J.J. Abrams Developing “Constantine” Series for HBO Max

J.J. Abrams. Photo by Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock (9176182cs)

Everyone’s favorite occult detective is returning on TV in a big fashion. According to Deadline, the Star Wars director J.J. Abrams is currently developing a Constantine series for HBO Max.

Abrams is expected to produce the new series while also being heavily involved in other aspects of the show. British novelist Guy Bolton (Fighter) already penned the pilot and is working on setting up a writers’ room next month.

Reportedly, the series will focus on horror elements and will feature a “darker reinvention” of the titular character John Constantine. Abrams intends to cast an actor of color in the lead role hopes to land someone “similar to a young Riz Ahmed.”

John Constantine is a character from DC Comics who first appeared in 1985’s The Saga of Swamp Thing. He is portrayed as a magician and occult detective who has a dark sense of humor and is prepared to do immoral things if that serves the greater good. Constantine received his own series of comic books, titled Hellblazer, in 1988.

Hellblazer was first adapted in 2005 with the movie Constantine, which was directed by Francis Lawrence and starred Keanu Reeves in the titular role. The movie wasn’t a big hit when it first came out but ended up having a cult following.

In 2014, NBC debuted a live-action Constantine TV series that starred Matt Ryan as the lead. The show was canceled after just 13 episodes due to poor ratings. Ryan’s performance, however, was praised by the fans, and he continued to portray the character in The CW’s Arrowverse. He had a guest role on Arrow and served as a regular in Legends of Tomorrow.