up the airwaves, with major market airplay in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington. The Brothers Strause, visual effects supervisors for Constantine, and well-known video directors in their own right, are set to direct the upcoming "Passive" video.
The song's message about passionately sticking up for what you believe in is a central theme of Constantine. Based on characters from the DC Comics/Vertigo "Hellblazer" graphic novels, the film tells the story of John Constantine (Reeves), a man who has literally been to hell and back. When he teams up with skeptical police detective Angela Dodson (Weisz) to solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister, their investigation takes them through the world of demons and angels that exists just beside the landscape of contemporary Los Angeles. Caught in a catastrophic series of otherworldly events, the two become inextricably involved and seek to find their own peace at whatever cost. The film also stars Shia LaBeouf, Tilda Swinton, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Djimon Hounsou, Gavin Rossdale and Peter Stormare.
I dig me some APC. Bummed Paz left, though.
Dead as dead can be
The doctor tells me
But I just can't believe him
Ever the optimistic one
I'm sure of your ability
To become my perfect enemy
Wake up, and face me
Don't play dead, cause maybe
Someday I'll walk away and say
You dissapoint me
Maybe you're better off this way
Leaning over you here
Cold and catatonic
I catch a brief reflection
Of what you could and might have been
It's your right and your ability
To become my perfect enemy
Wake up(why can't you)
And face me (come on now)
Don't play dead(don't play dead)
Cause maybe(cause maybe)
I'll walk away and say
You dissapoint me
Maybe you're better off this way(x4)
You're better off this(x2)
Maybe you're better off
Wake up(why can't you)
And face me (come on now)
Don't play dead(don't play dead)
Cause maybe(cause maybe)
I'll walk away and say
You fucking dissapoint me
Maybe you're better off this way
Go ahead and play dead(GO!)
I know that you can hear this(GO!)
Go ahead and play dead(GO!)
Why can't you turn and face me(GO!)(x4)
You fucking dissapoint me!
Passive agressive bullshit(x12)
According to the blokes over at the Straight to Hell Boards, The Constantine Official Movie Adaptation hits stores this week (check your local comic shop). Apparently, the last panel sucks. Whatever. It is, of course, all manner of SPOILERY, so even if you're thinking about picking it up you might want to not read it until after you've actually seen the film.
Club Keanu has scans and Keanuweb has the text of an article on Constantine in the christian magazine - Relevant. The magazine talks with director Francis Lawrence and the piece has a bit of a spiritual angle to it, without being obnoxious. It's actually a good article, especially in contrast to some of the re-hashed fluff we've seen lately.
Speaking of fluff, I don't know what "details" there are in this...
Varese Sarabande have released details for their forthcoming release of Constantine: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.'Music Composed by Brian Tyler. Release Date: 02/15/05 Renegade occultist John Constantine (Reeves), who has literally been to hell and back, teams up with skeptical policewoman Katelin Dodson (Weisz) to solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister.
Their investigation takes them through the world of demons and angels that exists just beneath the landscape of contemporary Los Angeles. Based on the DC-Vertigo comic book Hellblazer.
In his epic score for choir and orchestra, composer Brian Tyler literally throws open the gates of Hell and unleashes a ferocious and apocalyptic symphonic storm.
I was expecting at least a track listing or something...
Lastly - Ooooooh, lookie! The Official Constantine Site has finally been updated. With all those 'coming soon''s, it's got a bit to go to catch up with the German Constantine site. I'm interested in that fan art link, though. I hope there'll be a way from some of our mondo-talented resident artists (cough*CATZ*cough) to submit their work.
Keanu Reeves returns for reshoots on the perfect date movie and talks about Satan, Superman and a sequel...
WIZARD: What's it like going back to revisit "Constantine" after such a lengthy break?
REEVES: It's really nice to be working with everyone again. You're always a little afraid to go back in, but once I put the costume on, [Constantine] came right back. I love playing Constantine. He's a reluctant hero. I like his fatalism and his humor-he's got a great sense of humor. But underneath all of that he has a kind of hopefulness.
For those who haven't been following along, what's "Constantine" about?
[Based on the DC/Vertigo comic Hellblazer,] John Constantine is fated to go to Hell for the life he took and he's trying to find a way to get into Heaven. There's a plot afoot for [demonic] forces to put Hell on Earth and in the course of him trying to stop that, he has to make a sacrifice and comes to terms with his life - and God.
Early in shooting, you were very focused on the script and hadn't done any in-depth reading of Hellblazer. Since then, have you had a chance to check them out?
Yeah, I've got a lot of the graphic novels and collections. I read a few stories-it wasn't like I didn't read any of it. I didn't study the whole canon, but there were things from his gestures and the tone of the writing that I was influenced by and took from. I wanted to be very true to the character with the feelings and sensibilities of the piece.
"Constantine" opens Feb. 18, 2005. I'm guessing it'd be a faux pas for me to take my girlfriend to see it as a Valentine's Day gift.
No, actually I think it'd be good. You write for Wizard and I'm sure she digs what you do. It'd be a good date movie.
Any chance of "Constantine 2"?
I have no idea, man. Hopefully, we captured the spirit of it [in this film] and did it in away that people who really like the material will be happy with, because the story is so great. The film itself has a fresh feel to it, and [director] Francis Lawrence [gave it] a nice original spin, so hopefully people will dig it.
Is there a scene you can tease that will get people really jazzed about the movie?
There's a showdown scene where Constantine meets the forces of darkness, who are planning to make Hell on Earth, and he battles using the Holy Shotgun. There's also quite an interesting scene between John and Satan, which is good fun. I think people will get a little tickle out of that one. What would John and Satan have to say to each other? It's a good one.
From Jonathan Harker in "Bram Stoker's Dracula" to stumping for Satan's law firm in "The Devil's Advocate" and now "Constantine," you've played some cool roles in thriller/horror films. Are you a fan of supernatural films or are these just a coincidence?
No, I love the theme. "Rosemary's Baby" is a great one and so are "The Exorcist" and "The Omen" they're all really well made, entertaining films. Aspects of good and evil, Heaven and Hell and the dialogue between those forces in drama... Working those things out and trying to find out one's nature and dealing with consequences of actions are very rich dramatic platforms.
While hanging in front of those green screens for CGI shots in "The Matrix" movies, did you ever stop and think, "Man, it'd be fun to play Superman"?
No, not that character itself. There would be times when I would be on a wire 30 feet off the ground and getting pulled and yanked and flying around and that was quite Superman and Peter Pan-ish. [Laughs]
You weren't offered the role, but if you had been, would you have considered it?
I don't know. [Thoughtful pause] It's a good role. I'd have to think about that one. Maybe seven years ago-I'm 40 now, a little old for Superman [laughs]. -TODD CASEY
Wizard magazine #160 has a feature on Constantine.
FreezeDriedMovies has a short excerpt of the interview with Keanu (spoiler warning).
SHH has some less-than-glowing screening reviews by some folks who have possibly never picked up a copy of Hellblazer....or a dictionary.
And the crapweasels over at moviehole can fucking bite me.
They keep getting better.
Another international (UK?) poster for Constantine.
Thanks to Ocean over at the HellForums for this first look at the international Constantine poster from French film site allocine.fr.
Silly sanctified weaponry or not, I like the look of it in general, I prefer the logo over the US version and I love his look on it. I think it conveys the feel of the character well. He looks all ready to kick some demonic ass and that = sexy.
With just around two months until the release, the WB Constantine machine is throttling up to full power. Not a whole lot going on at the US movie site yet, but there are several trailers to be seen, including a high-res version of the second one at WB.com. There's a good discussion at the hellforum comparing the international and american versions.
The US premieres (LA & NY) look to be scheduled sometime the week of February 7-11, 2005 with the general release on the 18th.
Worldwide release dates are (tentatively - as listed on IMDB) as follows:
If that's still not enough Constantine for you, you can buy the book.
-assorted thanks to: POTD, KeanuA-Z, Club-Keanu, Straight-to-Hell, Nudel, and Niobe
Club-Keanu has a huge gallery of grabs from the Cinstantine preview disc...
Wow, now I really want to see this.
It looks like a good teasy mix of film footage, interviews and behind-the-scenes stuff.
If anyone has a copy that they could loan me for a week or so, I'll find the time to do a "krix watches..." write-up. Drop me an email, I'll pay for postage. Thanks Chicks!
Dear test screeners,
John Constantine is a prick.
Also, if like me, you're waiting for someone else to buy you the bigass Matrix 10 DVD set but you still want to check out the Constantine Preview DVD mentioned at the start of the SHH article, click here.
Thanks Jena and Paula.
SuperheroHype has a couple reviews from last night's test screening of the final cut of Constantine.
"The movie kicked major ass and it's probably Keanu's best performance since the original Matrix."
Go here to read them.
He's traveled through time for school projects, seen life without the illusion of the Matrix and saved entire busloads of people from a madman. For his next challenge, Keanu Reeves will play a supernatural detective who's actually been to hell and back. In "Constantine," based on the comic book "Hellblazer," Reeves' titular character teams up with a police officer to investigate her sister's suicide. Along the way, she gets to see the world of angels and demons that normally only Constantine is privy to. "TRL" co-host Damien caught up with Keanu on the set in Los Angeles.
Damien: What's the movie like? What's the plot of "Constantine"? It's based on a comic book, right?
Keanu Reeves: Yeah, it's inspired by "Hellblazer," and let's see ... I play a character named John Constantine, a man — an exorcist — condemned to hell for the life he took.
Damien: That's not good.
Keanu: Yeah. His own life, by the way. Condemned to hell for that, and he's trying to find a way to get back into heaven, so he's doing that by kind of casting out demons and trying to find a kind of redemption. On his way with doing that he uncovers a plot for certain forces that are trying to make a hell on earth, and there's only one man who stands in its way.
Damien: Who is that man?
Keanu: John Constantine.
Also, Club-Keanu has captures and the TRL clip in case you missed it.
I'm really liking the look of a lot of these, and the ones of Keanu with director Francis Lawrence are great.
I actually had a somewhat clever little entry here and then my fucking machine locked up before I saved it. Damn it.
Anyway, the meat of it was...
Edward Douglas:"Warner Brothers and director Francis Lawrence recently invited a few select people to see twenty-five minutes of footage from Constantine, their upcoming movie based on DC Comics' Hellblazer. For the uninitiated, John Constantine is a mystical detective of sorts, using his wits and mystical abilities to fight demons. The character was created by Alan Moore ("Watchmen," "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen") as the cynical, chain-smoking foil to the Swamp Thing, but the dark nature of the character made him the perfect character to kick-off DC's mature Vertigo Comics line in 1992. Unlike the heroes of other comic book movies, Constantine is not exactly a superhero. He wears a trench coat instead of spandex, and he's not exactly a role model for the kiddies because of the smoking thing.
The movie has been in the works for many years, and diehard fans of the series-of which I am definitely one-might have been skeptical about a dark-haired "yank" taking the place of Moore's blonde Brit from the comics. Since that American actor is Keanu Reeves, the most obvious reference point will obviously be "The Matrix," but having seen this footage, fans might be pleasantly surprised at how much of the flavor and tone of the comic books has been retained. Most of this can be attributed to Lawrence, and Constantine is his first feature film after directing commercials and many music videos for the likes of Aerosmith, Justin, Britney and others.
The footage shown included snippets of varying lengths from the movie including five extra minutes not shown at the San Diego Comic Con; the effects had been further developed, as well. "
(NOTE: If you have absolutely no interest in knowing anything about what happens in the movie before seeing it, stop reading here. Minor spoilers ahead.)
Since I've read the Dangerous Habits trade, I'm already spoiled for part of the plot line of the film. I'm really going to try and avoid being spoiled for the rest of it. So if you read the rest of the article, please try and keep your comments spoiler-free as well. Thanks.
Also, KeanuWeb has a transcipt of the upcoming trailer by someone lucky enough to get a sneak peek.
I'm a little under the weather so big thanks to Ale for gathering this batch of Constantine news...
Above is a look at the official Constantine movie poster, via MTV. The lads at STH are working on a larger look so that the tagline can be read. The image is identical to those that will be used on the upcoming graphic novels.
Assorted other reviews of a recent screening can be found at Superhero Hype, IMDB, and AICN. SERIOUS SPOILER WARNINGS apply and yes, apparently some of them put the ass in 'assorted'. I haven't actually read them.
Thanks again to Ale for those links.
If anyone needs me, I'll be over here working on my Constantine impression by coughing up a lung.
UPDATE:Click here for a larger version of the poster in which the tagline..
-from About.com via KeanuWeb
Titan Publishing and John McMahon of the Straight-to-Hell Hellblazer site are giving away a couple copies of Hellblazer trade paperback Setting Sun (written by Warren Ellis) and they want to give them to Keanu fans who'd be interested in seeing what the character of John Constantine is like before the movie hits the big screen.
Just CLICK HERE and fill in the form. Don't forget to tell them I sent you.
MovieHole.com has a lukewarm Constantine screener review - snark and spoiler warnings apply.
Computerand VideoGames.com have some more screenshots of the upcoming Constantine game for XBox and PS2. I'm not much of a gamer, but it does look like it might be fun, especially since you get to play Keanu as a character, which is something The MatrixOnline MMOOGHPRPG (whatever) is lacking.
Also in Constantine news, SuperheroHype has some reports from folks who saw the screener. Sounds like Keanu's performance is a pleaser, at least.
Some people just like to bitch.
Well, it's a good thing I didn't do an entry the other day about how great it was that there were less than 100 days left on the Constantine countdown because according to FilmJerk.com, the release date has been pushed back a week to February 18.
I know that there's some sort of calculus and trigonometry involved when it comes to deciding when to release a film (or at the very least chicken entrails in a teacup), so I'm just going to assume they know what they're doing and not bitch too much, at least it's only a week.
-Thanks to KeanuA-Z.
Vertigo publishing announces CONSTANTINE: THE OFFICIAL MOVIE ADAPTATION Written by Steven T. Seagle - Art and cover by Ron Randall & Jimmy Palmiotti
"John Constantine is a man who has literally been to hell and back in the Warner Bros. Pictures film Constantine, a supernatural thriller based on the long-running hit DC Comics/VERTIGO HELLBLAZER graphic novels. When Constantine teams up with skeptical policewoman Angela Dodson to solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister, their investigation takes them through the world of demons and angels that exists just beneath the landscape of contemporary Los Angeles. Caught in a catastrophic series of otherworldly events, the two become inextricably involved and seek to find their own peace at whatever cost."
The 64 page graphic novel will go on sale January 5, 2005 for $6.95. It will also be included in the larger CONSTANTINE: THE HELLBLAZER COLLECTION, which collects the official 64-page VERTIGO adaptation of the film along with three classic issues of JOHN CONSTANTINE: HELLBLAZER. Included are issue #11, which kicked off VERTIGO's longest-running series and set the tone for the character; #27, which brought SANDMAN creator Neil Gaiman and his longtime artistic collaborator Dave McKean to the title with a haunting story of fear and loneliness; and #41, which opens the "Dangerous Habits" storyline with Constantine discovering that he has lung cancer in "The Beginning of the End." This 168 page collection is also on sale January 5 at a price of $14.95 and is suggested for mature readers.
-Thanks to John McMahon
Freelance artist Tim Seelig created this striking Constantine image. You can see this one slightly larger and also a second version over at the new Straight-to-Hell forums. Tim gave us a first look of how Keanu would look as a scruffy John Constantine back in June of last year and has been designing various UK indy comic covers and one-shots since then. You can see some of his work, including some brilliant Hellblazer pieces at his gallery at BritComicArt.com.
This link from IMDB's Constantine forum (via club-keanu) says that the MPAA has given Constantine an R-rating and also mentions that there may be some re-shooting of scenes. If true, that's good news that they won't be watering it down for a PG-13. I don't know what to think about the need for re-shoots. I'm just glad I have an excuse to use this picture.
Rogan did this great edit of the Hellblazer #200 cover and I couldn't resist.
The Straight-to-Hell forums have changed location, by the way. The shiny new forum is here. The old forum is locked but still remains a useful archive of information, heated debate and full-on bitchery.
The new forum of course has a Constantine section so be sure to check in periodically for information and discussion.
Francis Lawrence is a happy man.
The director won't deliver his big-screen adaptation of "Constantine" to theaters until next year, but he's already showing off 20 minutes of footage from the film the same way that a proud papa trots out baby photos.
"Constantine" marks the first film for Lawrence, best known as the man behind the videos for Justin Timberlake's "Rock Your Body," Avril Lavigne's "Sk8er Boi," Britney Spears' "I'm a Slave 4 U" and P.O.D.'s "Alive." The film is drawn from the heralded and relentlessly dark DC Comics/ Vertigo series "Hellblazer," which focuses on John Constantine, a supernatural detective who toils in a world where hell and earth mingle a bit too freely. In the film, Keanu Reeves steps into the role of Constantine, pairing with Rachel Weisz's skeptical police officer to walk among demons and angels while investigating a murder. Much creepiness and freakiness follows, if Lawrence's rough footage is any indication.
The director first rolled out his 20-minute teaser at Comic-Con earlier this year, and now he's presenting his footage to select press. There is still a lot of effect, sound and music work to be done on the film, but what has been put together so far suggests a dark, twisted and visually stunning film that stays true to the dark, gritty heart of its source material (though, as Lawrence notes, in his film "[Constantine's] not blond, not British, and it's not set in London anymore").
Lawrence has said that he didn't want to make a "typical comic-book movie," and he seems to be well on his way to achieving that goal. The footage suggests a far different path than that taken by "Spider-Man" or "X-Men," and the end result could well be the darkest comic adaptation this side of "Blade." Among the highlights so far, Keanu's Constantine presides over an especially noisy and gruesome exorcism that sees a partially headless demon expelled from a young girl. Later, Constantine goes toe-to-toe with a demon whose face is composed entirely of maggots. There are also headless soldier demons, melting faces and mysterious forces that manage to push people through walls.
The footage is also rich with the comic's trademark dark wit and angry edge. When a doctor warns Constantine that he may want to "make arrangements" given his poor health, he dryly replies, "I don't need to make arrangements, I've already seen where I'm going to go." Later, when a woman whose mental-patient sister has plunged to her death argues that it was murder — not suicide — that took her sister's life, Constantine retorts, "Right, because what kind of psychiatric patient would jump off a roof? That would be insane."
It's fairly dark stuff, and Lawrence hopes that the tone will come across as morsels of the film drip out during its marketing campaign. He is currently working on a three-minute trailer for the film, and priority number one is putting the dark feel of his film on display.
Until the film arrives next year, fans will have to content themselves with those offerings, as well as this exclusive production image, one of many used to help inspire the look and feel of "Constantine"
--Robert Mancini and Vanessa White Wolf- MTV.Com
The actual pages from Adrian Brown's Just1Page charity comic are being offered up for auction including the ones of Keanu as John Constantine. I think I'm going to bid a tenner on the snarky one, just to keep it out of the hands of the comic boys (and it's for a good cause), but what I really covet is the Jock print. It's entirely possible that McMahon and I will be getting into a scrap over that one, which goes on the block this Sunday.
Looking for some bolder, creepier Constantine memorabilia?
Thanks to John of Straight-to-Hell for this game review that includes several screenshots (for both Xbox and PS2) of the upcoming Constantine video game.
From first impressions, Constantine looks to be a reasonably dark, heavily action-oriented, very solid third-person action adventure. Think Spawn without the campness, Buffy with less humour or Legacy of Kain minus the vampirism - there are strong elements of all of those games, plus bits of Enter the Matrix, Van Helsing and Devil May Cry too, but with a few neat twists all of its own.
The review and screenshots may be a little revealing for some of the movie content, so both spoiler and winged-creepy-thing warnings apply...
SCi Games adapting Constantine
Warner Bros. awards game rights for the upcoming Keanu Reeves thriller to the Conflict: Vietnam publisher.
Despite recent moves to bulk up its internal games division (including acquiring Monolith Productions), Warner Bros. has sold a potentially lucrative movie license to an external publisher. SCi Games, the company behind Conflict: Vietnam and Galleon, will publish a game based on Constantine, Warner's upcoming supernatural thriller. The game will be developed by Bits Studios, which created Rogue Ops and Die Hard: Vendetta, and is scheduled to ship for the PlayStation 2 alongside the film's February 2005 release.
Based on the Helblazer graphic novels from DC Comics, Constantine profiles paranormal investigator John Constantine, who will be played by Keanu Reeves. Having already survived a literal trip to hell, Constantine teams up with a mortal policewoman (Rachel Weisz) to uncover the reasons behind her sister's suicide. The pair's sleuthing bring them into contact with some very unusual--and often demonic--suspects.
GameSpot will have more details on Constantine as they become available.
By Tor Thorsen, GameSpot
There's a screenshot over at the gamespot site, but the monsters are too creepy for me to want to invite them to the blog. *shudder*
Well, it's no Holy Shotgun, but it seems that arming Constantine director Francis Lawrence with an 18-minute trailer and sending him into the Comic-Con and Wizard World conventions is improving the buzz for the film.
Thanks to Ade for finding a WW report from "Aaron" at the Millarworld forums (spoilery bits are in a white font, highlight with your mouse to view):
Reisch, Richard, Julian and I all caught the 18 minute preview of Constantine in Chicago the other day, and personally speaking, I didn't think it was nearly as bad as anyone of us expected. Aside from a clip at the end which features a [slight spoiler]giant shoot out with Keanu weilding a jesus shotgun- no shitting, a giant shotgun with a cross on the front[/spoiler]- the movie seemed to really have adapted it's feel from the book. Constantine comes across as an asshole, who will do whatever to get what he feels is best for the world.
Clips included him [spoiler]putting a cigarette out on a little girls' face to force a demon out, finding out he has lung cancer, and a great scene that could have been written straight out of hellblazer when he asks the arc angel Gabriel why he's dying[/spoiler].
Reeves was... well, he was Reeves, but overall he was trying his best and I feel like the script was pretty good. There were a few jump out of your seat type moments that got me, partly because I'm a pussy in movies and partly because they had the noise so fucking loud in there.
At the end the director came out and talked a little, basically saying how he and the crew- he called the origional version of the script "crap" and mentioned that Reeves' input helped drive the newer version towards something more like a real Hellblazer adaptation- had fought the studio tooth and nail not to simply make "Matrix 4- With Demons." He also aknowledged that longtime Hellblazer fans were intially pissed off but that everyone he'd shown the clip to had liked it, including Karen berger. The guy seemed to be doing a good job with the crowd when we got up to leave and spend mroe money, but we didnt get fully out the door before the director made the comment of the con-
"Really, Keanu and John Constantine are very similar, personality wise."
At which point Richard burst out laughing so hard that we had to rush him away before we got beat up. Seriously, I thought he was gonna pop a brain stem.
Anyway, the others can drop by with thoughts, but I'm hopeful for this movie. Work of art? No. Direct adaptation? No. Way, way better than anyone has expected? Hells yes. I think I may just go and see it now.
Yeah, snarky to Keanu in parts, but note the part in bold.
Also, I'm not sure who "Bug" and "Sleazy" are, but this is from AICN courtesy Rogan:
Sleazy: 18 minutes of footage from the upcoming film was shown, followed by an appearance by director Francis Lawrence. This is one of those projects I've been expecting to suck. I've been following this character for all of his nearly 200 issues, plus miniseries, one-shots, appearances in SWAMP THING and other titles, etc. Like everybody else who reads this stuff, I figured Keanu was dead wrong for the role and hated that they moved it to LA.
Bug: I on the other hand, have never read an issue of HELLBLAZER, so I didn't really have any opinions leading up to the preview.
Sleazy: After seeing the footage, some of my concerns have been addressed, but others linger. It looks sharp as hell, and the pacing and the palette look appropriately deliberate and creepy. There were a lot of moments (and entire scenes) that were clearly borrowed straight from the comics, most notable Garth Ennis' inaugural story on the book. Papa Midnight, Gabriel...they seem to be handled fairly well. There was enough in that 18 minutes to make me think it'd be a decent genre film. Unfortunately, there's a scene that's so completely out of character it makes me cringe: an obviously Blade-inspired scene with [spoiler]Constantine using a shotgun that looks like a cross and fires holy water rounds[/spoiler]. It's so not the way John would ever handle things that it's hard to swallow. I'm still hoping for the best, and again, the director really sounded convincing when he talked about making choices that stayed true to the character, but I'm still a little worried.
Bug: I kind of liked the preview. It was moody and Reeves was pretty restrained. [spoiler]The exorcism scene and the scene on the bus with a youthful Constantine[/spoiler] were especially spooky. After the preview, I asked Brian Azzarello what he thought of it. The former HELLBLAZER scribe said that the clip blew him away and that it reminded him of a David Fincher flick. Pretty high praise.
Now what WB needs to do is send Francis and his mighty footage into the "lion's den" at The London Comic Festival this October.
AICN has a gushy and spoilery look at the Constantine footage that was shown at last week's Wizard World geekboy hoedown:
"The big event for movie buffs was the appearance of Francis Lawrence, director of Constantine, with an 18 minute (!) preview of the movie. There were a lot of scenes, obviously, in this puppy! At this point, I think any of my doubts have been erased. Forget that Francis Lawrence is a video director - this movie has the slow pace that a good horror / supernatural thriller flick needs. It's dark, it's creepy. Keanu seems to have nailed the essence of John Contantine (a self-centered A-hole magician), and there were a lot of good creepy moments in the preview."
That's just a nonspoilery snippet, read the whole thing over here.
With a "Hellblazer" film on the horizon both in preview form during the panel and in the coming year, talk turned to the goings on with that character and related titles.
Among some "Hellblazer" trades being ramped up for release and the previously announced "All His Engines" graphic novel by current series writer Mike Carey and artist Leonardo Manco (in which Constantine visits Los Angeles) a new mini series was announced.
A five issue limited series centered around the character of Papa Midnight is on the schedule to be written by novelist matt Johnson. The character of Papa Midnight was introduced early in the "Hellblazer" series and is featured in the Constantine film. Art will be provided by "Fables" artist Tony Akins. The story revolves around an actual incident in 18th century Manhattan in which there was a rebellion of slaves.
When the floor opened to questions, an interesting idea was proposed by a con-goer. Given that Azzarello is primarily a Vertigo writer but also handles "Superman," the concept of a Vertigo story featuring Bizarro Superman was floated to the writer. Without missing a beat, Azzarello responded "Me am not adverse to that."
Asked if any characters currently in the regular DC Universe would be considered for a Vertigo revamp, Vankin mentioned the coming "Deadman" by writer Bruce Jones. "There are other characters always being kicked around, but nothing on the schedule right now." he added.
"Were doing a vertigo revamp of "Deadman," written by Bruce Jones ang its going to be an interesting series. These other characters are always being kicked around, but nothing on the schedule right now."
Attention was then turned to the world of cinema as an 18 minute preview of "Constantine" was presented and warmly received by panel-goers, some of which were openly dubious about the adaptation.
"We were admittedly very nervous about making Vertigo characters into movies. [Director Francis Lawrence] was very enthusiastic about what they were doing and felt they were working on something very special. The studio is supporting it 110%," said DC VP Richard Bruning following the clip.
"I actually first received the script in May of 2002." said Lawrence who was on hand for the preview. "I went through a whole process of meeting with executives and slowly built up a large visual presentation and sold the producers....and Keanu on me."
"There was a battle with the studio," he explained. "The studio wanted lighter fare, but I think you'll see...we won."
Lastly, thanks to Jude for some relevant links for Constantine's score composer, Brian Tyler.
I should be getting Timeline from Netflix tomorrow and I'll be paying close attention to the score on that as well.
Brian Tyler has been hired to score Constantine, the action adventure based on the DC/Vertigo comic book 'Hellblazer'. The film stars Keanu Reeves as a supernatural detective and Rachel Weisz as a policewoman in a story filled with demons, angels, heroes and villains. Directed by debutant Francis Lawrence, the film is slated for premiere on 11 February 2005.
Thanks to forum poster Benny Fanboy for this transcript from the Constantine panel at Comic-Con. Some of it is replay, but Keanu's first few answers are new to me.
Question: How do you deal with your status as a celebrity and does it affect your roles?
Reeves: I don't think of my status as a celebrity. I'm just trying to make good films and act and have a career. In terms of the reluctant hero or anything like that, they're great roles to play and theyıre roles that oftentimes speak about ... I don't know ... trying to do good things in life, trying to be better, redemption. I'm not doing so well with that personally, but I got to work with Francis and hopefully we did a good picture.
Question: Can you talk about your process as an actor and preparing for the role?
Reeves: I had the great fortune of working with some really great collaborators. Francis allowed me to work with him and kind of form the script, and he's a really good jist of what Constantine is, that kind of hard-boiled guy. His humor. I got work with the writer Akiva Goldsman. That allowed me to really have input and try to get that Constantinian Constantine, you know. That hard-boiled, (in character), "It's the sulfur."
And the character itself is so beautiful. I mean it's a wonderful role for an actor. There's a lot to do. He's a guy who's been dealing with issues of heaven and hell and the kind of rule of the way life and the world works. And he's not quite happy with the way the world works. And I could relate.
Question: For Keanu, why didn't you bleach your hair for the role?
Reeves: Or have an English accent? Francis?
Lawrence: I think what was key to this character is the heart of the character, not the sort of the surface issues. We get asked a lot about why he's an American and why it's not set in London. And this movie is an adaptation and what we did is really stay true to who Constantine is. He's a magician, he's a con man, that he is world weary, he is haunted by his past, he is sarcastic, that he's self-serving, that he's manipulative, he's elusive. And that, for me, to this movie means a great deal.
Some of the choices were custom-fit for the actor and for what I felt fit best for the look and the feel of the film.
Question: How do you get ready for physical roles, like this and The Matrix?
Reeves: Train. I mean, I just really enjoy it. I like the physical aspects. But, yeah, just training.
Question: What was the best part about Constantine?
Reeves: Going to hell and back? This was one of the best experiences I've ever had in making a film. It was because of the role itself and the people I got to collaborate with. It was just a great experience: the crew that I worked with, the script that I got, the character that I played, the actors that I got to work with ... all-around, just a great experience. I really like the character. I like John Constantine. I like him.
Question: You deal with the Spear of Destiny. Do you dig into the Christian lore?
Lawrence: Very deeply, actually. The Spear is actually through-line that goes all the way through the film. So you learn about the legend of the spear, some of the tales, some new things, as well, things only Constantine would know.
Question: How do you feel about the green-screen work?
Reeves: The thing I liked about it is that you do have a sense, a kind of control in it. But at the same time, you miss the interplay, you miss the surprise, you miss the other kind of interaction. But it's also fun in the same way, too, because it's an element of make-believe. But if you too much of it, oh my God, it's a nightmare. But I love it. It's fun.
Lawrence: One of the key things for me in working with green screen is really making sure you can help the actor create the world that's around them, so they really know what's around them. If there's wind, you can have wind. If there's dust, you can have that. Any of the elements you can add really help create things, and point out very specifically what's going to be in the environment around them. And having long discussions about it and pre-visualizations so you can show the actor action sequences and they can know what's going to be happening that way as well.
Question: Is the film going to PG-13 or is that still being decided?
Lawrence: It's still being decided. We'll submit the film and see what the MPAA thinks. I sort of, in a weird way, feel like we've gotten away with something with this movie. I don't think we've held back at all. The movie's scary, the movie's intense and I think the tone is dead-on to the comic. So feel very good about it. For a big-budget movie, this isn't pop. We're dead-on.
Question: Karen, how do you feel about how far this film has come?
Berger: It's pretty incredible. I saw a rough-cut of the film a few days ago at Warner Bros. and I was really impressed with how close the film stuck to the spirit of the comic, how it really felt like Hellblazer and how it felt like a Vertigo book. Smart, edgy and it's weird. The cinematography was wonderful, and the special effects are great. And it really pulls from the great source material of the comic. It really pulls from the right stuff.
Question: Will you be working with Andy and Larry Wachowski again?
Reeves: I hope so. I really hope so. I love those guys to death. I just think they're wonderful people and such great artists.
Question: Dijmon, congratulations on In America.
Hounsou: Thanks ... selling Constantine here (laughs). Constantine hit home for me personally, the fact that I came from a world that knows about voodoo in Africa and so forth. This is the visual reality of that world, a Western point of view the occult world.
Question: Why the title change? Were there other changes?
Lawrence: The title was changed originally because nobody wanted the title to be connected to Hellraiser at all. It was a little too similar and nobody wanted any confusion.
I don't think there are differences that I can think of off the top of my head. Again, I think it's really close to the spirit of Constantine and the Hellblazer stories. He's a tad younger than the comic, and I think that's about it. We didn't pull an exact story from the comic book. We kind of pulled pieces from different stories and made our own, so it's not an exact replica of one of the graphic novels, although there are definite pieces.
So, now I'm holding a little hope in my heart for the rating thing. I trust WB will be by to choke it out of me shortly.
Thanks to KeanuA-Z for this great interview with Keanu, Djimon Honsou and Constantine director, Francis Lawrence at Comic Con. Some of this has been quoted and covered in previous articles, but I think (hope) this is complete and covers the whole panel discussion from Friday.
On Friday morning, [MovieWeb.com's B. Alan Orange] got a chance to sit down with some of the crew members from this year's hotly anticipated Hellblazer adaptation. In attendance where Keanu Reeves, Djiimon Hounsou, and director Francis Lawrence...
How far along is the movie?
Francis Lawrence: We're still working on it in post. We're pretty far along. We've tested it a couple of times, and it's tested really well. We still have a lot of effects work to do. And we haven't hired a composer yet, we're still working on that. But, it's in really good shape.
How many effects shots are there?
Francis: I don't even know the final count right now. I think it's around 420 shots of CGI. It's coming together really well and it's getting a great response. Which is really exciting for me. It's a unique movie, and it's really different. And I think people are really responding to that. That's very exciting to see. That people are feeling it, and are with it. And that they get it. You try to do something different, and you always worry that people might not understand it. But I think they really do. And I think they really connect.
Keanu, have you seen it? And how do you feel about it?
Keanu: I've seen some shorts cut together before events like this. And it looks really beautiful. I think it was shot really beautifully. I think the crux is the camera angles. It gets you inside a scene, and lets you come out of a scene. It feels very fresh. And yet, we really connected to the storytelling on it. It's not just a bunch of quick cuts. There's something very fresh about it.
How does it compare to the comic?
Keanu: I'm probably not the best judge of that.
Francis: He hasn't seen that much of it.
What was your approach to the character? How did you make it different?
Keanu: Well, I ditched the accent. I can't really...I have to wait and see. I really loved the guy. I loved his anger. And I loved his rye sense of humor about the awfulness of the world. Having to deal with that day in and day out. I mean, Djimon is playing Midnight. We're kind of like warriors. And we're in this world of shit. And just trying to deal with it. Really, I liked him.
Francis: It wasn't pleasant being around Keanu when he was liking Constantine so much.
Did you stay in character?
Francis: Not that much, not that much...
-keep reading below...
Do you have an idea about who you want to hire for the composer?
Francis: No, I don't have any idea yet.
What kinds of effects are you working on?
Francis: We have lots of different kinds. We have rig removals. And dot removals. And stuff like that. That's the simplest kinds of stuff. You know, all the way to complete environments that we've built, character animation, and things like that. There are some creatures that we built in CG. We've got that. There's a whole world that you'll see today (at the panel), that we created mostly digitally. And then there's a lot of stuff in-between that.
Is this the first time that you guys have been at Comic-Con?
Keanu: It's my second.
Djimon: It's my first.
What are you hoping to bring to it?
Djimon: I have to say, my connection to the story has more to do with how ironic it is to my culture, coming from Africa, and knowing a lot about religion and the occult. And our view of the occult, and how it is seen in the Western world. It's just amazing to see the connection, and how real it is to me, and how it is like some of the stories I've heard back home. It's intriguing.
What's it like being here?
Keanu: I think it's awesome. I mean, anything where there's great enthusiasm, and a place to come share what you think is cool. And you have this opportunity to come together and share whatever you're into. I mean, it's awesome.
Keanu, did you ever read comics as a kid?
Keanu: I read a couple, yeah...I followed...What did I like? When I read Frank Miller, I was like, "Oh, my god! What is this?" Then when I saw Dark Knight, that series? Then when I went back to X-Men, and Frank Miller's Wolverine series, that was just awesome stuff to me. I collected some New Mutants, which came off of the X-Men. When I was a kid, it was Spider-Man. There were a couple of things. The whole idea of a graphic novel when I was a kid was just...Awesome.
So, no Archie's...
Keanu: You know what? When you're in the bus, going to camp? Richie Rich...Remember Richie Rich, right?
Francis: I used to collect Richie Rich when I was a kid.
Keanu: Yeah, that's where I'd run into that.
Francis, which books are you into?
Francis: I really liked Sin City a lot.
Do you still read comics at all?
Francis: I do. Occasionally. I don't really collect. Nothing really comes to mind. I like Sin City a lot. Mostly for the art.
Which specific story is Constantine based on?
Francis: Off of this one? It's Dangerous Habits. There's little pieces from different things. I mean, there's pieces from Original Sin. But the big through-line for this movie is Dangerous Habits. There are some definite pieces from it.
Does this movie feel like a graphic novel?
Francis: No, my approach from the very beginning was to never shoot it like a comic book movie. I think that's been done before. I think it was done really well with Tim Burton's original Batman. From there, I don't think anybody has really topped that. Everyone has just built Gotham City again, whether or not it's called Gotham City or not. Everyone has done the dutched angles, and the bright colors, and made things super campy. What I wanted to do, and what I loved about the comics, is that it is rooted in reality, and rooted in real places. That's what I wanted to do. I wanted to make it feel real. And it seems to be working. That's what people seem to be responding to. It's not all hyper real. It's not super stylized. It's kind of rooted in a gritty reality.
Are there elements of horror?
Francis: There are plenty of elements of horror in this. There are plenty of scares. It's creepy throughout. One of the things I'm really proud of is that it's not genre specific. It's not a supernatural thriller. It's not just a horror film. It's not four kids in a van going off and getting chopping up by an ax murderer. It's not just fantasy. It's a weird blend of all these things, and I think it works.
Are you looking solely to please the fans of the comic?
[note: krix spews coffee at the screen at this point]
Francis: Yeah, I mean, I think there's a mix. One is; Hellblazer has a very small fan base. But it has a very hardcore fan base. So I think we have to build awareness amongst people who may not be aware of Hellblazer, or aware that Constantine has something to do with Hellblazer. And the other thing is; a lot of the Hellblazer fans are hard core. They've been tough on the movie, and they've been tough on certain things. We want to show them that we have not made Van Helsing. You know? It's not a straight-up Pop movie. I believe that the heart of the character is in this movie.
Keanu, why are you passionate about the character of Constantine?
Keanu: He is fighting for his life. When I was traveling here this morning, I asked, "So, when they ask us what this film is about..."
Francis: I told him not to say. That you guys have to see it. Honestly, if you look at Dangerous Habits, and you know it's based on that, it's sort of clear what the film is about.
Keanu: Constantine, you know...He committed suicide to get out of here. He can see things, and has knowledge about the way the world works that is distressing to him. And he's trying to figure a way out. And now he's committed suicide. And he's trying to find his way into Heaven, into the Lord's grace. He's trying to find his life. A better life. And he struggles with his own nature, because he's not the nicest guy all the time.
How do you walk the line between what the fans want, and your own vision of the project?
Francis: Number one, I don't think we'll make everyone happy. There's no way to do it. When I first came on this movie, it was an interesting script. And it's really different. It has an interesting tone, a different tone. And it goes to weird places. The story. And that was really interesting to me. And it's got all these great layers. Just because it's not in England, that he doesn't speak with an English Accent, that he's not blonde...That's going to piss some people off. And they will never get over that. But I think the heart of the character is there. And I want to make sure that gets conveyed.
To the actors; did you feel a certain pressure from the Internet Community?
Djimon: More or less. You just have to forget about that and worry about the story. And where you are at. And hope that it does some justice.
Can you tell us about your character for people who are not familiar with him?
Djimon: Midnight...I can tell you that he is very Rico Suave. He's a [witch] doctor. With his back story, I think he's gone through so much with Constantine, and death is such a presence.
Keanu: He's sort of a mid-way person, between Heaven and Hell. He deals in icons. And he's a bit of a thief.
Djimon: He's a businessman.
Francis: It's kind of nice, because there's a noir structure to the story. Midnight's introduced, and you know there's a history between the two. He's presented as somewhat scary. You don't know if these guys really trust each other, or if they really like each other.
Why the name change?
Francis: Honestly, it's because of the movie Hellraiser. And when you say Hellblazer, they say, "Hellraiser? The movie with Pinhead?" I think that was the biggest thing.
Do you think Hellblazer fans will be confused?
Francis: No. I think every single Hellblazer fan knows that this is a movie with John Constantine. I think they are all very aware.
What about educating non-comic fans?
Keanu: That's why there's so much security here today.
What is the soundtrack going to be like?
Francis: It's mostly score. There are going to be a few parts in the movie where there are some songs. There's two. They are in a nightclub. Someone turns on a stereo at some point. But the rest is score. It's dark. It's atmospheric.
So, Keanu, no plans for your band to appear on the soundtrack?
Are you aiming for a PG-13?
Francis: The studio would like it to be PG-13. I don't know where it's going to land. The movie's scary. I don't know where it's going to land just based on intensity.
What would your preference be?
Francis: That it is left in whatever form it is now. So that when the MPAA sees it, hopefully they won't make me cut it. It's defiantly not an NC-17 movie. There's no graphic sex, there's no graphic violence. It's about fantastic creatures, and those kinds of things. There's no blood spurting everywhere. It's not a splatter movie in any way.
How is the chemistry between you and Rachel Weisz?
Keanu: Lovely. Yeah, she's lovely. It was fun to work with her again, and see her again. We had a good time.
Do you reference any other movies in Constantine?
Francis: Honestly, the reference...I'll give you a strange reference, and I don't know if you'll be able to connect it. The gritty sort of realism I was talking about, a lot in the beginning of the process, I was referencing the movie Training Day. Because we were shooting in LA. And it's this different side of LA that you don't normally see. It's a little more ethnic. It's a little more of a realistic LA. It's not just the landmarks of LA. I sort of took the colors of Training Day. The texture and the feeling of that. I actually worked with the production designer of that film. If you want a reference, it comes form that. The noir comes from the tone. From the character, and how Constantine interacts with people and deals with the world around him.
Why did you choose to shoot in LA instead of England?
Francis: First of all, there are various pieces pulled from different Graphic Novels. Constantine, in my eyes, has always been universal. He's in London, he's in America, there are pieces that happen in Africa. It's not just a story that takes place in London. And LA is a classically noir city.
Keanu, can you talk about the physicality of this character? He's dying, he's sick...
Keanu: Oh, it was really fun to play. It was a breaking down. The character, throughout the film, gets broken down...
Francis: Throughout the film, you got skinnier, and skinnier, and skinnier...
Keanu: No I didn't.
Francis: Yeah, you did. You got skinnier.
Francis: And everyday, we tried really hard to shoot this in order. We literally met the Friday before we started shooting, and he gave us a lesson in lung cancer that you would not believe. About people drowning in their own blood. We had that.
Keanu: That was our Bon Voyage...
Are you ever going to quit smoking.
Keanu: Well, I'm turning forty, so maybe after that...
And with that, or short discussion on the future of the could-be-a-hit film Constantine came to a close. I went over to Keanu and asked him a question I personally want to know...
Keanu, do you think you're ever going to work with Alex Winter again?
Keanu: I hope so. Yeah.
Do you know on anything particular?
Keanu: Um, not right now. I just saw him the other day. And I know he has some projects going. But as far as what we'll be doing, there's nothing specific set...
Okay, great. Thanks.
Keanu: Sure. See you later.
From SciFi Wire:
Constantine Is Gritty.
Francis Lawrence, who directed the upcoming supernatural film Constantine, told SCI FI Wire that he deliberately avoided shooting the movie in the style of a comic book, even though it's based on the Vertigo graphic novel Hellblazer. "My approach to this from the beginning was to never shoot it like a comic-book movie," Lawrence said in an interview at Comic-Con International in San Diego over the weekend. "I think that's been done before."
Lawrence added, "It was done very, very well with Tim Burton's original Batman. From then [on], I don't think anybody's really topped that. Everybody's built Gotham City again, whether it's called Gotham City or not. Everybody's done the dutched angles and all the bright colors and made things super-campy. And what I wanted to do, and what I always loved about the comic, was it was rooted in a reality and in real places. What I really wanted to do was make it really feel real. And it seems to be working. It seems to be what people are responding to. It's not all hyper-real. It's not super-stylized. It's rooted in a gritty reality."
To play up Constantine's gritty look and feel, Lawrence transferred the action of the story from the comic's London to Los Angeles, scene of many films noir. "I was referencing the movie Training Day, because we were shooting in L.A., and it's sort of this different side of L.A. you don't see," Lawrence said. "It's a little more ethnic. It's a little more realistic L.A. It's not just sort of the landmarks of L.A. I like the colors of that. The feelings and the textures of that. And I actually worked with the production designer of that film on this as well. If you want a reference for [the film's] look, you can go with that. The 'noir' comes more in the tone of the character and the structure of the story and the way Constantine interacts and deals with people and the world around him."
Constantine stars Keanu Reeves as supernatural detective John Constantine, who is facing death by lung cancer and must find a way to stave off the demonic forces that want to drag him to hell. "There are plenty elements of horror in this," Lawrence said. "There are plenty of scares. It's creepy throughout. What's interesting about this movie, and what I'm really proud of, too, is that it's not really genre-specific. It's not a supernatural thriller. It's not a horror film. It's not four kids in a van going off and getting chopped up by an ax murderer. It's not just fantasy. It's this weird blend of all these things."
Rogan rocks for Keanu-izing this Hellblazer cover....
~Hee! Rogan also did this as a special request. Sweet! Tim Bradstreet's going to kill us all!
Here's a couple articles from the weekend...
- "[DC/Vertigo's Karen] Berger had high praise for the Constantine movie, starring Keanu Reeves. She asserted, "it looks and feels like a Vertigo book. Yes, Keanu Reeves is not British, but he understands the character."
- "I really love the guy," Reeves enthuses. "I love his anger and I loved his wry sense of humor about the awfulness of the world and having to deal with day-in and day-out and what that's kind of turned him into. Djimon's playing Midnite and we're like warriors in this world of shit just trying to deal with it and I like that."
"It wasn't necessarily always pleasant to be around Keanu when he was 'liking' John Constantine," Lawrence playfully adds.
Also, there are some pictures from the Comic Con HERE - Thanks Keanuette
Don't expect Keanu Reeves to play another reluctant hero with special powers who's called on to save the world in his upcoming supernatural action flick Constantine.
Scratch that. That's exactly what to expect, but Reeves says he found the hard-boiled magician John Constantine an appealing character despite any resemblance to his role as the savior of the Matrix trilogy.
"The character itself is so beautiful," Reeves said Friday during a panel discussion of the Warner Bros. film at Comic-Con International. "It's a guy who's dealing with issues of Heaven and Hell and how the world works. He's not happy about how the world works -- and I can relate."
Also, Empire Online reports on yesterday's appearance:
"At the heart of it all, though, was Reeves, whose gritty, SFW turn as the nihilistic Constantine (rapidly encroaching lung cancer and all, a storyline taken from Garth Ennis run on Hellblazer) had the geeks eating out of the palm of his hand.
And, as if to reciprocate, the notoriously private and often prickly Reeves was personable and fun during the presentation (during which he was asked 90% of the questions), flashing a constantly bemused smile as his every word was greeted with shrieks and shouts.
At one point he even leapt down from the stage to receive a present from an endearingly eager fan, who declared that 'You are DA BOMB!' Luckily, it turned out to be an actual present and not a thinly veiled bomb threat.
Anything where there's a great enthusiasm and where there s a coming together to share what you think is cool, I think it s awesome, said Reeves of the Comic-Con experience, before expounding further on the appeal of Constantine.
I ditched the accent, he laughed. But I really loved the guy. I loved his anger. I loved his wry sense of humour about the awfulness of the world and what that's turned him into. He's like a warrior in this world of shit, and he's trying to deal with it. "
SuperHeroHype has a look at a really ugly poster.
Ooooh, one more (via keanuweb). Cinescape.com has a nice long SPOILERY rundown of the footage shown. I'm not going to read it, but if you want to, go HERE.
I just got off the phone with Wanda as well, and she said everything went really well, and that the 20 minute trailer was just amazing.
update: pics from wanda! yay!
A look at Internet discussion forums will reveal that comic fans are of a mixed opinion on the upcoming "Constantine" film coming February 11th, 2004 from Warner Bros.. The film, starring Keanu Reeves as John Constantine, takes a few liberties with the character, yet most fans would say the first trailer looked promising. For "Constantine" completists, fans will want to pick up the official "Constantine" comics adaptation next year from DC/Vertigo by writer Steven T. Seagle, with art by comics veteran Ron Randall, as announced today during the Vertigo: Breaking Boundaries panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego.. CBR News spoke with Seagle to learn more about the series.
The belief of most comic fans is that the "Constantine" film has very little to nothing in common with the character seen in the monthly comic, something Seagle say is not entirely true.
"The mythos surrounding the movie is very much what you know from the comics," Seagle told CBR News last Tuesday. "While it's true that John is no longer blonde or British, he's very much the same man underneath it all. And many of the best bits from the best comics stories are in the movie as well."
Bringing a close to two hour film to comics is no easy task and adherence to the shooting script is a must for any film adaptation.
"This is a strict adaptation. There's not room to expand - quite the opposite. A movie to comics adaptation is all about what isn't making it rather than what is. It's a giant cutting process - tell the story in half the length. That does make for some interesting and cool eidting - I play out two scenes simultaneously that are more time-bound in the film. That kind of stuff works best in comics. But by and large, the two mirror each other well."
Seagle says the biggest challenge faced when adapting a film script to the printed comic page would have to be that need for strict adherence to the plot.
"Hollywood builds in a lot of quick little visual beats that would take a page to fully develop in a comic," continued Seagel. "The dialogue, I play fast and loose with. Because what someone can say quickly in a film needs its own panel in a comic. And things always read different than they sound, so I go more for how it reads on the page - still conversational, but more to the point."
With rumors flying the way they do on the Internet these days, film companies are extremely protective of film plot and story points. Seagle remained mum about the plot for "Constantine" and he's perfectly happy not revealing too much about the movie.
"Every script I've ever been sent from a pre-production film for any kind of project has had a non-disclosure agreement with it, so that's not some shocking thing," said Seagle. "I hate the way trailers for movies give away everything these days, so while I was told to keep it to myself, I would have anyway! What's the point of making a movie (or a comic) if everyone knows every single thing about it in advance? When I was working on my graphic novel 'It's A Bird...' for Vertigo, a lot of incorrect descriptions of it surfaced, and I just let them go - it helped keep some mystery for the book so that when people read it they could still be surprised.
Seagle is joined on the book by veteran artist Ron Randall.
"I worked with Ron on 'The Crusades' for Vertigo, he inked Kelley Jones. But Ron is a great artist in his own right and an ace for likenesses which is key for a movie adaptation."
The writer has some advice for those who're concerned about how Warners is handling the star of the "Hellblazer" comic in "Constantine."
"Keep an open mind. I was pleasantly surprised. No, it's not exactly the same as the comic book, but we've already got the comic book. This is something different, and as that, it definitely stands on its own.
"If people have any more Q's they can find me at the Man Of Action booth #3555 at Comicon!"
Also of interest, a new Hellblazer Original Graphic Novel was announced at the Con - Read the article with author Mike Carey at CBR.
Keanu will be discussing Constantine at Comic Con 2004 in just a couple hours, hopeully there will be some news from both comic and Keanu fans sometime today.
For now, here's a new image and also a look at a sculptured figure (creeepy!) and a Holy Shotgun replica, both on display at the Con.
via straight to hell
UPDATE: Here's the info from the Comic-Con site:
Friday July 23 - 12:30-2:00 Warner Bros.: Batman Begins and Constantine--;Warner Bros. presents looks at two of the most eagerly awaited comic adaptations of all time! First up: Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight's emergence as a force for good in Gotham. In the wake of his parents'; murder, disillusioned industrial heir Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice and turn fear against those who prey on the fearful. He returns to Gotham and unveils his alter-ego: Batman, a masked crusader who uses his strength, intellect and an array of high-tech deceptions to fight the sinister forces that threaten the city. Participating in the panel are actor Cillian Murphy (Dr. Jonathan Crane) and screenwriter David Goyer. They will also sign autographs in the DC Comics booth after the event. Second on today's WB bill is Constantine, based on the DC Comics/VERTIGO Hellblazer graphic novels and written by Kevin Brodbin and Frank Cappello. The supernatural thriller tells the story of John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), a man who has literally been to hell and back. When he teams up with skeptical policewoman [Angela] Dodson (Rachel Weisz) to solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister, their investigation takes them through the world of demons and angels that exists just beneath the landscape of contemporary Los Angeles. Caught in a catastrophic series of otherworldy events, the two become inextricably involved and seek to find their own peace at whatever cost. Appearing at this event are actors Keanu Reeves and Djimon Hounsou and director Francis Lawrence.
Also, Matrix fans will be interested in this (also on Friday the 23rd):
10:30-11:30 Burlyman Entertainment Speaks!--; Meet Steve Skroce, Geof Darrow, and Spencer Lamm. They will talk about joining forces with the Wachowski Brothers to bring you two new and original comic titles, Doc Frankenstein and Shaolin Cowboy. Steve Skroce, the key storyboard artist for The Matrix trilogy and the writer and artist on Wolverine: Blood Debt, now co-plots and illustrates Doc Frankenstein, with the Wachowski Brothers handling script. Geof Darrow, the conceptual designer for The Matrix trilogy and the artist of Hard Boiled, Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot now writes and illustrates the forthcoming title The Shaolin Cowboy, with Ass-ologue by the Wachowski Brothers. Spencer Lamm, a past editor at Marvel comics, and editor of the The Art of The Matrix, The Matrix Comics, and the forthcoming The Art of the Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions, edits these two new Burlyman titles. Larry and Andy Wachowski have worked together for over 30 years. No announcements will be made on possible additional guests, BURLY or otherwise.
After the promising test screening reports, I was really hoping that Constantine would be nice and dark and set itself apart from the rest of the comic-based fare, but it's getting harder and harder to be a cheerleader for the Constantinian cause.
The most disheartening thing is that this music may never be heard at all and it's supposed to be some of Lisa Gerrard's best and darkest work.
Club-Keanu has another test-screening report from IMDB boards. This one's particularly effluvescent.
Contains slight spoilers, snarks on Keanu and abuse of the !!!! and ???? keys.
The question remains to Hellblazer fans: How true to character is John Constantine in comparison to ! the comic version? FACTS: Not English, Not blond, No accent, Should be about Sting's age, Should not have a Holy shot gun/weapon, setting does not take place in England (Liverpool), No OVERT CUSSING- AND John loves to do that! Chaz should be older and not a side-kick, etc....... Does that about cover it??????
What is captured that holds/remains true to Hellblazer fans out there: John is a HARD-CORE prolific smoker, dark, gothic, loathsome character, guilt-ridden catholic, subtle sexuality in bed, expels demons through exorcisms, travels to hell and back, cunning and saavy with satan who wants his soul sooooooo bad that is willing to personally come up for it, dark, mysterious past paying his debt to eventually save his own soul, and has lung cancer. There are awesome special effects (demons and other hell scenes), Angel Gabriel is androgenous and he/she ought to be. Satan is awesome.
What we do agree on: the title- CONSTANTINE!!!!!! :)
Um...actually, no. Apparently, it's supposed to be ConstanTYNE.
"Judging this movie as a stand-alone film, it's a thoroughly entertaining, dark, supernatural action-thriller. Keanu reeves rebounds from the MATRIX sequels with a film/character that isn't nearly as bad-ass or ground-breaking as the first installment of Wachowski brothers' trilogy, but certainly delivers some goods. And Francis Lawrence's directorial debut signals the dawn of film-maker's career whom I think is going to fast become an A-lister." -AICN
"The story was absolutely fabulous, it was great." -SHH
"The movie is a trip. And when asked on the questionnaire what scenes I liked the least, I couldn't think of one. There are only two cinematic views of Hell that I've seen that I've ever liked. The one from "What Dreams May Come" and this one. If that's what Hell will be like, thanks but no thanks Satan, I think that party is for someone else. I'll take Heaven. The paranormal and religious themes were heavy and several of them had the audience jumping like I haven't seen since I saw the re-release of "The Exorcist" in theatres a year or so ago. I wouldn't recommend going into the show expecting to see something along the lines of realism such as "The Exorcist", just see it for the thrill of jumping out of your seat a lot. See it for the humor - most every scene involving John Constantine and a demon in the movie is great, filled with sarcasm like I love - , see it for a good ride, a little suspense - a lot of fun, and a Lucifer, played by Peter Stormare (Lev the Russi an Cosmonaut from Armageddon) that is awesome." -AICN
There are some slight spoilers in the AICN reports, and there are a few more details that *shock* dissappoint the Hellblazer fans, but the sneak peekers judged the movie on its own merits and seemed to like it quite a bit, so...you know, yay!
All in all though, this news sounds pretty promising and I'm all popcorn and pom-poms enthusiastic about these first reactions. Especially the good things about Keanu's performance.
A magnificent drawing of Keanu as John Constantine by Coffs of Keanu Reality, a russian fansite.
Cinema Expo 2004, Europe's main exhibition trade show, closed Thursday with extended footage from "Catwoman," Oliver Stone's "Alexander" and Keanu Reeves starrer "Constantine" captivating delegates....
I'd like to know if there's anything else about Constantine in the article. Just not $29.95 worth of like-to-know.
And of course I'd really like to hear from someone that saw the footage.
Hmmmm, the Expo was in Amsterdam. Where the hell is Julie!?
...but just for this entry I'm lifting my self-imposed embargo of AICN to point out that the site's regular contributor "Moriarty" has some good things to say about the Constantine trailer.
-via Reeves Drive
So after quite a bit of waiting to hear what former Hellblazer writer Warren Ellis thought of the Constantine script (he teased that he'd read it months ago), he finally gets to it over at Millarworld. There's a quote and discussion over at the HB forums. It's spoilery so I won't post it here, but I will tell you that he didn't think much of it. Which is not suprising, really. It's already been established that Hollywood has worked over the thing pretty thoroughly and that Hellblazer purists weren't going to be pleased. I even voiced concern about Akiva "Let's make it a giant mechanical spider!" Goldsman being involved. But after reading various things from director Francis Lawrence and others involved with the project and seeing the trailer, I still feel pretty good about the fact that I, along with the general moviegoing masses, will enjoy the film.
In other bad Constantine news, it's RUMORED that the UK/European release may be months later than February. I hope that isn't true.
The official Constantine website has been updated with a new spooky flash intro.
"The final case for More Than 1 Page was John Constantine. Everybody's favourite dark-haired Canadian Dude. He's well documented as my favourite character, especially in his current manifestation by Carey & Manco. I like the ironic timing of reminding everyone he is British. When I saw David Hitchcock's gorgeous Victorian Constantine, I almost considered calling the book "Just Another Constantine". (For the benefit of your non-Brit readers, it's pronounced "Constant-INE" as in "whine" by the way. This allows the film to exist, because it is about some other bloke called "ConstantEEN". Hurrah for Gene Wilder!)"
Read the whole thing at Millarworld.
In 2001, original artwork of John Constantine by Sean Phillips was auctioned off and brought in a nice hunk of change for the charity. Expect the sketch by Jock to fetch a good price this year, especially because it brings the deep pockets of Keanu fans to the table. I'll be sure to put up the auction info once it becomes available.
Anyway, I remind you that you can benefit the Trinity Hospice charity by buying your own copy from Ade in person at the International Comics Festival in Bristol this weekend or from the convenience of your own home without having to deal with all those creepy comic book guys.
If you do see Ade in Bristol, let me know how tall he is so I know if I can wear heels or not.
Thanks to J. White over at the hellforum for this article from Comics Continuum:
Expect to see several projects to tie in with the release of the upcoming Constantine movie, editor Will Dennis said Sunday at the Vertigo panel at Wizard World Philadelphia.
"With the Constantine movie, there will be a lot of Hellblazer things that will turn a lot of people's heads," Dennis said.
Dennis said he couldn't currently elaborate, but one of the items will very likely be an adaptation of the film.
Constantine, starring Keanu Reeves, is targeted to open in theaters on Feb. 11.
The casting of Reeves and the Americanization of Constantine have created controversy around the film, but the Vertigo editors at the panel said the movie can be successful.
"He's read all the comics, he's read all the stuff out there," Dennis said of Reeves. "He's taking it very seriously. He's done good work in certain parts, so it'll be interesting to see.
"People will be surprised at how much they have captured of the comic. Hopefully people will go in with open minds. And, really, it's exiciting to see a Vertigo movie."
Added editor Jonthan Vankin: "Having read the script, they've made an attempt to capture the comic and bring some new elements for the movie."
I think the comic guys will be OK with something like a special title adaptation, as long as it doesn't have any lasting effect on the original Hellblazer title.
And I bet some of them would buy action figures.
Ultimate Hellblazer Indexer, John Goodrich snarks:
"I'm sure there will be all sorts of cool movie stuff. Constantine HeroClix, yet more T-Shirts with Keanu on them, boxes of Holy Shotgun condoms, limited edition Holy Shotgun replicas, a Constantine lunchbox, plush toys based on the villains of the film, a kubrick set, more Constantine slash fiction, and a limited edition of Constantine plates signed by all the cast members who can actually read. I'm so excited!"
I'm pretty sure he's being sarcastic.
Still, I would totally buy a Ceplavite plushie or maybe one of these...
Thanks to Rogan for pointing us toward this new image from the Constantine website, and also that the trailer is now there as well.
As mentioned by my Serbian brother, Rogan, Keanu as Constantine is featured in Adrian Brown's Just 1 Page project.
Details from Ade below:
JUST 1 PAGE COMIC raises money for Charity
Just 1 Page 2 is comic book magazine celebrating the Best of British Comics. There are pin-ups sketches and articles featuring a whole range of characters and creators from Alan Moore to Leo Baxendale, from The Bash Street Kids to Judge Dredd. Contributors include up-and-coming artists alongside established professionals like Mike Carey, Jock, Hunt Emerson, Charlie Adlard and Steve Pugh.
The seventy-two page magazine includes eight pages of full colour, and will sell for £5 ($10 US and overseas) including postage, and can be bought at the Comics Festival in Bristol (29th & 30th May) or online HERE.
All original artwork donated for this project will be auctioned via eBay starting in June, and along with proceeds from sales of the magazine, all funds raised will go to the Trinity Hospice Charity
Please contact Adrian Brown, just1page(at)aol(dot)com for more information.
First thing we see is John Constantine.
Oh wait, he doesn't have blonde hair and a tan trenchcoat. I think this is the point where they lost all the Hellblazer fans.
I'm not sure what the deal with this girl is..
Damn, she's creepy. She's either posessed or out of Red Bull.
The atmosphere in the film looks really well done.
I'm really optimistic about how director Francis Lawrence did with it.
The visuals in the trailer are striking.
I like it when he grits his teeth.
Rachel looks gorgeous...I think she was well cast.
OK, another one where I have no idea what's going on. Who's room is this? Is it time for Judge Judy?
And you've really got to hate the light to put that much tinfoil on your windows.
Double threat in this frame.
Ass and pigeon-toes.
"Well, you should..."
I love the curl of his lips when he makes a "sh" sound. Which means he could pretty much tell me to shut up, shitbird and I'd be happy.
I love the tattoos.
I love the signifiance to the character and the magick and I love that they call attention to his forearms.
Ah.... a look at the much-maligned Holy Shotgun.
Another thing I don't have a problem with. I mean there was a voodoo television in a recent issue of the comic.
The thing I like quite a bit about the Constantine character is the intensity. Neo was intense but it was controlled. John has a touch more wildness to him.
It's all in those eyes.
I think that this was a great first teaser. It's a bit flashy but I'm pretty sure that's the point. A trailer's purpose is to make you want to see a movie and this definitely does that.
Still waiting for a hopefully larger official trailer to be linked over at the Straight to Hell website but for now you can check out the Access Hollywood site for a look at the first trailer for Constantine.
Along with being attached to Troy in the theaters this week, WB will unveil the first Constantine trailer online according to John McMahon of the Straight to Hell Hellblazer site.
"As things stand, the Constantine trailer will be online this Thursday, hosted on WB webspace with links from the Straight To Hell site."
I'd also like to point out that Mr. McMahon and forum elder, Adrian Brown were recently immortalized on the cover of Hellblazer.
That's just the awesomest.
Evidently, in the world of comic-based movies, the unveiling of the logo is a big deal.
This appeared on the official site today...
Actually, I kind of like it.
-via SuperHeroHype & thanks to Niobe.
TO HELL AND BACK 5 Questions With...Keanu Reeves --Todd Casey
He can fly. He can fight. And he’s certainly heroic. Keanu Reeves has already played the ultimate superhero as Neo in “The Matrix” trilogy. Now get ready for him as the ultimate anti-hero.
Wizard sat down with Reeves, who trades in Neo’s flowing coat and sunglasses for a plain old shirt and tie as the sarcastic anti-hero John Constantine, and attempts to prevent demons from turning L.A. into a hell on earth in the September-released film “Constantine,” based on the DC/Vertigo comic Hellblazer.
1. What makes John Constantine such a cool guy to play?
I liked his anger. As an actor, it’s fun to play someone who is wounded but fighting. I like his never-give-up attitude and I like his humor, kind of gallows humor.
2. In the comic, Constantine is a bit of a trickster/con man as well as a magician—is he a little more of one or the other in the film?
He has practical magic. He can cast out demons; he has certain powers that he can use. It has a hard-boiled side to it, there’s a mystery afoot. He’s definitely less of a trickster and more of a magician. And a con man? [Exhaling a large cloud of smoke] Yeah, he’s trying to buy his way into heaven. Is he doing what he’s doing because he’s altruistic or is he doing what he’s doing so he can hustle? You don’t know. There’s a bit of a con man in there.
3. So he’s a hustler?
He’s a hustler. He has an insight into the workings of the world and he just hates it. He hates the hypocrisy. He’s also not the nicest guy in the world.
4. Do you see him as more of a hero or anti-hero?
He’s a heroic anti-hero. [laughs] I think of him as a hero because he’s fighting against all odds. I like that he just doesn’t quit, he’s just like “f--k you all!” One of the lines in the film is: “God has a plan for all of us. I had to die, twice, just to figure that out. Some people like it, some people don’t.” That, to me, is how I think of Constantine. He’s a man who is trying to find his place in the world and come to terms with his life and the circumstances of it. “Some people like it and some people don’t”—he’s kind of ambivalent.
5. Will we sympathize with Constantine—or love to hate him?
Hopefully both. There are sequences where he’s not the nicest guy. He makes a sacrifice in the end, so hopefully there is something redeeming about him. But he’s a hard man to love.
-thanks to dish
John Constantine, another character close to Bradstreet's heart, will stroll onto movie screens next year. Bradstreet provides the covers for Vertigo's monthly "Hellblazer" book and would love to do some promotional work for "Constantine," the film adaptation of "Hellblazer" starring Keanu Reeves, which is currently in production. "I think it would be an absolute trip to get a shot at doing a one-sheet for that. Send [Lauren] Donner a bunch of mail. I may be known for doing a certain kind of thing with the regular covers, which may not be the kind of thing they are looking for, but I think it's fairly clear that I can grasp what it takes to bring it to another level. I'd love a shot at that. I know the nuts and bolts of that character inside and out. Applying it to Keanu would be a fun challenge and a great opportunity," Bradstreet explained.
Thanks for spitting in my coffee this morning, Warner Brothers.
[...] Which is really interesting, except for it not being true.
Oh, it's true that Alan's rejected the money for CONSTANTINE and assigned it to his cocreators, but he's now done that for all films of his and things he's done that might one day be filmed. This was because he was deeply hurt and offended and irritated by being accused in the Larry Cohen lawsuit of having written League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as some kind of studio shill, and because Alan never does anything by halves. Up until the lawsuit his position was that he didn't care about the films people made from his work, but was happy to cash the cheques; after, he decided that he didn't even want to cash the cheques.
His share of Constantine was redistributed among his co-creators, John Totleben, Steve Bissette and Rick Veitch and to Jamie Delano and John Ridgway.
As far as I know, from having spoken to him, Alan's view on Constantine itself is the same as his view on From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which is that he'll probably rent the DVD one day, you never know, hell might freeze over, -- and that the important work is the comic -- the main difference being here that the film is, from what I understand, mostly based on the Garth Ennis and Jamie Delano issues of the Hellblazer comic.
(And, for whatever remains of the record, Alan hasn't seen anything of Constantine -- no scripts, no nothing. Nor has he had any contact with DC on it except for asking Karen Berger to redistribute the money and the credit.)
I tend to feel that the filmmakers started with two strikes against them, simply by casting Keanu Reeves instead of, say, Jude Law, but everything I've heard since has been encouraging, so while I'll be sitting in the cinema with my arms folded and an "okay, convince me" attitude, I'll at least be going to see it.
I know I'm glad to hear this. I didn't think the "geek community" impact was much of a factor in the success of the movie, but I was previously concerned with the quality of the script and this whole thing brought up those concerns again. Nice to have it cleared up.
Thank you Mr. Gaiman...
I think I'm going to go out and buy Neverwhere on DVD this weekend. I'd start reading Sandman, but I'm already spending too much on comics these days.
(Thanks to some random guy at the Straight-to-Hell forums)
James passes this on (via Sethos) from Ain't It Cool News:
"After reviewing the script and casting of HELLBLAZER, Comic Kingpin Alan Moore has done the unthinkable. He's washed his hand of the entire debacle. That's right- he's instructed DC to NOT credit him as the creator of the character. And putting his money where his mouth is, he has instructed that the royalties that he was splitting with his co-creators goes EXCLUSIVELY to the artists, Veitch and Bissette.
Often we hear about an artist upset that his creation has been butchered but this is the first I can recall where the creator asked that both name and money be rejected. Moore is apparently so upset at the desecration done to Constantine by Producer Lauren Shuler Donner that he is stating that he will never support a film project based on his work again. DC Toady Paul Levitz is running around trying to get Moore to change his position, but Levitz is the one who had 30,000 copies of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #5 pulped. The bad PR this move could create in the geek community is of grave concern to Warners and DC."
James adds for our benefit:
"Now just to give you a little background, Moore is famous for his "hands off" approach to adaptations of his characters and stories, going so far to claim that the comics are so separate from the movies that he doesn't care what people do with them. He even allowed his name to go on the movie of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen which utterly mutilated the comic and missed every point that it was trying to make. So this is either a Big Lie or Bad News."
Um, yeah. THIS is what will keep the "geek community" away from the theaters, because we all know how enthusiastic about a dark-haired American Constantine they were before.
The adaptation, directed by first-time feature film director Francis Lawrence, takes away Constantine's British accent and blond hair, but leaves his sharp wit and dark world view, giving the film a film noir feel perhaps tailor made for "Matrix" star Reeves, who might just be turning into our generation's king of gloom. But Lawrence sees Constantine as a different role than Reeves has ever played onscreen, and one a lot closer to his real personality.
"I think Keanu actually has a lot of John Constantine in him," mulls Lawrence. "Keanu is kind of a haunted guy and he's sort of elusive and mysterious. He's had some sort of tragic things happen to him and I think he sort of lives that life a little bit. He's also, I would say, a little self-destructive, which I think Constantine is."
New Constantine article at Zap2it.com. Has some plot points, not paticularly spoilery...
I stopped at my local comic shop this morning and picked up the latest issue of Wizard magazine (along with the most recent Hellblazer and the first two issues of Mike Carey's My Faith in Frankie). There's an interview with Keanu on the set of Constantine in it. Anyway, since there are no new images I'm not going to bother to scan it, and thanks to Keanuweb here is the text of the interview. It's slightly spoilery.
In his first post-'Matrix' action role, Keanu Reeves goes to hell and back to find the soul of John Constantine.
Dressed in a tar-black overcoat as the sardonic anti-hero John Constantine, Keanu Reeves stabs a cigarette into an overflowing ashtray and stalks towards the narrow passage leading out of the red glow and smoky air of Papa Midnite's barroom office.
After a pack and a half, a dozen or so feigned coughing fits and eight or nine takes from various angles, the veteran actor of over 30 films knows when it's time to take a break - a smoke break.
"We've got a few minutes," says the 39-year-old Reeves, as he breaks out of his Constantine character for the first time in a long morning of shooting this warm December day in Los Angeles. "Let's go."
Stepping out of the dreary, muted lights on set and into the sun-drenched Warner Brothers Studio lot, Reeves snaps out of the brooding Constantine and begins to chat excitedly about his love for Alan Moore's V For Vendetta as he makes his way to his trailer tucked between two immense sound stages.
Reeves trades in Neo's trademark pair of designer sunglasses for a plain shirt and tie - although he can't seem to shed the long coat - as he makes the transition from the ultimate superhero in "The Matrix" trilogy to the sarcastic, brusque anti-hero "Constantine", based on DC/Verigo's long-running Hellblazer series.
With the worldwide success of "The Matrix" trilogy, Reeves could have slipped into any action roll he wanted, so why go from clear-cut hero to gray, cancer-ridden loner?
As a cup of coffee warms in the microwave, Reeves plops down into a chair in his trailer and carefully draws a Camel Light from the pack lying on the table. After taking a slow, measured drag on the cigarette, he's ready to explain.
WIZARD: What makes John Constantine such a cool guy to play? REEVES: I liked his anger. As an actor, it's fun to play someone who is wounded but fighting. I like his never-give-up attitude and I like his humor, kind of gallows humor.
In the comic, Constantine is a bit of a trickster/con man as well as a magician - is he a little more of one or the other in the film?
He has practical magic. He can cast out demons; he has certain powers that he can use. It has a hard-boiled side to it, there's a mystery afoot. He's definitely less of a trickster and more of a magician. And a con man? [Exhaling a large cloud of smoke] Yeah, he's trying to buy his way into heaven. Is he doing what he's doing because he's altruistic or is he doing what he's doing so he can hustle? You don't know. There's a bit of a con man in there.
So he's a hustler? He's a hustler. He has an insight into the workings of the world and he just hates it. He hates the hypocrisy. He's also not the nicest guy in the world.
When it comes to hard-boiled, Reeves resembles anything but. Stepping off stage between takes to joke with director Francis Lawrence and various members of the film crew, Reeves' pleasant demeanor serves as a stark contrast to the abrasive recluse he plays in the film. Constantine loses friends by being self-centered and solitary, whereas Reeves' generosity makes him a favorite among those on set. During filming, Reeves picked up the bill to treat the entire cast and crew of "Constantine" to see a special screening of "The Matrix: Revolutions," complete with popcorn and soda. Needless to say, getting into the skin of what was essentially his evil twin took quite a bit of wiggling.
One of the things that you're known for is intense method preparation. What did you do to prepare for the role of John Constantine?
I didn't meet with any exorcists. [Laughs] The world that we've created is kind of a "secular religiousity" is what I call it. We have a kind of Catholic platform that we're using - heaven and hell, sin, possession, demons, half-breeds, God, Satan - but I feel like he's a hard-boiled detective. I was just trying to find the John Constantine within. He's trapped, trying to be free and deal with the consequences of what's happened to him and who he is. I was just trying to find mine and his coming together. I didn't do anything external except look at the architecture of the comic and how Constantine expresses himself, he looks out of the side of his eyes a lot, or has his head cocked sideways with a kind og "what are you doing?" look on his face. And the way he looks at the world, he can see things that other people can't and this guy is very alone. The "friends" he does have are dying every time he gets in contact with them. So it's hard for him to be intmate with anybody. I think he is a lone wold character.
So how many cigarettes do you have to smoke in a given day? You lit up about 25 during shooting today.
There've been some days where there have been a lot of cigarettes. Definitely in the 30s and 40s.
You've got DC comics next to you - are you a comic fan?
I was in the past. In the late '80s I was really into X-Men. Wolverine was one of my favorite characters and I liked some of the New Mutants. I liked Daredevil as well. Dark Knight came out when I was reading and that was a revelation. Ronin was also a revelation to me. That really gave me a sense of, "Wow, that was a great comic book."
Did you read the Hellblazer storyline "Dangerous Habits," on which the filming script is loosely based?
[Thumbing through the book] I've read sections, but I looked more towards the script that I had. Most of what I've gotten has come from having a feeling of who Constantine is inside. If you look at some of the panels you can see how he's expressing himself and how he moves. [Cocks his head to the side as he lights up a cigarette, in unconsciously Contantinian fasion] I used the story in the script to work from there.
Aside from Constantine, what's your favorite comic movie?
[Takes a long, thoughtful pull off his cigarette] I don't think I have one. I remember as a kid liking the first "Superman," and then the Tim Burton Batman movies, there was something to them, but I didn't find them satisfying in terms of who I thought Batman was. I thought Val Kilmer was a decent Batman, very dark and twisted.
For such an amiable, good-natured person, Reeves definitely entertains a penchant for the dark and twisted when it comes to his taste in roles. From his parts in Sam Raimi's horror film "The Gift" and the unnerving thriller "The Devil's Advocate" to his role as a serial killer in "The Watcher," Reeves demonstrates his willingness to bring his darkness to light. Sitting amidst the bright white de'cor of his trailer and sipping a Coke, he hardly seems capable of any semblance of evil, but shrouded in a cloud of cigarette smoke on the dreary set of "Constantine," he's absolutely the last guy you'd want to ask for a light.
Constantine frequently walks the line between good and evil. Do you see him as more of a hero or anti-hero?
He's a heroic anti-hero. [Laughs] I think of him as a hero because he's fighting against all odds. I like that he just doesn't quit, he's just like "f--k you all!" One of the lines in the film is: "God has a plan for all of us. I had to die, twice, just to figure that out. Some people like it, some people don't." That, to me, is how I think of Constantine. He's a man who is trying to find his place in the world and come to terms with his life and the circumstances of it. "Some people like it and some people don't" - he's kind of ambivalent.
Will we sympathize with Constantine - or love to hate him?
Hopefully both. There are consequences where he's not the nicest guy. He makes a sacrifice in the end, so hopefully there is something redeeming about him. But he's a hard man to love.
How do you feel about playing a guy like that?
I really love playing him. Again, his humor, his energy, his anger, his ambivalence and the fact that he's trapped. He's hustling for his life, he's dying in the movie - dying of cancer - so he has a clock. He's at a point where he's thinking, "I've got to get into heaven, what do I have to do because I'm not going back to hell." In the story he commmitted suicide when he was a kid, so he's damned and he's trying to get his way out but he doesn't know how.
Is that when he starts to give a s--t? When he realizes he's slowly dying?
Yeah, he's giving more of a s--t. He has a line where he's talking to Gabriel and Gabriel says "you don't believe," and Constantine asks, "What does God want from me?" Gabriel responds, "Faith and belief," and Constantine says "I believe, for Christ's sake!" and Gabriel says, "No, you know." So he's trapped and he's just trying to do what he can do. I just cast a demon out of a little girl, who am I doing that for? He's saying, "Come on, I'm helping you out, can't you help me out?" He's not getting the help.
Reeves, on the other hand, doesn't need any devine intervention to get through the epic battle scenes in "Constantine." After having learned over 200 martial arts moves with hours of hand-to-hand combat for his role in "The Matrix" trilogy, his fighting skills more than qualify him to kick the demons back to hell with hardly a smudge of brimstone on his coat.
Have you beat the holy hell out of any demons?
A character called Balthazar [kills a friend of Constantine's]. Constantine wants revenge, so he puts together this "holy shotgun" made from arcane religious icons that fit together and fire bullets with crosses on them. Earlier, Constantine has been given hold brass knuckles. He confronts Balthazar and Balthazar is beating him up and John slips on the knuckles and starts punching him and punching him and punching him and grabbing him by his tie and he says, [Reeves gets on his feet to re-enact the scene] "Those [punch] were [punch] my [yanking his imaginary oppopent up by the tie] "friends!" And then he punches him bare-knuckled. That was a lot of fun. I just keep grabbing him by the tie and punching him with those holy brass knuckles. It was very "Constantine."
You'll probably never run into Balthazar on Hollywood Boulevard, but do you believe in the supernatural?
Even if I don't, I make sure I don't f--k with it. [Laughs] Better safe than sorry.
--Staff writer Todd Casey smoked two packs a day in preperation for his role as Keanu Reeves' interviewer. He calls it method smoking.
"The holy shotgun? Yeah, there's a half-breed that kills a couple of the characters who are my friends so I'm seeking revenge. So, I put together this 'holy shotgun,' which again I think is kind of fun - 'killing with God.'" - Keanu Reeves on his brass, cross-shaped and Latin-inscribed weapon in Constantine
Those same set pictures are in the article and there's also a mouthwatering first look at Keanu as Constantine (shown) and the characters Midnite (Djimon Hounsou)and Chaz (Shia LeBouef) in a great picture that looks straight out of a comic.
There are some plot points discussed so spoiler warnings apply...
Read it all at CHUD.com.
(thanks to AleXXei at the forums)
"I think it's the whole idea of an anti-hero - this guy that sort of understands the world to place that normal people don't know exists. I think that he's sort of a supernatural, hard-boiled detective. He reminds me of the Sam Spade's and characters from the classic film noirs."
""We spoke about [the changes made to the character], but it seemed in terms of the platform that we were using, which became Los Angeles—the world in terms of heaven, hell and Los Angeles—seemed to be attractive and make sense. And we're kind of doing a hard-boiled kind of take on the piece. So we kind of went this way instead of a more gothic aspect."
"Hard-boiled" is apparently the new "raising the bar"....
Djimon Hounsou also talks to SciFi Wire and has this to say about Keanu...
Housou said that acting with Reeves has been exciting. "He's done so much, and this time on this picture, working with him firsthand, it's quite a nice surprise," he said. "I realize how actually he's a very talented man, and ... he's so anal about the work. The guy has received some criticism, good and bad, but working with him, you have a great affinity for the kind of generosity that he has with the work and with people that [are a] part of this picture. He definitely is a very simple man and somewhat maybe misunderstood, because he's just very reclusive, very private."
Lastly, here's a bit about the music that we can expect to hear in the trailer (thanks Netz).
One more update: Let's just declare today Constantine Day, Shall we?
I think that Garth, at Dark Horizons has got the whole thing covered. Hopefully that's the full and complete interview, from beginning to end. (via keanuweb)
I'm liking it.
SuperheroHype has an interview with Keanu on the set of Constantine. This article was originally posted by SHH in December, then pulled for some reason. Maybe because it's chock full o'spoilers. Anyway, it's back up now. Read at your own risk.
You've mentioned that the character has an ambiguous morality that you found attractive.
Yeah. Well, I mean he's not the nicest guy all the time. I don't know if he's immoral, but it's something that he's negotiating with.
Were you just looking for this kind of movie?
I was looking for a good script and this kind of came my way and I really liked the writing and the character itself and what happened in the piece and ultimately there's a line in it where Constantine says, "God has a plan for all of us. I had to die twice just to figure that out. Some people like it, some people don't."
He's always been a user in the comic. Is he nicer in the film?
No. Not really.
Go to SHH to read the whole article, but remember there are spoilers.
"Constantine" director casts an evil light on the noir thriller's L.A. set and sinister storyline.
Think downtown Los Angeles looks like a nightmare at rush hour? You should see it in Hell.
"Constantine," starring Keanu Reeves as the trenchant, embittered occultist John Constantine from DC Comics' Hellblazer series, follows the story of John as he teams up with policewoman Angela Dodson to help investigate the mysterious death of her sister Isabel, which leads him into a hellish version of his hometown.
"John goes into Hell to find Angela's sister to see if she has committed suicide," describes "Constantine" director Francis Lawrence of the elaborate set hewn from wrecked cars and barrels of brown muck. "What we've done is actually made Hell have geography so that you have the idea that wherever you are, there is a Hell version of it and a Heaven version of it. John goes to Hell and it's literally the 101 Freeway heading toward downtown L.A."
Deep in "Hell L.A." (and even on the sunny streets of the city itself), Constantine comes up against legions of half-breed demons who inject evil into mankind's world. When he's not kicking their asses with an array of holy relics, Constantine kicks back in his apartment (located over a bowling alley), safely insulated from Hell's spawn with a few dozen five gallon drums of holy water.
And in the next issue (due out Feb 25), look for more Constantine content.
From the Wizard website:
He can fly. He can fight. And he's certainly heroic. Keanu Reeves has already played the ultimate superhero as Neo in "The Matrix" trilogy. Now get ready for him as the ultimate anti-hero.
As part of its massive 50-page movie event in Wizard #150, Wizard sits down with Reeves, who trades in Neo's flowing coat and sunglasses for a plain old shirt and tie as the sarcastic anti-hero John Constantine, who attempts to prevent demons from turning L.A. into a hell on earth in the September-released film "Constantine," based on the DC/Vertigo comic Hellblazer.
The normally publicity-shy Reeves shares with Wizard his love for Alan Moore's V for Vendetta comic, his favorite comic movies and the complete scoop on why the character of Constantine appealed to him. ''I really love playing him,'' admitted Reeves between pulls on a cigarette while taking a break in his trailer. ''I liked his anger. As an actor, it's really fun to play someone who is wounded but fighting. I like his never-give-up attitude and his gallows humor.''
For the complete interview with Reeves - and exclusive photos from the ''Constantine'' set - pick up Wizard #150 on sale in comic shops Feb. 25.
I'm going to have to call my comic guy and make sure he holds one of these for me.
If you watch the clip with the interview mentioned yesterday, you'll hear Keanu pronounce Constantine, 'Con-stan-TEEN'.
Now, when I first heard about this project that's how I would say it aloud as well. Then I learned the pronounciation 'Constan-TYNE', according to Alan Moore, the creator of the character. Figuring his would be the lead to follow, I started saying 'Constantyne', having to catch or correct myself at first and quite honestly I still think it as Constanteen.
I'm sure at one point I even posed this question to the forums but can't recall if I ever got a final answer beyond "This is what Moore says, but some still say "teen". I just tried a search and ran across this amusing thread on it, though.
So anyway, I guess we can assume the movie is going to be 'Constanteen' since that's how the lead actor pronounces it. Although it was actually the interviewer (who also says "fuck!" when they tell her she only has five minutes with Keanu instead of ten so I have to like her) says it first, so maybe Keanu was being polite and not correcting her....
Yeah, as polite as he is, that's probably a stretch.
To be on the safe side, I might just start saying 'Constantayne'.
Or maybe 'Constantee-yotch'.
Here's a brand new Constantine still from SuperHeroHype...
Anger at sex change for angel Gabriel
SHE has made a reputation for herself by making unusual career choices, but Tilda Swinton is getting ready for what could be her biggest challenge yet – playing the Archangel Gabriel, in a blockbuster comic-book adaptation with Matrix star Keanu Reeves.
Gabriel, who foretold the birth of Christ and revealed the Koran to Muhammad, is traditionally represented as male. But while Swinton's casting could offend Christians, Jews and Muslims alike, it is the fans of the cult Hellblazer comics who seem most outraged by the planned sex change.
The comic-book stories, about a modern sorcerer who has literally been to hell and back, are regarded by their fans as the holy grail of adult comic-book fiction. Gabriel, who is depicted as male in the stories, becomes the arch-enemy of protagonist John Constantine, after Constantine engineers his expulsion from Heaven.
But fans have been outraged by the casting of the Fettes-educated daughter of the Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire in the film version, which is entitled Constantine.
Hellblazer was created in 1985 by the comic-book writer Alan Moore, whose work is in huge demand with film-makers. In the comics, Constantine is a blond, working-class Liverpudlian and ex-punk-rocker.
The film-makers infuriated fans by making the character American to accommodate Reeves. He teams up with a policewoman, played by Rachel Weisz, to investigate the apparent suicide of her twin, and introduces her to a hinterland of demons and angels in modern Los Angeles.
"I can't understand why they are not casting a man for the role," said one fan on an internet movie database forum. "It seems to me that none of the Warner Bros execs have even bothered to read the comic."
Publicist Paulette Osorio said: "In the script the Archangel Gabriel was not specified as a man or woman but more of an androgynous character."
My secret internet boyfriend, James (formerly known as "Funk") typed up this Constantine article in from the current SFX magazine.
THE SFX 2004 PREVIEW: OCTOBER
CONSTANTINE "From Hell they came... to Hell they went!"
THE BUZZ: **** (out of 5)
Director: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Tilda Swinton
THE WORD: Celluloid incarnation of cult comic book occultist John Constantine. First glimpsed in the pages of Swamp Thing then elevated to star status in his own title - the macabre Hellblazer, showcase for such British talents as Warren Ellis and Glenn Fabry - Constantine is a tumbledown, trenchcoat-clad anti-hero, battling demons both personal and all too external. The movie relocates him from the diseased London of the comics, finding satanic shadows in Los Angeles. It's been pitched to the suits as "Dirty Harry meets The Exorcist", so expect a storyline that streamlines the dense, skewed imaginings of the comic book in favour of a multiplex-soothing adventure tale.
BOX OFFICE BLAST OR BOMB?: The character of John Constantine was originally modelled on Sting, later pursued by Nicholas Cage and eventually snatched by Keanu Reeves who is, let's face it, absolutely no-one's idea of a grizzled, Silk Cut-sucking Scouser. They may have rebranded Constantine as an American, but can the famously pine-finish thesping talents of Reeves convey the twisted depths the role demands? There's fine support from The Mummy's Rachel Weisz as Angela Dodson, a police officer who teams with Constantine to investigate her twin sister's mysterious death, and The Beach's Tilda Swanson as the angel Gabriel, but Keanu surely remains the weakest link. Hellblazer writer Warren Ellis believes he's in with a chance, though. "I think Reeves is an interesting choice because he can get at that other part of Constantine, the part that demands social justice and exists in ethical turmoil..."
Thanks, Mr Ellis.
Can we keep the rest of these schmendriks (™Chianti) from reviewing performances they haven't even seen?
It's nice to see that the buzz for the movie is good, though.
I was saying how much I would like to have some of Hellblazer cover artist, Tim Bradstreet's artwork for my very own. And what luck, you can now buy Bradstreet books, prints and artist's proofs at Plycon's Keep. Tim does artwork for Vertigo's Punisher series and there looks like there is some Blade works as well.
I've treated myself to this signed proof as a Christmas present.
There was a new interview with Keanu on the set of Constantine over at Superhero Hype, but it's now gone daddy gone.
Club-Keanu has it archived if you'd like to go ahead and read it (spoiler warnings apply).
I read it this morning and it seemed like it gave away WAY too many plot points.
But it did have some interesting bits about the effects and about the atmosphere of the film, which he described as California Noir....
It wasn't pulled fast enough to avoid stirring things up on the straight-to-hell forum either.
Constantine sounds like it's going to be a very cool movie. Maybe not a Hellblazer movie as the fans would like it, but cool just the same.
E! Online gets inside the "Constantine" set, and has a great deal to say. Entertainment gossip Anderson Jones said, "Who isn't speaking of Hounsou this awards season? He joins Shia LaBeouf, Tilda Swinton and Keanu Reeves in 'Constantine,' which may well be Reeves' last picture ["oh, bullshit"--krix]. Why? Because by the time the supernatural thriller hits theaters next year, Reeves could have pocketed as much as $300 million (in salary and points) from his work on the 'Matrix' trilogy. But money isn't everything. ["exactly, he doesn't act for the money"--krix]
Word from the set, whispered by the special effects department, headed by Stan Winston, says the team has outdone itself. I think someone told me, 'These things kick ass!' or something to that effect. Apparently, first-time director Francis Lawrence gave the 'Constantine' team complete freedom in bringing the nasty characters of the dark comic book 'Hellblazer' to life, and they pushed the envelope at every turn. Even Winston people think this is some of their best and most frightening work in years. I hear they're particularly proud of the devil's son, one of many creatures in Reeves' hell -- but if I say any more, I'll need to be reanimated myself!"
I have to say that I love his Hellblazer cover work and would probably buy prints of some of my favorites if I had the wall space.
Here's what Tim had to say about Constantine:
A.H.: Any thoughts about Keanu Reeves playing Constantine?
Bradstreet: Hmm. I have to be honest and say that when I first heard the rumor, there was also buzz to the fact that Guy Ritchie would direct. My thought's were, if Ritchie is directing I don't care who they get to star in it cause it should be good. With Ritchie helming, maybe they would move the storyline out of the states and back to the UK where it belongs. Then I heard that Ritchie wasn't in but Keanu was. I don't hate Keanu, it's better than having Arnold attached. And if they are going to build this film around the star it makes sense to Americanize the character given the fact that I just can't see Keanu pulling off a Liverpool accent.
I will reserve final judgment until I see the film. Keanu may just pull it off. The thing I'm most upset about is the fact that they've taken the character out of the UK. London is just as important to Hellblazer as John Constantine is. Fans are already alienated from this production because of that alone. Where is the benefit of alienating your core audience? Apparently, they don't believe that the 14,000 or so people who read it monthly are very important in the scheme of things. But that's Hollywood. Take everything that is essential to the character and change it to fit the profile of the popcorn industry. All that matters is that Keanu does his job and brings in his core audience. That's how the bean counters look at it. It really sucks that if they wanted to stay true to the book it would probably hurt the box office. American audiences just don't want to pay to see a British chap con people and use magic (I'm assuming). Although I would have definitely plunked down my cash to have seen it. Now if I was casting that film I'd have cast Paul Bettany as Constantine. That would have made my day. But Paul Bettany is not proven box office and this industry is all about profit. Too bad really. Now, bitching aside I really hope that director Francis Lawrence and his hard working crew are passionate about the project and deliver a film that makes me eat my words. I wish them all the best of luck. And don't count out Keanu yet. I remember a certain comedic actor who donned the cape and cowl of a certain Bat Man a while back. Fans raised holy Hell when that was announced and then quickly changed their collective minds when they saw the film. If the cast and crew of Constantine manage to create a work that is a cut above the usual comic book to film adaptations, then the jeers will turn to cheers.
Tim posted this portion of the interview over at the Straight to Hell forums a couple weeks ago, so you can read that discussion as well.
Tim isn't the only person close to the Hellblazer property that has spoken about the movie, here's a bit from a recent Interview with Hellblazer Author, Mike Carey:
Given that you are delving into the worlds of movies with Frost Flowers have you resigned yourself to the fact that the movie Constantine more than likely will be a far different person than the Vertigo incarnation? Or is that not something you're even going to bother considering?
MC: I went through the same agonies as every other long-term Hellblazer fan when the project was announced, and then when the rumours started to surface - about the Hellblazermobile, and his sidekick being a feisty lady cop and all that stuff. But from what I hear of the actual storyline, it sounds interesting - and Keanu certainly looks the part in the publicity stills. I'm keeping an open mind. Obviously it's not going to be the comic brought to life - it's going to be a separate entity, with its own look and feel. it's best to regard it in that light - maybe it's an "Elseworlds" tale of Constantine (I think that could be an Ade Brown insight that I've nicked).
It's nice that these guys at least are trying to keep an open mind.
Thankfully that is NOT a question asked in this nice long interview from moviehole.net:
One easily forgets that there is more to Keanu Reeves than "The Matrix", as is proven by his charmingly romantic turn in "Something’s Gotta Give", in which he plays a doctor smitten by the older Diane Keaton. In an affable mod when chatting to the press in a New York hotel room, Keanu talks romance and movies with PAUL FISCHER.
The doctor is in?
The doctor is in, what seems to be the problem?
Is it fun to come back from blue screens?
And sentinels? I thought that I was playing a human being before. No, if you're speaking about going from 'The Matrix' to this film, 'Something's Gotta Give', I would speak about it going from kind of a formalism of 'The Matrix' to the naturalism of this piece and for me, trying to do different kinds of roles. It was a wonderful opportunity, really, just to do something different and of course to work with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton and work with a wonderful, beautiful script and directed by Nancy Meyers, was really for me a dream come true.
It didn't matter that it wasn't the lead like you've been playing for the last ten years?
Well, I don't know about that. I mean, I played a supporting role in Sam Raimi's 'The Gift'. Yes, it was good fun, and for me, I hope to be able to lay different kinds of roles whether it's a leading role or a supporting role or a character role. For me, hopefully, you get to play differently, and do different kinds of acting and so, in this case, it was a great role, I think.
Did Nancy come to you or send this to your people?
I was looking for a job. You laugh, but it's true, and I read the script. It was a beautiful script and then, I went in to meet on it and I auditioned for the role.
You audition still?
What scene did you do and did you do it with Diane?
The first scene I auditioned with Diane Keaton first, yeah.
Are you as impulsive as this character seems to be?
Sometimes, sometimes, yeah. I tend to leave impulsively.
Would you say that intimacy is the real issue of this film and that it's a universal theme for men and women?
Yes, I would say that. Some people speak of this film as being age oriented, but I would say that it's ageless oriented, personally. Yeah, I think that it's about taking a risk, opening up and somehow it seems so terrifying to open oneself up to another, and I think that we see these two beautiful, brave people in this film, Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, just kind of open up to each other. We get to enjoy it and see it on screen.
Your character intuitively sort of knows the emotions of this woman. Do you think that people don't have that in real life?
I played a character that I feel had a lot of life experience and playing a doctor, I think that he's had an objective point of view of people and I think that that informed who he was and he's a sensitive guy. I think that if you pay attention to someone that you love, you're going to get them.
Do you think that he told her that?
I mean, he has a line. He says, 'Isn't it great that I'm not intimidated by your brilliance?' No, it's 'How great is it for you that I'm not intimidated by your brilliance?' He gets her, and in that line, he's saying, 'I recognize that this must be hard for you, that other people might be intimidated by your brilliance and I see that it's isolating for you,' and he's like, 'Baby, you ain't alone because I love how brilliant you are.' So, I think that he is telling her that he gets her.
Do you feel that age plays a role in relationships?
I think that you're naive if you think that it doesn't, but I think that it doesn't matter at the same time. It's like one of those kinds of interpersonal things, and I think that if you're are connecting with someone, it's like, 'Don't you know that I'm,' and they're like, 'Yeah.'
Can you talk about Diane Keaton? She said she was scared about your love scene, and that you helped her?
She's great. I guess that in terms of playing the role and being there that it's okay. 'Yeah, we're going to be okay.' I mean, it's nerve racking. Kissing someone is pretty intimate, actually, very intimate and your heart always kind of skips a beat before you do that, but with my character, it was okay. My character kind of takes her and asks her. He kind of puts his hand on her and says, 'Do you want to kiss because it's going to be alright.'
What did you think of how Jack and Diane worked and behaved?
Behaved. 'How are you behaving today, Jack?' 'Well, Keanu, however I want.' [Laughter] That was a good lesson to learn. They're both professionally and personally gracious and wonderful people and unique and in terms of speaking of differences, I think that I'll speak about what's the same. There's not beating [around the bush]. It's just cutting to the chase. They're consummate professionals, incredibly awesome at what they do and any moment that I got to share with them, I felt lucky to be there because they were just great people and really talented artists.
How does it feel to be on the cover of 'Mad' magazine?
Am I on the cover of 'Mad' magazine? Do you have one, right now? You don't have one?
They're satirizing you and Al Pacino.
Oh, fantastic! That's awesome, awesome. I remember that they satirized 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure' and I remember speaking with Alex Winter who I performed with in that, and we were like, 'Yeah!' That's awesome.
Do you feel the same about 'Newsweek'?
Well, it depends on what level you're talking about.
What about the fallout from 'The Matrix' now that it's over?
Fallout? Where's the shelter?
Are you glad it's over like Ewan McGregor was talking about he's glad he did it, but also glad that the eight years of work have come to an end?
How many years, eight years? Good God, maybe he and I can go to the hotel bar and reminisce about being in trilogies. 'Oh my God, can you believe?'
'I know, it's mad, isn't it? We're so lucky it's mad.'
Do you think that it was a dangerous thing to go and do a trilogy?
Not at all. I think that they're wonderful films and I'll speak about them until I croak and I loved them. I had a great experience.
What do you think about the comments that the third and second films were not as well received as the first?
They weren't? I disagree, I disagree. I think that they were embraced differently. Sometimes, you have a morning hug, an afternoon hug, you get a goodnight hug. I think that these films, I mean, if you remember way back when in '99 when the first 'Matrix' came out, it took awhile. It was not a critically acclaimed film and it was a kind of underground cult film that became popular and I think that ‘Reloaded' and 'Revolutions' kind of continue on in that tradition. Critically, they were not embraced. Though, when you tend to speak to people who have seen them a couple of times, and later on go, 'I saw Reloaded again, it's really good,' or not, but my experience has been that if you spend some time with the films, and time goes by, you kind of feel differently. I mean, if you didn't get it or if
you didn't feel like you enjoyed it, sometimes that experience can change.
How do you feel about the aspect of you being portrayed as something you don't feel that you are?
I'm not a great fan of speaking about myself, but I love speaking about the films that I act in especially if I enjoy them.
How do you deal with a society that doesn't believe in the private life of any actor?
I try to do it graciously.
Have you seen the biography that they did on you?
I haven't, I haven't.
What do you think about it?
I was told that they were doing a biography on 'Biography' and you hope that it's done in good taste, and you hope that it's good. I have no hope for it, actually. I don't really care. I don't care, whatever. That's something that's kind of orbital and something that kind of exists outside of what I do, and I'm not going to get hired or not hired, or my relationship with a director or another actor isn't going to be based on, 'I was going to work with you, but I saw your biography, and kid, I just don't' Hopefully, those kinds of things, you hope that people aren't climbing your walls to take a picture of you walking to your kitchen, and that's the only thing that you hope, that people conduct themselves in respectful manner in the world.
People have done that to you, haven't they?
(Sarcastically) Oh yeah, they've climbed walls.
Were you committed to Constantine a long time ago?
No, I was working in Australia and working on 'The Matrix' films and just trying to develop work for afterwards and this script came and worked on the script and worked with Warner Brothers and some of the execs there, and writers, Akiva Goldsman came on as one of the producers and so, he's done some writing and it took about a year, and right now, we're about six weeks in.
Is it a comic book?
Yes, it's coming from a comic book series, from a character from Alan Moore. I think that it was introduced in 'Swamp Thing'.
What's the take on the character?
His relationship to God. I guess that it's ultimately it's his relationship to the world. It's a guy who's got anger and ambivalence. There's a line in it, 'God has a plan for all of us, and some people like it, some people don't.' That's kind of a Constantinian take on it. Some people like it and John Constantine doesn't like it, but he likes it.
Do you think that it's going to be commercial because that's a dark comic series?
Well, I mean, we have a character. We're hoping to make a PG-13 film, but
it's also a character who after he goes to Gabriel and finds out that there's no way. I'm playing a character who's damned and he's trying to escape hell and he goes to Gabriel and he's like, 'Come on, I'm taking demons out of little girls. Who's that for?' Gabriel is saying, 'Well, you don't believe.' I go, 'I believe for Christ sake.' He goes, 'No, you know. You don't have faith.'
He's an ex-priest?
I don't know. It depends on what story you’re telling. In this one, he wasn't and after that, he goes and you see my character with scratches on his back and he's drinking some whiskey and he's just made love to the demon. So, you know, we're trying for PG-13. My feet are on the floor of the bed, he's under the covers.
So, that's not exactly like making love to Diane Keaton in this movie?
What do you think are some of the cons about getting involved with another franchise?
I don't know about cons. I don't know about that. I mean the business side of it and the storytelling side of it; if we're fortunate enough and it all comes together and we make an interesting, enjoyable film, I'll be really happy. I'm having a really positive experience right now. I'm working with some incredible artists. We have a remarkable DP. I'm working with Francis Lawrence who's very talented, has a fresh vision, a great storyteller. I'm doing a script with Akiva Goldsman, an Oscar award winner. He's one of the best writers in town. I'm working with Rachel Weisz and Tilda Swinton is acting in it. We've got some incredible set direction and we've got one of the best crews that I've ever worked with. We're telling a righteous story and something that I think is cool about adjusting one's place in the world and if we're lucky enough to entertain folks and that they dig it and whoever says, 'Keanu, do you want to do that again,' we'll see. Whether that turns into a franchise, and lunch boxes, I doubt it, but hopefully, if we can make a good film, I don't know.
How is it to come to a decision to make a film as an actor at this point? Do you agonize over it?
Often, you have a gut reaction. I have a gut reaction to the material that I'm dealing with and if there's something, like, with this, 'Something's Gotta Give', when I read this script, I was like, 'This is one of the best scripts that I've ever read, period.' In terms of working with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, there was the role of Dr. Mercer and I was like, 'Call someone,' and I got to meet on it. So, the script and the story and the character and your feeling, I guess.
Are you often in the position of looking for work or are the scripts piled
up for you?
Yeah, you're always looking for good material. I mean, I love acting. So, look at Jack Nicholson. He's sixty six years old, I think, and he's making movies. He's doing his thing. Does Jack Nicholson have to go and make a
movie? That's what we do. I guess that's our life.
Did you get to talk with Jack much or get any advice from him about the business?
Actually, last night, it was great. Nancy Meyers had a dinner and Jack was there, and I was speaking, we were speaking about the film and the process and Nancy Meyers tends to, she likes to let the camera roll and I was speaking to Jack about that, and he was like, 'Yeah, even when I was starting out,' he said, 'I would always tell the operator, Give him a slow cut,' because sometimes, the directors will say, 'Cut,' or the first A.D. will say cut, and the operator because of the cost of film will just flip the switch and so, what Nicholson was saying was that because some things happen at the end of the take, that is the thing, and so, he was like, 'I always asked for a slow cut,' and I got that because sometimes, you know, that's experience. That's someone who's like, 'If you give them a slow cut, I like do that thing,' and he was saying that you get to express something off, more of that other thing, you get to express something that might not be on the page, but that might be a part of the character, and I was thinking about that, and I was like, 'He's right again.'
Would you ever audition for Stratford again?
I auditioned for Stratford like four years in a row.
But that's when you were known?
No, that's when I was young. I was like sixteen. Yes, I mean, I hope that that's something in my life, actually. I like that production too. It was good, straight ahead 'Hamlet', I thought.
Is it possible at this point in your career to sit back and be a couch potato or do you feel compelled to honour your temple, so to speak?
I feel honoured to honour the temple of my body. I mean, yes and no. It's something that won't do the training that I did for that film. I'm kind of making it up as I go along.
Do you believe in true love and soul mates and all of that?
Sure. Yeah, I agree.
Are you a hopeless romantic?
I don't know. Am I a hopeless romantic? It's fun to be hopelessly in love. It's dangerous, but it's fun.
When you were in Paris, was it romantic?
It is indeed.
Had you been there before?
I had worked there before. I worked there on 'Dangerous Liaisons'.
Do people know you when you're there?
Sometimes, once in a while. I get recognized once in a while, but not that often.
Reeves Offers Constantine Hints
Keanu Reeves—who stars in Constantine, based on the DC/Vertigo comic series Hellblazer—told SCI FI Wire that his character is conflicted about his God-given mission on Earth. Constantine is entering its seventh week of principal photography in Los Angeles under director Francis Lawrence.
Reeves' character, supernatural detective John Constantine, is "a guy who's angry and ambivalent," Reeves said. "There's a line in it: 'God has a plan for all of us. Some people like it, and some people don't.' That's kind of my Constantinian take on it. Some people like it. John Constantine doesn't like it, but he likes it." ["huh?" -krix]
Reeves acknowledged that the character and the story are dark, but not so dark as to preclude delivering a piece of commercial entertainment. "Well, we're hoping to make a PG-13 film," he said. "I'm playing a character who is damned, and he's trying to escape hell. He goes to Gabriel [Tilda Swinton] and says, 'Come on, I'm taking demons out of little girls. Who's that for?' Gabriel says, 'Well, you don't believe.' I go, 'I believe, for Christ's sake!' He says, 'No, you don't. You know you don't have faith.' After that [encounter with Gabriel], you see my character with scratches on his back, and he's drinking some whiskey, and he's just made love with a demon. So we're trying to deliver a PG-13 film. My feet are on the floor by the bed, and she's under the covers." Warner Brothers will release Constantine, which also stars Rachel Weisz and Shia LeBeouf, in 2004.
A whole 'nuther kind of demon ride, eh? Rwowwrrr....
DC Comics will be publishing adaptations of the upcoming Catwoman and Constantine films from Warner Bros., DC's Dan DiDio told The Continuum.
"It would seem kind of silly not to," said DiDio, DC's VP -- publishing, at Wizard World Texas on Sunday.
DiDio said the creative teams and formats have not been finalized yet. It's possible that instead of simply a film-to-comic translation, the books will contain features and other materials, similar to DC's ongoing Smallville comic.
DC has comics based on all three of its current television shows, Smallville on The WB, Justice League on Cartoon Network and Teen Titans on Cartoon Network and Kids' WB!.
Neither Catwoman nor Constantine has a release date yet. Both films are currently in production and will likely be summer releases. DiDio said the adaptations would come out just before the movies.
As always, John and Ade are the voices of reason.
Also, AleXXei shares this:
Lauren Shuler Donner talks (Yahoo News)
(...) " Fans also have been vocal about "Constantine," whose comicbook premise of a chain-smoking, hard-drinking con artist and occultist with real magical knowledge is about as far removed from superheroes as you can get. Aficionados' foremost concern is the recasting of the comics' very English John Constantine as an American."
But Shuler Donner, who believes fans will be happy with Reeves, says the character's bad attitude and irreverence has survived intact. "It's extremely close in spirit. John Constantine is a really unique character because he walks the line between good and bad, between hell and heaven. He doesn't care if he's liked."
"Keanu Reeves is rad. Yeah, people say his a bad actor, POINT BREAK sucked, "I am an FBI agent..." blah, blah, blah ... and I am tired of it. Got booked to work this 5:30pm to 5:30am movie on a rush call and I had know idea I was stepping into Reeve's next MATRIX-like blockbuster. This film is about a guy who fights demon's or something, but I was mostly impressed by Keanu's work ethic. No entourage, no hullabaloo, no BS. He gets dropped off in an SUV, and he works. He doesn't have people bringing him his food, or smoking his cigarettes for him. He is there in every sense of the word. In fact, he was working in a scene THAT HE WASN'T EVEN IN. Rachel Weisz needed an eyeline, and rather then have someone else do it, Keanu stood BEHIND the camera so she could actually look at him for the shot. He didn't do this once or twice, he did it like fifteen times. And when one of the extra's was given a line, Keanu and Co. were very cordial to him. And best of all, I think the beautiful Rachel Weisz gave me the eye a few times but I can't be sure.
I spent a decent amount of time on this shoot in my car (I keep getting booked with it) talking on the phone to various people."
That sounds like our guy.
-from movieweb, via the hellforums, thanks duda!
Producer Lauren Shuler Donner talks Constantine in this Chicago Sun-Times article
As if saving mankind from machines wasn't enough. Now Keanu Reeves must go to hell to save our souls.
The star of this weekend's revolutionary No. 1 hit, "The Matrix Revolutions," isn't out partying, but busy on the set of his 2004 film "Constantine."
"Basically, Keanu sends demons to hell in this one," says producer Lauren Shuler Donner. "The twist is that he goes there too to make sure the job is done."
She says filming is about a third of the way through on the Los Angeles set. "Tilda Swinton is coming out this week to do her role, plus there is a lot of creature stuff left to do," the producer divulges.
"It's not an origin story of the character," played by Keanu Reeves, Donner said in an interview while promoting her next movie, Timeline. "It's 'Dangerous Habits,' if you know the Hellblazer [series]."
"Dangerous Habits," the 1994 graphic novel by Irish writer Garth Ennis, focuses on John Constantine, a magician faced with death from lung cancer, who finds himself straddling the line between life and death, heaven and hell. "We're filming," Donner said. "We're about a third into it. It's come along great. And it'll be out next year, probably, well, at the moment, September."
And thanks to AleXXei over at the hellforums for a translation of this part of an interview with Keanu on the Brasilian site, SetOnline.
SET - You are filming "Constantine". John Constantine (star of the Hellblazer comics) is one of my favorite characters in the comics.
KEANU - - He is fantastic, incredible character...
SET - Aren´t you worried about the reaction of the fans for not being English as Constantine?
KEANU - Ah, I believe that it really goes to be a problem in the beginning, but I hope that the spirit of the character and the way as I interpret him make people to observe the essence of it, although he is not English nor blond.
SET - The director spoke that he has a Sid Vicious attitude.
KEANU - John Constantine is a fuck*** son of bitch. (laughs)
SET - Are you going to give the finger for the demon?
KEANU - YEAH! Yes, yes, man I will do that, I will do everything. Very funny. (laughs).
Thanks to J. White from the hellforums for this part of a recent interview:
IS IT TRUE YOU WANT TO TAKE A BREAK FROM ACTING?
KR: Well, they didn't start with me. It's not true. I'm working right now on a project and that project goes on until January. I'm focusing on that right now. It's called Constantine. I play John Constantine. It's awesome. And even though I'm not English, I'm not worried about it, although I'm sure it's going to be an issue. But hopefully I can capture the spirit of the character. Since I'm not blonde and English, I hope people see the essence of the guy.
AND WHAT INTRIGUES YOU ABOUT THAT?
KR: On what level? I've read a few of the comics, but I really like that guy. The character of Constantine, I like his ambivalence. I like his vitality. I like his darkness. I like his anger. I really like his anger, but I also love his kind of underlying grace, his underlying love for humanity. I love him as a figure as someone who is just someone as kind of like the ultimate presentation of the existential kind of like 'God is dead.' It literalizes a kind of heaven and hell and a kind of Catholic background and he's saying, 'The nine deities, the nine devils, all of you get out of here, just leave us alone,' and he's kind of like the ultimate man without, man within without all of the other kind of entities. I love that dialogue because he finds something else out in that quest. He finds something out about himself and his humanity.
CONSTANTINE? TELL ME ABOUT HIM.
KR: He's an exorcist. A man who is trying to unravel a mystery about a kind of hell on earth and he's kind of trapped because he committed suicide as a kid cause he could see through the veil of reality, he could see demons and angels, half-breed, half demons, half angels. He's trying to find a way so when he dies, he doesn't have to go to hell.
Looks like there's going to be some backstory there that doesn't come from the comic....
Thanks to Wrygrass for this scan from October's Starburst Magazine...
Shelly has unearthed some more set photos of Keanu on the set of Constantine.
I've cropped out smaller versions of two of the pics, you can click on them for the full image. These are definitely not movie stills though, so if you like to keep that "movie magic" notion in tact, you may decide to skip the full shot and just notice that his hair looks good and leave it at that.
I do have to say that I totally dig ConJob's choice of sockware.
I'm officially all creamy over Constantine.
I went and bought 17 issues of Hellblazer (current one back to #170) today and will be spending a good part of the weekend reading. I also bought #1, because it was there and how could I not?
Also, focusing on Hellblazer keeps me distracted from the fact that some people already have their Reloaded DVDs and I have to wait until Tuesday.
There's a nice little "welcome Keanu fans" thread over at the hellforums, and I'm sure if you have any questions, they can answer them.
Apparently, the leak of the Constantine set photos lit a bit of a fire under WB's promo team and now the Straight to Hell site has some official pics and a comment from the director.
"Constantine has a hardboiled detective edge and a punk Sid Vicious attitude; he smokes, he drinks and is sarcastic and wry. He's not a blond Englishman but the heart of the character, the attitude and the period he invokes is intact, as this was the most important thing for me to maintain."
The hellserver is taking a beating at the moment and I can't even get to the big versions of the pics (or maybe I'm being punished) but check the movie news section here for smaller versions and links to the hi-res ones.
This one is going to be my new personal wallpaper.
Well, both his hair and his coat are darker than I'm sure the forums will like, but here is our first look at Keanu on the Constantine set.
I think the look of the movie John Constatine is great. In a non-british, dark-haired, different-coat-but-they-got-the-sloppy-necktie/collar-thing-perfect-and-I'm-still-looking-forward-to-seeing-how-the-tattoos-fit-in sort of way.
The look absolutely conveys the feel of the character.
Adoring Keanu as I do and being a new fan of the comic, it's easy to accept this version. And his body language speaks to me. I think he's going to embrace the bastard just fine.
Ooooh, I'm excited about this again.
Thank you to Shelly for these!
Ashton fans, check out her site at Ashton-Kutcher.net!
Update: More pics from Shelly can be found over at Club-Keanu's Gallery.
In another step forward in bridging the gap between Keanu fans and Hellblazer fans, the wonderful Funk has done this nice thing:
"As promised, I've scanned in three issues of Garth Ennis' Hellblazer run so visitors to your site can see what the original John Constantine is like. They're by no means the BEST Constantine stories ever written, but they do give a good indication of his character, and are certainly entertaining reads. [note from krix--The issues are really intense, and not for those not down with a little gore or with otherwise delicate sensibilities. Just so you know.]
If you're worried about having the movie spoiled for you, DON'T BE. Aside from Ellie and Chas, I honestly don't think there's anything in this storyline that will be repeated in the movie.
Chronologically, the issues come inbetween the DANGEROUS HABITS and FEAR AND LOATHING books. They've never been reprinted or collected, so this is the only way to read them without buying them second-hand. There's a plot summary of the story so far on the History page if you feel lost.
If you only have the time to read one issue, I'd make it #60, "Nativity Infernal". #59 is very expository, and #61 wraps up the arc whereas "Nativity Infernal" is almost standalone.
I've also made a mini-site that gives some background to the Hellblazer comic and the individual issues in question. I'd love it if everyone who visits the page can at least browse through it because it took me HOURS to make (no, really!)
Feel free to pass the link around to as many people as possible, and encourage them to do the same. And please, if you've enjoyed these issues, pick up a copy of Hellblazer from your local shop, or pop over to the Straight To Hell boards for a chat."
Michael Uslan had a whole boatload of news on the Warner Brother/DC movie front, which is good since they've been pretty much dormant so far. "I'll mention that we begin shooting 'Constantine' tomorrow...fantastic, fantastic script," enthused Uslan. "And I have to especially credit the people who have done such a good job, it's taken years to get this going...Lauren Shuler Donner, Lorenzo DiBonaventura. This is gonna be a good one, folks, it really is."
By the way, I will be reporting on his hair color this weekend.
Nothing there yet, but big love to Adrian Brown from the insane rantings forum for the info.
Here are some recommendations for any of you who want to read some Hellblazer, courtesy James at the insane rantings forum. And there are notes as to which may or may not be related to the film for those of you who are avoiding that type of thing.
ORIGINAL SINS by JAMIE DELANO (collects issues 1-9) ---The first nine issues, of which some plot ideas (Papa Midnite, the fly demon) have been borrowed. I doubt that the actual PLOT will have much to do with it though. As for the quality of the book: too much purple prose, but fine stories all the same. Sadly, Delano's later, better stories (Mourning of the Magician for example) were never collected. The first plot arc ran from issue 4 to issue 12 so the book ends on an unresolved cliffhanger. Also, some plots interweave with the Swamp Thing comic that was out at the same time. Not recommended for beginners.
DANGEROUS HABITS by GARTH ENNIS (collects 41-46)
---John Constantine discovers that he has terminal lung cancer. But when you're hated by both Heaven and Hell, where do you turn? +++Great story; the basis for part of the plot of the film.
FEAR AND LOATHING by GARTH ENNIS (collects 62-67)
---After forty years of dabbling with the occult, John's grown weary of constantly watching his back. Now he's forsaken magic for the love of his life, Kit Ryan. But trouble has a habit of seeking out Constantine, and amateur magicians, questioning angels and neo-Nazis threaten to tear his life apart. Can Constantine escape with his body, soul and heart intact? +++The TPBs miss out 16 issues of Garth Ennis' run, which means you'll miss out on the growing relationship between John and Kit. Ellie appears a bit in this one (it contains the birthday issue with Mange), as does Gabriel. I doubt much of this plotline will make it to the movie, however.
TAINTED LOVE by GARTH ENNIS (collects 68-71, Hellblazer special 1, Vertigo Jam story)
---Homeless and helpless on the streets of London, John Constantine soaks his sorrows in cheap booze and tries to forget his past. But his past has not forgotten him, and The King of the Vampires is stalking the streets in search of the fallen magus...+++Great storyline that probably won't make complete sense unless you know that John had a transfusion of blood way back in the Original Sins book. Also, The King of The Vampires first appeared in issue 50, one of Ennis' uncollected issues. None of this will be in the movie, I'm sure.
DAMNATION'S FLAME by GARTH ENNIS (collects 72-77)
---After pulling himself together, John Constantine heads for a much-deserved break in New York. But the Big Apple has a rotten core, and an old foe named Papa Midnite is about to send John on a vision quest into America's dark shadow. With his soul lost in limbo and his body at the mercy of street thugs, Constantine will have to procure the help of a VERY dead Kennedy to survive.+++Papa Midnite returns, but in a plot which seemingly has nothing to do with the movie (here he's a very sinister villain, whilst the movie seems to want to use him as a good guy). An excellent allegorical tale. Also contains two other stories, neither of which are involved in the movie.
RAKE AT THE GATES OF HELL by GARTH ENNIS (collects 78-83)
---London's burning, and the Devil has come to take his due. Race riots, lost loves, gruesome deaths and bad poetry come together in this final arc by Garth Ennis. With help from a young girl Constantine accidentally condemned to Hell many years ago, The First of the Fallen has found a way out of the deadlock John tricked him into, and he intends to take the magus' soul in the most gruesome way possible. +++THIS VOLUME IS NOT YET RELEASED. It should be out by now, but I think the cover artist is taking his time. Hopefully out next year. I suspect that several plot points from the Constantine movie are taken from this book, though I don't know enough to confirm or deny that suspicion. Generally speaking, if you want to remain unspoiled for the movie - give this one a miss, whenever it comes out. Definitely worth reading once you've seen the movie and read the rest of Ennis' stories though.
HAUNTED by WARREN ELLIS (collects 134-139)
---A freak coincidence puts John Constantine on the cae of a mutilated and murdered ex-girlfriend - but as he travels further and further into London's magical underground, it becomes clear that he is as much responsible for her death as the man who did the deed...+++Dark, dark stuff. Not connected with the movie in any way whatsoever, so definitely worth reading if you're interested in the character. Not for the squeamish, though.
HARD TIME by BRIAN AZZARELLO (collects 146-150)
---No smokes, no power, no money... no chance? John Constantine faces up to life in an American prison after being brought down on a murder charge. But who did he kill, and why? And will he live long enough for us to find out?+++Okayish plotline from the worst Hellblazer writer. English readers will wince at the Dick-van-Dyke accents, but fans of prison dramas such as Oz may find some enjoyment. Nothing to do with the movie.
GOOD INTENTIONS by BRIAN AZZARELLO (collects 151-156)
---Hoping to find some peace from the ghost that follows him, John Constantine travels to the little town of Doglick, West Virginia. Here, John hopes to make peace with the wife of Lucky, the man whose death sent him to prison. But Doglick holds man dark secrets... the kind men would kill over.+++Absolutely preposterous plotline. Nothing to do with the movie, but not worth buying. Get Freezes Over (below).
FREEZES OVER by BRIAN AZZARELLO (collects 157-163)
A mythical killer stalks the trapped residents of a backwoods saloon, and the only one who seems to know what's really going on is John Constantine...+++Good collection this; the Freezes Over storyline is solid, and the two-part second story ("Lapdogs and Englishmen") is entertaining too. Nothing to do with the movie, so highly recommended.
I've spent part of the day over at the insane rantings forum, and the folks over there have been really cool.
No, they haven't embraced Keanu as ConJob yet, but give me time...*wink*
I did ask for some advice regarding introducing new fans (us) to Hellblazer and here's what they say:
"So...wait a minute! You mean hearing about Keanu Reeves in this movie actually brought fans to the Hellblazer book?!"
Of course. At least it did with me. I hope that by the time the movie is out several of you keanuvision readers will be making regular stops at the local comic shop to check out the newest issue.
ChristianCage777 also says:
"Personally, I wanted to get a point of view for fans of Keanu Reeves or this movie as relates to comic books. My friend at the comic shop told me that he gets alot of new business right when the movie-themed comic comes out, but then they read current issues of, let's use Daredevil, and figure out that the comic and the movie are not exactly the same. Then, they stop caring about the comics.
Realizing that Hellblazer is even a much more FAR cry from the comic than the Marvel movies have been, I personally feel that this movie would not net many new 'Blazer readers."
Like I've said, I'm now a fan of Hellblazer regardless of what happens in the movie. And I've never read Daredevil, but I did suffer through the movie and would think that the comic being different is a GOOD THING.
I mentioned to them that some Keanu fans might not be reading Hellblazer for fear of spoilery...
L. M. Rosa pish-poshes:
"Tell those fans that the movie isn't borrowing any storyline or plot from the comics, so they're SPOILER-free... i think...
... and they'd should give Hellblazer a try, since it's an outstanding comic book...
[...] there are several tpb's collecting whole arcs and complete stories, which is best for newbies... that's a good start, and from there they can start collecting the monthly... the back-issues, they buy them as they show up...
Adrian Brown comes through with some titles to look for if you do want to know more about the characters and storyline:
"I'd say that there are certain characters whose story is being told in the film, and people might want to check out those issues.
Comics with Papa Midnite and Ellie would probably give no spoilers, but "Balthazar" or First of the Fallen as we call him sounds rather close to the story that is being posed for John (if not the Angie/John connection).
Because of similarities with Garth Ennis's run, the best stories to get a feel for the character in the film are those collected in "Freezes Over" and "Haunted" trade paperbacks which ought to be on Amazon.com"
Big Love to jmcmahon, the gentleman in charge of the site as well.
Here's some info on some of the characters they are still looking to cast for Constantine. I put the majority of it in the extended entry as it might be considered spoilery to some.
A film adaptation of the classic Vertigo comic book "Hellblazer".
"Constantine" will star Keanu Reeves as John Constantine, a world-traveling,
mage-like misfit who investigates supernatural mysteries, walking a thin
line between evil and good. He teams up with a female police detective
named Angela Dodson, who seeks Constantine's help while investigating the
suicide-like death of her twin sister Isabel.
The investigation takes Constantine and Angela through the world of demons
and angels that exists just beneath the landscape of contemporary Los
Production will begin on September 22, 2003.
CAST MEMBERS: Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz
PRODUCERS: Lauren Shuler Donner ("X-Men") and Richard Donner ("Lethal
DIRECTOR: Francis Lawrence
The film's casting directors are looking to fill a wide variety of principal
and background roles.
MALE ROLES FOR THIS FILM:
[Chaz], Caucasian, 20s - 30s. A tough, shadowy L.A. cab driver and one of
John Constantine's oldest friends. Chaz has some ties to illegal activitiy,
but is making an effort to stay out of crime. Even though his wife does not
like Constantine, Chaz and Constantine are very close. They would do almost
anything for one another in a crisis. PRINCIPAL ROLE
(Hmmm, maybe Shia LeBouf isn't cast after all? it seems he'd fit better in the role right below--krix)
[Beeman], Caucasian, 20s. A highly intelligent, offbeat young guy who
assists Constantine with special information and occult artifacts. He's a
bit skinny and unimposing, but makes up for it with his mind. Beeman reads
to Constatine and Angela from an ancient scroll, which explains what
supernatural troubles they must save the world from. This character has
been described as a "Seth Green type". PRINCIPAL ROLE
[Morgue Security Guard], any ethnicity, 30s - 40s. An eccentric, reclusive
man who works at night. Nervous and high-strung.
[Balthazar], any ethnicity, 30s - 40s. One of the three emperors of Hell
who Constantine discovers is behind a series of crimes being committed
around the world. Balthazar is one of the main villains of the film.
[Criminal], Middle Eastern, 20s - 30s. He escapes from a Turkish prison.
Slight, muscular, lean, not scruffy. He possesses the relic of the spear.
He tries to kill Angela and gets in a fight with Constantine.
[Father Garret], Caucasian, 40s - 60s. Angela's highly spiritual and kind
priest. He is seen in confession with Angela and again at the theological
society where Angela asks for her twin sister Isabel to get a proper
Catholic burial. PRINCIPAL ROLE
[Busboy], any ethnicity, 20s - 30s. Hard-working, clean-cut young busboy at
[Korean Man], 30s.
FEMALE ROLES FOR THIS FILM:
[Ellie], Caucasian, 20s - 30s. An alluring and seductive woman known as a
"Succubus", a female demon that seduces men while they sleep. She is the
only Succubus to ever mate with an angel. She is pretty and vulnerable yet
can also be volatile. Ellie has a love-hate relationship with John
Constantine (Reeves). PRINCIPAL ROLE
[Crazed Woman], any ethnicity, 20s - 30s. A neurotic, loud woman who
becomes the victim of supernatural forces. Constantine tries to help her.
[Attractive Girl], any ethnicity, 18 - 20s. Glamorous, flirtatious L.A.
[Church Attendant], any ethnicity, 30s - 40s. Old-fashioned, quiet,
level-headed, down-to-earth woman.
[Filipino Mother], Filipino, 30s - 40s.
Thanks to poster Adrian Brown at the insane rantings forum
(via the insanerantings.com forum)
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Bush lead singer Gavin Rossdale and Djimon Hounsou (Amistad, Gladiator) are joining the cast of "Constantine".
Rossdale will play Balthazar, a nemesis of John Constantine, while Hounsou will star as Papa Midnite, the owner of an occult club who was once a demon fighter like Constantine but is now trying to get out of the business.
I haven't had any coffee yet, but I have nothing snarky to say about any of this.
No good can come of this.
"The Hellblazer adaptation called Constantine is going through rewrites. Frank Cappello's script is being rewritten by Akiva Goldsman who is also a producer on the project. Why? Warner Bros want Constantine to be a PG-13 movie and Goldsman is toning down the darker elements of the story. He did a similar job last year on the Batman/Superman crossover that was in the works."
Do a Google groups search on Akiva Goldsman and share my misery.
(I'm going to put a few of the films that Mr. Goldsman has written (or re-written) on my Netflix queue and watch them. And I may do some research on that Batman/Superman project and try and find out if it's the re-write that's stalling that picture, and if so, why?)
Yesterday, in BAD SIGNAL, Warren Ellis dropped this quote from HIGH CONCEPT, the biography of "dead film producer and epic drug abuser" Don Simpson (clarification-this is not to say that Warren was speaking of the Constantine film, it was just a "happy coincidence"):
"The pursuit of making money is the only reason to make movies.
"We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make a statement. Our obligation is to make money, and to make money, it may be necessary to make *history*. To make money, it may be important to make *art*, or some significant *statement*. To make money, it may be important to win the Academy Award, for it might mean another ten million dollars at the box office. Our only objective is to make money, but in order to make money, we must always make entertaining movies."
Entertaining being in the eye of the beholder. So often the eye of the lowest common denominator. The wasted youth with disposable income that've been weaned on PS2, American Pie movies and an MTV that doesn't even play videos anymore. So now the video directors have to make movies. Visual Ritalin.
So I'm back to dreading what the Hollywood machine is going to do to this movie.
I'm sure it will be entertaining.
From Lisa Gerrard's website:
Lisa has been working on this VERY dark soundtrack for a few weeks now. If the first track is anything to go by this going to be one of the darkest works Lisa ever did. The film is directed by Francis Lawrence and John Constantine is played by Keanu Reeves.
John Constantine the antihero and magician is a very interesting character his story really starts after the death of King Arthur, when Merlin sought the man known as Kon-sten-tyn and helped him become the new King of Britain, but Kon-sten-tyn was very determined not to rule under Merlins commands and so the trouble started. There is a family tree and a lot of good information on John Constantine and Hellblazer at the Straight To Hell website. Not to sure how much John Constantine will or has been changed for the film, but let's hope that the core of Constantine will remain intact.
No matter what this film puts Lisa in front of a vast darkness and (heavenly) light filled canvas and Francis Lawrence's prior work shows a strong sinister, dark and mysteries dimension. Keanu Reeves is well suited for the part, let's just hope that he reads Hellblazer and portrays John Constantine as the heavily smoking antihero he is. But probably the most important point with a character like John Constantine is to hope that nobody is actually expecting a PG-13 rating.
Warren Ellis, who has authored many issues of Hellblazer (some of the best of the ones that I have read), finally talks about the upcoming Constantine in today's BAD SIGNAL:
"Anyway. And then I ended up drinking with Tilda Swinton. This was one of those weird moments; she kept saying "serendipitous," which is not a word I would attempt after mixing that much whisky and beer. She's just been offered the part of the angel Gabriel in CONSTANTINE, the film of the comics series HELLBLAZER, which I wrote for a year. So we had an hour of discussing the character, the book, the selection of Keanu Reeves (which is actually a big part of her interest. I've always said that Reeves is a better actor than anyone gives him credit for -- watch him carefully, and you'll see him deliberately creating a space for other actors to work in), and the possibilities in the role in relationship to America today. She said something I found fascinating: in an America where a president again invokes the term Evil in public statements, there's the potential to say something very interesting in a major-studio film about Biblical good and evil. To present the angel Gabriel as a figure of horror; there's space to say something that in the mainstream of American culture is certainly subversive. She characterised Reeves as an intelligent, "spiritual" man, and thinks there might be the possibility, with Reeves there, to do something challenging.
This, by the way, is the answer to the almost-daily emails asking what I think of Keanu Reeves cast as Constantine. First; the film is never going to be the same as the comic. American or English, the film will succeed if it's true to the core of the man, because that's what hooks people into the book. Nicolas Cage, I maintain, would have made a good Constantine because he can do the ravaged, shattered side of the man. I think Reeves is an interesting choice because he can get at the other part of Constantine, the part that demands social justice and exists in ethical turmoil. His partner for the story is being played by Rachel Weisz, whom people seem to have forgotten can act -- she broke out of British television in the same piece as Ewan McGregor, THE SCARLET AND THE BLACK. With Tilda Swinton as Gabriel, this is all far from a bad proposition.
But, of course, I haven't read the script.
Reading this from someone so close to the property really gives me a new hope and enthusiasm for this movie. Nice to hear him say good things about Keanu as well. And I like the way he puts it: "deliberately creating a space for other actors to work in". A very good way to describe Keanu's non-scenery-chewing approach to his craft and generosity that many that have worked with him can attest to, and his critics seem to mistake for something lacking in his ability.
"From a number of sources, FilmJerk.com has learned that Rachel Weisz has been cast in Warner Bros.’ “Constantine,” an adaptation of the DC Comic comic book “Hellblazer.” Weisz, who was last seen in “The Shape of Things” and “Confidence” – as well as the upcoming fall films “Envy” and “the Runaway Jury” – will be playing Angela, the lead female role. Reeves and Weisz previously co-starred together in the ill-fated 1996 film "Chain Reaction."
I can't wait to tell eddieshirt. They worked together, you know.
Keanu Refuses To Lighten Up
August 1, 2003 (WENN via COMTEX) -- THE MATRIX hero KEANU REEVES is refusing to bleach his hair blond for an upcoming movie role. The naturally dark-haired actor has been urged by producers of CONSTANTINE to go lighter, but he is not convinced.
A movie insider tells British tabloid THE DAILY EXPRESS, "Keanu has tried on various blond wigs and thinks he looks absolutely stupid."
Esqueeze me, when did Keanu become concerned about his looks when it came to a role? This is the guy that shaved everything for the Matrix, and then went out and played gigs. Frankly, I can't see him getting all diva over a little frost-n-tip.
Let's look at some questionable movie do's, shall we?
Little Buddha was a screamfest of bad hair don'ts, this one being the one that squicks me out most.
Oh, no...He doesn't look like a cross between a goth Nancy Reagan and a crackhead June Cleaver here at all.
Then there's Marlon. Whose bad hair was completely intentional and part of the character.
But it's still pretty fucking bad.
(Actually, I just watched ILYTD last weekend, and a bigger affront to fashion is Marlon's pants)
OH! And don't get me started on the roadkill they strapped to his head at the end of Feeling Minnesota.
This one is a good argument that "YES! of course the blonde wigs looked stupid. ALL WIGS LOOK STUPID." But a gradual lightening won't be a shock and it would work.
It's not like he's weird about his hair, from fan reports and pictures from Oregon, it sounds like he may have gotten some extensions for Thumbsucker.
I'm actually hoping we'll see him in a seedy hippy ponytail, to be honest.
I like seeing him break from the expected and the norm. I think that was why he was so riveting as Donnie Barksdale.
So I don't believe the article for a minute. The shame is, now that this is out there, even if it wasn't his idea but they do decide to keep his dark hair, the comic fans will blame it on Keanu.
I've been reading the forums and they STILL can not accept that he's playing their beloved "ConJob".
I really want to see him with light hair. And more importantly, fans of Hellblazer practically require it. And while I've made a few attempts in photoshop to lighten him up and will admit that it's not as easy as it sounds, don't tell me that a team of Warner Brothers' stylists couldn't make it happen. He doesn't have to go completely blonde, but something like taken a little bit further this would work.
I just think it's very important, especially after they are changing SO MANY other aspects of this character to at least try to vary from Keanu's dark locks. As an actor I would think he would be up for it.
I guess we will wait and see.
Ultimately I really can't see Keanu refusing something like this on the basis of how he looks.
Thank you to Wrygrass who sent out an article/interview* from August's Starlog magazine that included this from Keanu about the upcoming Constantine role:
"I've read a few of the comics, and I really like the character of Constantine," Reeves says. "I like his ambivalence, his vitality, his darkness and his anger. I also appreciate his underlying grace and love for humanity. And I love him as a figure who is sort of the ultimate [example] of the existential 'God is dead' [argument]. Hellblazer literalizes a kind of Heaven and Hell and that type of Catholic background, and Constantine's saying, 'The nine deities, the nine devils, all of you get out of here. Just leave us alone.' He's the ultimate man without all of the other kinds of entities. I love the dialogue, because he finds out something else in his quest. He finds out something about himself and his humanity."
OK, I have no idea what he's talking about, really.
I did, however, get my copy of "Dangerous Habits" that I mentioned in this entry, and let me tell you, what a great story. I can only hope they use the best elements of it for the movie. The more Hellblazer I read, the more fascinated with John C. I am and the more hope I have for this film. I hope that Keanu has reason to read a few more of the comics and that he really embraces the bastard. Because that's where the beauty and challenge to an actor of the character is, and it will be much more difficult to play and sell.
But if they try and make him a "hero", this film might suck.
Because the humanity of John Constantine is a tricky thing, innit?
*(the rest of the article was Reloaded stuff that we have pretty much heard before)
So, I came across this script review of Constantine that has some serious spoilers (Via insanerantings.com). Naturally, I couldn't help reading it AND ordering the Garth Ennis storyline that it mentions.
Anyhoo, as far as the script review goes, I think it might be a little stale as it doesn't mention the casting of Keanu at all and it has the action set in New York (I think it's LA now) but I don't imagine the core of the thing has changed much. The writer, Hollyfeld, brings up some interesting points about the movie and movie-making in general ("exposition girl", Bwah!).
OK, I have to rant about something that would definitely be considered a spoiler, so don't click the extended entry if you haven't read the script review and don't want to know...
(also remember that clicking "comment" will open up the whole page so scroll quickly past the second half)
Reason #823 why I fucking hate Hollywood:
"But the worst of the seemingly superficial changes, in my mind, is that in the screenplay, John’s cancer has changed from being in his lungs, to being in his brain. Yes, that may seem small, but it played an integral part in the 'Dangerous Habits' storyline. John was being undone by his own conscious actions. He knew that smoking was bad for him, he did it anyway, and he is paying the price. This mirrored perfectly the fact that he was going to Hell. He knew the difference between right and wrong, he did bad things anyway, and he will pay the price. By taking away that his cancer is his own doing, he goes from being the flawed anti-hero to a martyr, and the last person John Constantine can be compared to is Jesus Christ. Maybe the Marlboro people got to the screenwriter, maybe not, but it feels like a completely unnecessary, entirely detrimental change in an otherwise fantastic subplot."
Augh! I'm not even a longtime reader of the comic and this pisses me off. It's one thing to change a character's hair color or accent, but to me this is important. If this movie sucks, it won't be because Constantine/Hellblazer wasn't a viable property, and it won't be because of Keanu. It will be because once again, Hollywood has taken a good idea and a good property and fucked with it beyond recognition in order to make it fit into some sort of formula. And by formula, I also mean pablum. Pre-chewed and digested with no sharp edges for our (and by "our" I don't mean us, I mean those other bitches) delicate sensibilities.
Now I'm all riled up.
And I can't have a cigarette.
I'm eagerly awaiting an order of a few issues of Hellblazer written by Warren Ellis. I figured it would be wise to read one of his runs before I write him and ask him to comment on the upcoming movie. Here's hoping he doesn't just tell me to fuck off, although I'd surely print that email out for the scrapbook.
FilmForce has seen twenty pages from the screenplay for Constantine, Warner Brothers' upcoming feature film adaptation of the Vertigo comic book John Constantine: Hellblazer. Keanu Reeves has been cast in the lead role of occult investigator John Constantine.
The news is fairly spoilerific so if you want to know more about the plot and the characters that they are currently casting, click the Filmforce quote there.
Likewise, purists shouldn't click the extended entry link, either.
OK, so I've seen these script pages* and while you don't get a whole lot of info on the John Constantine character or anything, it does give you a feel for things.
But there's no telling how close they are to what will eventually be the final script. They are basically audition tools for the other roles in the film.
Of course, there's the female lead, Angela. I believe this character was written for the movie and not based on any of the existing comic characters. In my mind I picture Linda Fiorentino, mainly just because she looks like an Angela to me.
Then there is Beeman, who the source describes as "sort of the "Q" to Constantine's James Bond." I have no idea of the age of the character or if he is based on anyone from the comic. They just say he's "diminutive". I wouldn't be at all suprised if the put someone like Seth Green as Beeman, the role basically being the occult equivalent of a gadget geek.
Then there is Chaz, who is apparently based on a major character in the comic, Frank "Chas" Chandler (the comic fans are a little miffy about the whole "z" thing). I'm going to have to re-read some of the Hellblazer issues I have to get reaquainted with Chas. It seems like he's somewhat of a "sidekick" in the movie, so here's hoping they can find someone witch that good chemistry and timing like John Hawkes did in Hardball.
One good thing is that I've read some reactions to these pages by fans of the Hellblazer comic and a few of them have some hope that Constantine will have enough Hellblazer elements to not completely depress them. They're still not terribly enthusiastic about Keanu playing the beloved bastard, but hopefully his performance will prove them wrong.
*No, I will not post the pages or how to get them, so don't even ask. I will say that you already have enough information to find them yourself. It may not be staring you right in the face, but you have it.
When it was first announced that Keanu was going to be playing the title role in Constantine, based on the Hellblazer comic series, I went and eBay'ed a few issues to get a feel for the character. At first I hated the idea, then as I got to know about this "right bastard" a little bit more, I got a little excited over the thought of Keanu being able to stretch his bastard muscle a little bit. Donnie Barksdale was a good tease, but a whole movie of Reeves bein' all rogue-ish and onery? Bring it.
But it seems that the Hollywood machine is doing some pretty drastic things to this property.
Thanks to M.C. for this link to the Hellblazer site, insanerantings.com, that is a grudgingly good source of info on the project, including some pre-production concept drawings.
Current plot overview : John Constantine, an American magus recently diagnosed as having brain cancer, teams with Detective Sergeant Angela Murdoch in the hunt for a serial killer who preys on psychics and magicians.
Even I can see why the fans of the comic are not too happy. And all I did was buy a few odd issues of the comic.
-From a poster called "Funk" at the insanerantings forum:
[...]"They buy up the Hellblazer franchise and move the action to America. Not such a big change really, given that John spends much of the comic book series abroad.
Then other small changes occur over a long period of time:
*He's given a female cop sidekick. Not so bad. After all, she's part of the plot.
*He can now drive. Hey, that wasn't such a big part of his character.
*He becomes an American. Big change, but it's not like his attitude or personality is too badly affected.
*They pick a dark haired, part-Hawaiian actor to play him. Looks aren't everything though right?
*He gets brain cancer instead of lung cancer. Ah, we can live with that.
*He no longer smokes. Who's going to miss a little thing like that?
*He's described as "innocent" rather than "a bastard" which seems odd, but it's not like they've changed everything else about him have they...?
So at the end of a series of very small changes you end up with... well. TED CONSTANTINE.
Of course, when you're close to the project and have no idea of the original source material these changes don't seem so serious, especially when they're being made over such a great deal of time. I doubt that they thought "let's use this franchise and completely change everything about it".
Oh, and note the car in those drawings mentioned above. Hellblazer's John Constantine can't drive.
And there's more in depth discussion if you want to check it out.
FYI, The movie should be out next summer, and according to this article starts shooting September 15 in Los Angeles.
One happy byproduct of my curiousity of the Hellblazer Series is that I discovered Warren Ellis' blog (and that in turn led me to William Gibson's, as well).
Mr. Ellis is a glorious madman. Makes me wish I were a camgirl so I could get his ear for a bit and find out what he thought about the Hollywoodization of John Constantine. I could probably guess, if only in abstract. My grasp on british profanity being pretty poor.
Anyway, luckily I am a Keanu fan more than a comic fan, so I can probably enjoy this movie. It's actually sort of a relief, knowing they changed it so much that it won't be him that gets blamed if it's crap. However, I'm not nearly as creamy about this interpretation of the magus.
Plus, I am a little sad that he won't be going blonde.
I've been trying to follow the progress of the Hellblazer project over at SuperHeroHype.com. For anyone who doesn't know the basic story, here's what they have to say about the plot:
John Constantine, has been to Hell and back... Using his knowlege of the occult, he wages a war against the demons among us. With the help of a female police officer, Constantine finds himself face to face with the agents of darkness called the "First of the Fallen".
Will mankind survive, will John and his trademark trenchcoat escape the demons' clutches?? We'll have to wait and see as [
Nicholas CageKeanu Reeves ] becomes... CONSTANTINE.
Now, there was also some understandable confusion over just what the hell was going on, since Lorenzo di Bonaventura was reported to be involved in a Constantin film project, but one based on the historic figure, not the occultist of the Hellblazer comic series. So is Keanu going to play the "right bastard" John Constantine or the Roman Emporer?
Thankfully, it looks like it's going to be the former according to Comics2Film, which has this to say:
Comics2Film followed up on Lorenzo di Bonaventura story from Wednesdays trades with regards to the former studio big wig's involvement with the Constantine movie.
While both Hollywood trades indicated di Bonaventura's first project as a producer would be a movie called Constantine (or Constantin) the reports conflicted as to what the nature of the project is.
A source close to the development effort of the Hellblazer adaptation told C2F that as far as he knows di Bonaventura is not coming on board the comic book movie.
The Di Bonaventura project will be a historical epic concerning the Roman emperor, as was reported in Variety. At this point both projects have the same (or similar) titles. Perhaps the comic book movie could be retitled John Constantine: Hellblazer.
Our source also confirms that Keanu Reeves (The Matrix) whose name has been mentioned in a couple of recent articles is, in fact, attached to the project. However, he has not signed to appear in the movie at this point.
Or at least it's going to be once he signs. If he signs.
Augh, this is all too much for me. I remember the good old days when I just watched a movie when it came out. Now I'm buying books and comics on mere speculation.
In any case, I won't be buying a lot of Emporer Constantin shwag.
I did however snag that nifty little John Constantine action figure today.
I know, it's a damn sickness.....
Wowsers, I woke up today and my inboxes were overflowing and all abuzz with news of three, count 'em, THREE movies that Keanu has signed on for in 2003.
Keanu Reeves will fill out a love triangle with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton in an untitled comedy that marks one of three films he will shoot next year. Reeves will also star in 'Thumbsucker,' an indie adaptation of the Walter Kirn novel, and then move on to the previously announced 'Constantine,' the adaptation of the DC-Vertigo comic 'Hellblazer' at Warner Bros.
So, are we sure now that the Constantine is the Hellblazer story? Freaking Variety got me all confused last week. I hope that they were just wrong and that Keanu is going to play that right bastard, John Constantine, and not the religious historical figure. Because you know we're going to have dirty thoughts about him, and that's a little icky.
I don't have much to say about the Thumbsucker one, but I just ordered the book it's based on. According to IMDB, Elijah Wood is cast as the lead, so we can kiss our oral fixated Keanu fantasy goodbye. It's an indie so it's bound to be my favorite of the three. I know I'll like it more than the untitled Nicholson/Keaton film. I'm not a big romantic comedy fan. I know that lots of fans are and are extremely excited about it, though. It's the older woman thing. I'm happy he's getting to work with Jack.
Here's a couple links to the stories at Yahoo:
"Reeves Joins Nicholson, Keaton in Triangle"
"Dr. Reeves treats Meyers-helmed comedy for [Columbia Pictures]"
So, it's still looking like Constantine has the green light and Keanu is still attached according to this story (via keanuweb) about Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who will be producing.
(Mr. Di Bonaventura is the gentleman whose name I could never catch or remember while writing the Revisited recap. I've surely doomed all hopes for a Reloaded premiere invite with that....doh!)
So I've finally started reading what issues of HELLBLAZER I have.
I liked issue #31-"Mourning of the Magician", mostly because it was kind of a stand alone. It's damn frustrating to have these huge gaps because most of the time they end in a cliffhanger.
I enjoyed #63 "Forty", featuring Constantine's 40th birthday, with a cameo by Swamp Thing and my favorite character thus far--a talking rabbit, Mange.
I find myself trying to figure out what may or may not be used for the movie. I only got the last two issues in the "Rake at the Gates of Hell" storyline. It reads like a pretty good screenplay, although I suspect any of the complete story-arcs might.
I've got a straight run for the next few issues (84-90) that I'm going to get at tomorrow.
I'm enjoying this. Probably too much, and I'll have to start digging around for more issues to fill in the gaps.
OK...according to this link (via reeves drive) it apparently is "confirmed" that Keanu will play John Constantine in the upcoming Hellblazer movie. The Superhero Hype article cites this as its source, but when I went there, I didn't see anything about Keanu.
One thing that I did see is that many of the Hellblazer fans over at Superhero Hype's forums are none too pleased about Keanu playing their beloved Brit hero.
Refreshingly, most have well thought-out reasons beyond "Keanu Sux0rs!"
"Listen, for me this is not a matter of bashing Reeves. I actually kinda like him in The Matrix and The Gift. It's just that he's WRONG FOR THE PART! Constantine is this cynical, streetwise, carved-by-life character. You have to look at him and be able to say, "gee, this guy went through some really tough times". I don't think Reeves has the looks, attitude or acting style that fits this character."
Then there's this gem:
"Hate to break it to you man, but your English accent sucks."
"I think my accent is good."
"Look, I didnt want to tell you this, but it's Keanu Reeves bad."
"Whoa. . . didn't realized that. . . wait, 'Keanu Reeves in Dangerous Liasons' bad, or 'Keanu Reeves in Much Ado About Nothing' bad?"
"Keanu Reeves in 'Dracula' bad."
"My god. . . that bad? I had no idea. . . "
Sorry, but...hee. That's kind of funny.
He does have his defenders.
"I'm going against the majority here, but I think it's a fine choice. After the HUGE success of the upcoming Matrix sequels, he'll be a major money maker for this project. Just take a chill pill and give him a chance. He's not a bad actor, you're just buying into all the critics bull****t. I look forward to seeing him in this movie."
As I understand it, the "Hollywoodization" of Constantine began way before Keanu got involved, and fans of the character are already annoyed. This just adds fuel to the fire.
Personally, I've decided that I would like to see Keanu in this role. While the movie Constantine may stray from the original, those who don't have a predetermined concept of who he is supposed to be will enjoy it.
And if he doesn't do the movie, there are thousands of lesser-known superheroes that are just dying to be made into a multimilliondollar picture.
Like...The Red Bee.
He keeps vicious trained bees in his belt buckle.
I'm not even going to get into the "The Red Bee Plunges his BIG KNIFE into the KILLER FISH!" innuendo...
(Red Bee babble inspired by some comments over at billegible.org)
Thanks to Ann for this news from Cinema Confidential:
FROM THE NEWS ARCHIVES OF CINEMA CONFIDENTIAL
Keanu Reeves as Constantine?
POSTED ON 07/01/02 AT 2:00 A.M.
BY THOMAS CHAU
Variety also reports that Keanu Reeves may be tapped to replace Nicholas Cage as the main star in "Constantine," the project based on the Hellblazer comic series.
Cage dropped out due to the departure of "The Cell" director Tarsem. Unless a new director is found, the trade reports, a deal with Reeves will not be made.
A comic character, eh?
I'll have to do a little infoseeking, as I've never heard of this one.
This comic thing seems too trendy (Spiderman, Daredevil) for Keanu to really be serious about.
I don't see this happening....but who am I?
I'd rather see him in a nice well written indy film next. It's not like he's gonna need the money from another blockbuster effects driven spectacle.
Not that that describes The Matrix Trilogy. But you know what I mean.
After a little investigating, I think I would like to see him play John Constantine. Especially since he's desribed as a "total bastard"...
Great. More comics for me to buy.
Of course, the first and foremost question being....
KEANU AS A BLONDE???
I'm not sure how I feel about that, and I know how the fanboys hate Hollywood altering crucial things like hair color in their idolized graphic novel mages.
OK, so that last statement was just so I could use the tems "fanboy" and "mage".
What do you want from me?
***After even more exhaustive research, I have decided that....
No. Keanu shouldn't play John Constantine.
The character was actually based on Sting, so WB should shell out and secure him for the role.
Jeez, can't the movie industry get behind an ORIGINAL concept/story for a change?
That being said, I would like to see Keanu play some type of "total bastard" again.