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May 11, 2014 11:43 AM   Subscribe

NBC releases the first trailer for the Constantine tv show. (not available for viewing in countries outside the US)
posted by Kitteh (106 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
If anyone with better Google-fu than I can find an universal trailer, that would be great! (Again, I apologize for only having this one.)
posted by Kitteh at 11:45 AM on May 11


Um, no and no.

Sorry. We've rebranded Constantine as the intern to a high powered ad exec in NYC who also has a wise-cracking talking cat [rescued from hell, natch ] who is just trying to meet the right girl in the right plane of existence.

The only thing we've kept is the hairstyle.

If you nerds don't watch the first four episodes, it's all your fault when it gets canceled.
posted by Renoroc at 12:02 PM on May 11


I figured out was going to be that Constantine, but I was still hoping for the other one.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:05 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


No Tilda Swinton = fail (spoilers in that link)
posted by lalochezia at 12:06 PM on May 11 [8 favorites]


Huh. Looks amazingly humorless.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:12 PM on May 11


This reddit thread has links for non-Americans.
posted by nooneyouknow at 12:14 PM on May 11


No Peter Stormare = double fail.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:14 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


Constantine is one of my favorite movies. That trailer looks like they sucked all the nuances out of it.
posted by tarantula at 12:15 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


If they managed to make HANNIBAL really good anything is possible.

The cast and crew however do not inspire that sort of confidence.
posted by Justinian at 12:17 PM on May 11


Constantine is one of my favorite movies.

That movie completely butchered Hellblazer.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:18 PM on May 11 [21 favorites]


That movie completely butchered Hellblazer.

True, but it did have some small redeeming value as a stand-alone. This one looks like it could be a step in the right direction. I liked the horrifying grandma, for example.
posted by sneebler at 12:22 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


That movie completely butchered Hellblazer.

Eh, it wasn't called Hellblazer, so biggie. It one of my favorites and I read Hellblazer extensively in its golden era (until shortly after Ennis left). The movie was never supposed to be a straight Hellblazer adaptation and what they got right was in terms of atmosphere was fantastic.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:24 PM on May 11 [4 favorites]


And seriously, Peter Stormare and Tilda Swinton.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:27 PM on May 11 [11 favorites]


Odd. This version is official and appears not to be region locked.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:29 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


Hey, I know that voice... it's Edward Kenway playing Constantine.

Hmmm. Fridays? So is Grimm moving? Or Hannibal? OR--perish the thought--are they making a John Constantine that can be aired at 8 pm???

(And it just occurred to me that they'll put it at 10 since Hannibal has a 13-ep season.)

I'll give it a shot.
posted by lovecrafty at 12:30 PM on May 11


The scene with Peter Stromare and Tilda Swinton is the only scene I even watch ever.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:31 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Chuck: that was region locked for me (canada).

This link worked (via the above linked reddit thread).
posted by el io at 12:32 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Here let me post a trailer for a foreign TV show which is not visible outside that country.

Go to bed Dad, The Mindy Project is over.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:35 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Here let me post a trailer for a foreign TV show which is not visible outside that country.


Meh. The foreign movie which that foreign TV show is based on is a complete travesty of the original 2000AD comic.
posted by happyroach at 12:42 PM on May 11


Unless I missed a post, nothing here is based on a 2000AD comic. Hellblazer/Constantine is published by Vertigo/DC Comics in the States.
posted by kewb at 12:47 PM on May 11


Well, that's a shame. Hellblazer was great but an american network tv adaptation is obviously a terrible idea. I wouldn't have thought it possible to do worse than a film with Keanu playing John. This just might be worse.
posted by Zetetics at 12:50 PM on May 11


I too love the movie and since this thread seems to be devolving into a Tilda & Peter lovefest I want to add a shout out to Djimon Honsou [sic?] as Papa Midnight for bringing teh hawts to the movie!!!
posted by supermedusa at 12:53 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


I figured out was going to be that Constantine, but I was still hoping for the other one.

The Emperor of Rome? I agree that would make good TV, but I'd prefer Justinian: the Series.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:57 PM on May 11 [11 favorites]


That movie completely butchered Hellblazer.

I understand less and less this idea that every retelling of a story should be exactly like the previous one, just in a different medium.
posted by cmoj at 1:07 PM on May 11 [11 favorites]


I'm not familiar with the lead actor, but I'm having a hard time getting past his hair colour. It just screams bad, over-processed at-home dye job to me.

As for the rest, I'm really not holding out hope in anticipation of something wonderful. I guess I'll watch the first episode, but I doubt it can hold a candle to the original character. Mind you, from what little I saw of the New 52 version Justice League Dark version, the old version of John is long gone already.
posted by sardonyx at 1:13 PM on May 11


Constantine was a well-directed movie, namely the great cinematography. But as the story went on I realized it didn't make any sense at all. Looks great, though. And, no, I never read the comic.
posted by zardoz at 1:18 PM on May 11


I understand less and less this idea that every retelling of a story should be exactly like the previous one, just in a different medium.

I agree. I thought this concept was particularly strange in regard to the HHGttG movie, given how many times it had already been redone in various media, each one remarkably different. Did you want a slavish recreation of the book? The original radio show? The -urk- TV miniseries?

If you respect the Hellraiser series, go back and reread the comics. The quality of this TV series will not alter the quality of the original comics, or the movie adaptation, or anything else.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:20 PM on May 11 [6 favorites]


I can see this show getting good around Season 2, but jesus I am not looking forward to the Season 1 worldbuilding/context-establishing that I am going to make myself watch. I don't even like the comics, but I find it hard to turn down a supernatural investigation show.
posted by griphus at 1:34 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


All detectives should also be wizards.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:41 PM on May 11 [7 favorites]


I agree. I thought this concept was particularly strange in regard to the HHGttG movie, given how many times it had already been redone in various media, each one remarkably different. Did you want a slavish recreation of the book? The original radio show? The -urk- TV miniseries?

Or the Infocom computer game? Hell, we'd still be waiting for Arthur Dent to get that fucking Babel fish in his ear, nine years later!
posted by Guy Smiley at 1:54 PM on May 11 [6 favorites]


I can't wait for the Justice League Dark Constantine to meet the original Swamp Thing version.
posted by benzenedream at 1:55 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Also I hope they do an episode where John Constantine starts going crazy because of ghost shit and sees everyone in his life as Warren Ellis (in different wigs and maybe with a falsetto for the women characters) and at the end of the episode he wakes up and everyone is back to normal and he starts running through the streets like at the end of It's A Wonderful Life because the nightmare world of a comics-accurate Constantine is over.
posted by griphus at 1:59 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


The movie was never supposed to be a straight Hellblazer adaptation and what they got right was in terms of atmosphere was fantastic.

The movie sucked cocks in hell, which I suppose was in keeping.
posted by biffa at 2:00 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


When I first heard that Tilda Swinton was in the Constantinemovie, I thought that she had been cast as John Constantine, and I thought that the casting was perfect.

You can imagine my disappointment.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 2:01 PM on May 11 [18 favorites]


Yes, but Harold Perrineau!

It just screams bad, over-processed at-home dye job to me.

That doesn't seem terribly out-of-flavor for the Constantine I dimly remember from the late 80s.
posted by Slothrup at 2:11 PM on May 11


It looks interesting to me, but I've never been a huge Constantine fan. Removing him from London does seem like a drastic step, but an American series probably couldn't afford to film there.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:12 PM on May 11


Really, Slothrup? I always figured Johnnie was a natural blond. I could imagine times during his punk band days that his hair was wildly different colours, but I never figured his vanity to be the type where he'd be buying boxes of "Corn husk silk blonde number 34" or going into the local salon asking for his dark roots to be touched up.
posted by sardonyx at 2:16 PM on May 11


It's really just a bad, over-processed at-home glamor spell.
posted by griphus at 2:19 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]


I'm keeping my expectations low. I didn't think I was going to like Arrow, and it took the better part of a season for me to get into it, but it did finally get better. I'm less confident about Constantine because of NBC.

Maybe someone will post about it on FanFare and I can pick it up mid-season if it's any good.
posted by immlass at 2:20 PM on May 11


That trench coat is not nearly rumpled enough. And too: a Constantine who doesn't smoke doesn't make any sense.
posted by jammy at 2:24 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


He doesn't smoke? That could be a problem. Constantine is the 80's British antihero, and all those guys were sarcastic, drinking, smoking sons of bitches I'd like to punch in the face if they existed in real life, like the cool kids in high school who hung out behind the gym. Take away his cigs and you remove part of that allure.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:27 PM on May 11




I mean, he's awful but still so cool you want to be friends with him.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:33 PM on May 11


Here let me post a trailer for a foreign TV show which is not visible outside that country

The Always UP to Date Guide to Streaming Blocked Content Overseas.
posted by juiceCake at 2:37 PM on May 11


So, no smoking, no swearing (network television)... Finally, an anti-hero kids can look up to as a role model!
posted by el io at 2:43 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


Jesus, are there any actors in their 30s left in Wales?
posted by fullerine at 2:46 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Removing him from London does seem like a drastic step

But could Constantine afford London these days? Wouldn't he have decamped for Bristol or Glasgow by now?
posted by Iridic at 2:54 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]


Next season on NBC: The Endless, the heart warming family sitcom based on Sandman™ Comics. Giggle at Death's cheerful humor, roar with laughter at the hilariously clumsy antics of Destruction. Ponder the accidental wisdom of Destiny and Despair. Fall in love with Delirium (played by Summer Glau). And don't miss the very special episode featuring Desire, who overcomes school bullying to find hir true gender identity (with Dan Savage in a special "It Gets Better" cameo.) A brilliant ensemble cast, all unified by Alan Cumming's performance as Dream and his signature musical number every episode.
posted by Nelson at 2:58 PM on May 11 [18 favorites]


Looks promising but please, please, somebody find Matt Ryan a voice coach, stat. The way he keeps dropping back into his native Welsh accent is incredibly distracting to my ears.
posted by peteyjlawson at 3:10 PM on May 11


All detectives should also be wizards.

Don't even get me started. I've been dreaming of all the possibilities this series could have for three years. A shitty trailer made by IGN for April Fool's day did that!
posted by Spiced Out Calvin Coolidge at 3:14 PM on May 11


It doesn't look terrible.
posted by codacorolla at 3:18 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]


Gotta agree, codacorolla. There were some images in the trailer that really reminded me of the comic. I had a hard time with the accent, it kept on veering into a sort of mangled irish/welsh, where I wanted to hear east-end (even though he's supposed to be a scouser IIRC, so that's probably my issue). I'll definitely be giving this a shot when it airs.

(hated the movie - which seemed to have a completely different agenda to the comics, a weird (anti-)catholicism that didn't seem to fit the concepts they lifted at all. Plus Keanu under-acting made him the least interesting thing on-screen at any given time)
posted by Sparx at 3:44 PM on May 11


The movie sucked cocks in hell, which I suppose was in keeping.

Oh. That wasn't in the theatrical edition, was it a deleted scene on the DVD?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:53 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]


I think taking a licensed property and spinning it to the point that it looks only mildly related to the original is problematic because it feels like they only licensed it to gain brand recognition. I like people telling original stories. I don't like people taking established ideas and wrapping them around an original idea to sucker people into watching it.

I'll give this a shot. I hope its funny and irreverent, which might be a little harder to convey in a trailer than Magic+Detectiving.
posted by lownote at 3:54 PM on May 11


All detectives should also be wizards.

Watching the Dresden Files TV show will quickly cure you of this delusion.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:15 PM on May 11 [10 favorites]


The biggest thing they'll have to contend with (aside from the smoking...) is the Seinfeld is Unfunny trope (tvtropes). There have been so many supernatural-themed detective/MotW shows that were all influenced by the Hellblazer comics (some more than others) and now they run the risk of the original source seeming overdone before it's even started.
posted by lovecrafty at 4:20 PM on May 11


See, I enjoyed the Dresden Files as well as the movie Constantine, having been exposed to neither in their original media.
posted by maryr at 4:20 PM on May 11


Hopefully they'll make John Constantine actually flawed in a way that's interesting and not in superficial-endearing way they do with Harry Dresden (albeit just as much in the books as the show.)
posted by griphus at 4:25 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


Nah, the biggest thing they'll run into is attracting and growing an audience on Friday nights. Us geeks might show up, but getting non geeks could be a problem.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:26 PM on May 11


I thought it was a decent trailer but in following the fiendish criticism of this thread, that angel's wings looked really hokey.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:42 PM on May 11


Uh, some of us geeks are out playing board games with our friends on Friday nights, thankyouverymuch.
posted by maryr at 5:00 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


Yeah, shows on Friday nights cut way into my "drinking and crying" time.
posted by Justinian at 5:16 PM on May 11 [6 favorites]


Oh wow I've never hate watched a thing before, this will be a new experience!
posted by dogheart at 5:59 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]


I loved the movie, possibly because of the atmosphere and the perfect casting (I can't actually remember the plot but anyhoo...) I shall watch this in the same spirit. Hopefully it will have some substance to it as well but this is the network that approved Hannibal, which is fairly balls to the wall for a US network show*

*I couldn't really get into it but I do appreciate that it's beautifully made and they aren't holding much back.
posted by fshgrl at 6:03 PM on May 11


Nah, the biggest thing they'll run into is attracting and growing an audience on Friday nights. Us geeks might show up, but getting non geeks could be a problem.

It'll have Grimm as a lead-in, and that's doing quite well on Fridays.
posted by lovecrafty at 6:14 PM on May 11


Perfect .... casting? Fshgrl, are you just trolling, or ....?
posted by webmutant at 6:16 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]


I love that there's all this fuss over a Swamp Thing spin-off character.
posted by Catblack at 6:43 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


What's all the fuss about a TV show version of John Constantine when the real one is out there and has made contact with Alan Moore, he claims, on two separate occasions? More mysterious, in the second, he told his creator the "ultimate secret of magic".

Let's see NBC try to air that on prime time.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:03 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


Breaking up the canon aspects of a character is more fraught when he's not a major property.

Less-popular characters, that haven't been around as long and don't have a place in popular folklore, have to be handled more carefully to keep their identities intact. Batman can endure any kind of reboot and continuity violation because there's so much Batman stuff out there that even non-fans know that you're riffing on the tropes of the franchise. Batman will remain Batman. If, say, Constantine was rewritten as a midwestern American lawyer and good Christian man and the show became popular, then boom. That's the new canonical John Constantine.
posted by ardgedee at 7:52 PM on May 11


All detectives should also be wizards.

Mulder the Bland?
Sculley the Red?
Sherlock the Preposterous?
Hunt the Blunt?
Rebus the Prestigious?
posted by juiceCake at 8:08 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


This does feel (superficially at least, IMHO) like a pretty direct descendant of the movie version of the character. So, in that sense, Constantine-lite, with a lot of moody shots, occasional CGI on the cheap, and a few subplots that wouldn't be out of place in Generic Series About Magical Monsters of the week. This is my not-interested face, meh.
posted by Iosephus at 8:45 PM on May 11


That did not look very promising. But what the hell, I'll check it out.
posted by homunculus at 8:45 PM on May 11


The scene with Peter Stromare and Tilda Swinton is the only scene I even watch ever.

They were lovely, but even they couldn't save that film.
posted by homunculus at 8:46 PM on May 11


More mysterious, in the second, he told his creator the "ultimate secret of magic".

Apparently, it is beards.
posted by maryr at 9:06 PM on May 11 [5 favorites]


Btw, if you're in to this kind of thing the premier of Penny Dreadful is on YouTube and it's pretty good.
posted by fshgrl at 9:09 PM on May 11


Or it's on SHOWTIME right now!
posted by Justinian at 9:32 PM on May 11


If, say, Constantine was rewritten as a midwestern American lawyer and good Christian man and the show became popular, then boom.

I would watch the hell out of a True Detective season 2 starring John Constantine and your proposed Justinian Grisham.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:05 PM on May 11 [6 favorites]


More mysterious, in the second, he told his creator the "ultimate secret of magic".

Apparently, it is beards.


Grant Morrison would, unsurprisingly, fight you about that.

I'm sure this will be essentially fine. The movie is perfectly entertaining (until Swinton and Stormare at the end, where it becomes something wonderful). They've obviously not torn the source material up into little bits and rearranged them as a new collage the way Brian Fuller did with Hannibal, so it's unlikely to scratch that itch when Hannibal goes away in a couple of weeks. It's just a question of lowering one's expectations enough that the series can surpass them somehow.

The accent is curious - it vacillates between Manchester and Newcastle with occasional leaps to Swansea and Peckham, but since the original original character was based on a geordie (Sting) and Moore describes him in the panels linked above as a South London wide-boy, I suppose that's entirely in keeping. They always have to tweak English accents in order to make them intelligible to American audiences anyway.

If he is supposed to be a South London wide-boy, that suggests to me that the perfect casting would have been Tim Roth about ten years ago.
posted by Grangousier at 2:22 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]


I see heaven and hell, but no conservatives, so I'm already immensely suspicious.

(Also the angels even seem to be on John's side, which is a great big "Read the books? Why would we do that?" on the part of the screenwriters.)
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:42 AM on May 12


I understand less and less this idea that every retelling of a story should be exactly like the previous one, just in a different medium.

The shortest explanation I can offer for why I don't like the movie (Swinton and Stormare excluded, they were great) is that in the original story John's healed because he's a manipulative bastard who sets it up himself, while in the movie, it's something that's done to spite him. It completely undermines the core of John Constantine (that he's a con man and swindler who's always a couple of steps ahead) and removes the agency from the character. Which sucks.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:48 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]


I'll give it a shot for Harold Perrineau.
posted by mobunited at 4:50 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]




Ah. As you were then.

My coat must be around here, somewhere.
posted by Grangousier at 6:21 AM on May 12


The only knowledge I have on Constantine is the bit about him that shows up in the Sandman books. If I wanted to read a good run of his story, what would ya'll recommend?

I did see part of the movie, and I just can't with Keanu so I didn't make it far, though I did catch the Tilda bits because you can't actually stop watching when she is onscreen. Because she can grab your soul with her eyes and make you watch.
posted by emjaybee at 7:06 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


The only knowledge I have on Constantine is the bit about him that shows up in the Sandman books. If I wanted to read a good run of his story, what would ya'll recommend?

Dangerous Habits is pretty much *the* Hellblazer story.
posted by kewb at 7:43 AM on May 12 [7 favorites]


Just chiming in to say that Dangerous Habits is absolutely the only Hellblazer you need, just straight up the most essential pieces of the character in a really fun yarn.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:48 AM on May 12 [4 favorites]


After reading the thread, I found the clip not as bad as I had imagined. I think what most adaptations of Constantine (including a lot of the actual comics) miss is the actual ideology and context of the comic--stuff like bohemianism, the working class attitude of the chancer, post-New Left politics, and, in the Garth Ennis run, a kind of Brendan Behan alcoholic jubilance. When you remove all that, it just becomes X-Files staring a guy in a trenchcoat who is, for inexplicable reasons, an asshole. I wrote a piece about Hellblazer's specifically countercultural positioning, particularly during the Jamie Delano run, for The New Inquiry, when it was announced that the comic would be cancelled. Here is a bit from it:

What will be lost is precisely how uncool the first issues of Hellblazer were, how vitriolic, melancholic and spiteful, how negatively charismatic, how difficult to read. Hellblazer is one of the ugliest mainstream comics I’ve ever seen. Page after page writhes with body horror. The comic’s many delights include sex scenes between lovers whose skin has been peeled off, a man’s body inflating with insects, and skinheads fused together into a horrific four-armed hooligan golem. It’s amazing that DC — the publisher of Superman and Batman — ever even agreed to it. And yet the horror in the early issues of Hellblazer is characteristically unspectacular. Rarely inspiring the sublime dread of, say, a Cronenberg movie, the body horror in these comics is mundane, almost quaint. This is because Hellblazer aspired to capture the horror genre in service of left-wing allegory. It was no diversionary spectacle,but simply a straightforward presentation of the horrors of a triumphant far-right. Activist in orientation, bohemian in sensibility, Hellblazer was virtuously unpleasant.


It turns out that John Constantine being integrated into the DC Universe was even worse than we can imagine. For example, I never thought that I would read this sentence: "That was the issue in which we learned the parameters of the conflict: John Constantine and He-Man's mom vs. Skeletor and Black Alice, for the fate of Earth-New 52!"
posted by johnasdf at 8:32 AM on May 12 [6 favorites]


"That was the issue in which we learned the parameters of the conflict: John Constantine and He-Man's mom vs. Skeletor and Black Alice, for the fate of Earth-New 52!"

Yeah, everybody here is a bit down on the preview because nothing can live up to the heights of Hellblazer's best, but not all of them are the best--and moreso with the newer stuff.

I was going to say that I'm not sure how much sense Constantine makes outside of a period piece--there are things that will always be very 80s about him--but I think you could get some real mileage out of a reboot in the modern period with the same anti-authority sensibility about the current UK government. How you get that out of an American network TV show is beyond me.
posted by immlass at 8:41 AM on May 12


johnasdf, that was remarkable. Bravo and thanks for linking it for us.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:53 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]


To accomplish this spell, Evil-Lyn must dry-hump Constantine:

Oh, 52....
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:10 AM on May 12


It's the body horror and nihilism that kept me out of the comics besides reading Dangerous Habits after seeing the movie (which I will not hesitate to say I love and which introduced me to Tilda Swinton and which also has Rachel Weiz and Peter Stomare and Keanu wasn't so terrible and it tipped me into modern day fandom, ok? Making icons and writing fanfic and so on. Shut up.)

I kept getting images from the comics stuck in my head and couldn't remove them and it made it very hard to sleep. But I know nothing about Constantine guesting in other books, so I might find him more bearable then.

(Here's another guilty confession: I love Pete Wisdom, whom I have heard described as a knock-off Constantine imitation and I don't care, I love him and Kitty Pryde together. I'll see myself out.)
posted by PussKillian at 9:42 AM on May 12


See, I enjoyed the Dresden Files as well as the movie Constantine, having been exposed to neither in their original media.
posted by maryr at 7:20 PM on May 11


Apropos of nothing:

So other than the fact that it's a wildly popular fantasy book series about a modern day wizard in Chicago, I knew nothing about Dresden Files when the show went on the air. When I saw Harry Dresden using a hockey stick as a wand, my first thought was "Cool! He's a Blackhawks fan!" Even though I don't follow professional hockey myself, to me there was something endearing about a Chicago wizard fighting the Forces of Lawlessness And/Or Evil and yet still making time to keep up with the local NHL team. I also liked seeing Cuban actress Valerie Cruz as Lt. Murphy.

I made the mistake of expressing these sentiments to some hardcore fans of the books. BOY HOWDY THE CONTEMPT.

I like a faithful adaptation as much as the next person. I'm sure when I was young and stupid, I ranted about changes in adaptations, too. But goodness, I am SO glad I've mellowed. It makes watching these things a lot more enjoyable.
posted by magstheaxe at 9:45 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]


I'm a fan of the Dresden books and thought the series was loads of fun. But yeah, I know some hard-core fans didn't like it, even down to minute reasons like Harry not driving his VW Bug - which, due to the very tall actor playing Harry, wasn't really workable.
posted by PussKillian at 9:48 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


Which is completely accurate to the series! The only difference is that when you're writing a book you can handwave the laws of geometry to allow your 6'6" protagonist to fit into a Beetle with mere discomfort instead of bending his knees backwards.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:00 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


Yeah, a book doesn't have to account for the fact that a really tall guy unfolding himself out of a tiny car is a comedy bit, not a neutral moment of scene-setting!

I kind of adored the hockey stick wand.
posted by PussKillian at 10:18 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


you can handwave the laws of geometry to allow your 6'6" protagonist to fit into a Beetle with mere discomfort

Aside: my husband is 6'4" and drives a (modern) Beetle. It's comfortable for him because it's a dome and actually has more headroom than other small cars. /not Dresden-ist and has never seen/read any Dresden.
posted by immlass at 11:08 AM on May 12


Haha, the car thing was important enough to mention it in the Wiki: As a private investigator, Harry drives a Korean-war-era military Jeep instead of the infamous "Blue Beetle" VW Beetle of the novels (a change made based on actor Blackthorne's height and the difficulty of filming inside a VW Beetle, as well as the fact it would look more like a 'clown car' on video than a serious vehicle.

The thought of Harry in a new Beetle is pretty funny, actually.

It's also funny that the modern, urban magician needs to have some sort of long coat - Constantine's trench coat, Harry Dresden's duster. I think even Matthew Swift has a long, raggedy (probably foul-smelling) coat in most of his adventures. I guess it makes it easier to stash a wand.
posted by PussKillian at 11:34 AM on May 12


Yeah, a book doesn't have to account for the fact that a really tall guy unfolding himself out of a tiny car is a comedy bit, not a neutral moment of scene-setting!

Actually, I would have enjoyed seeing this comedy bit on the show. I think it would have fit.

It's also funny that the modern, urban magician needs to have some sort of long coat - Constantine's trench coat, Harry Dresden's duster. I think even Matthew Swift has a long, raggedy (probably foul-smelling) coat in most of his adventures. I guess it makes it easier to stash a wand.

I figure that fandom is what keeps London Fog in business.
posted by maryr at 11:47 AM on May 12


I dunno. I love Hellblazer, but I want this show to succeed. For that to happen, they have to cast a wide net to draw in an audience. Fans of the books wouldn't be enough to keep this show on the air even if we tuned in every week. That's just how jacked TV metrics are, and how hard it is to make a show that survives the greed of Television Ad Execs. It's not enough that 3-5 million people see your ads. They want 10-15 million seeing them. The original Constantine is too unlikeable for someone who isn't already a fan. He's not just an asshole the way Wolverine is an asshole. He's a deplorable asshole, albeit one with nuance and a rakish charm if you can hold out to see it in the books. The bulk of your television watching audience does not appreciate nuance, and even if they do, they need to see it up front and center lest they stop watching after episode 3. To that end, they have to give us a New 52 version of the character that retains some of his original characteristics, but only enough to make him what the general audience will define as an anti-hero, and one that is likeable.
posted by d20dad at 11:49 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


^This.^

I've been telling friends online, most of whom lean towards the OH GOD THIS WILL SUCK end of the spectrum that the producers of Constantine do not give a damn if we find it inauthentic. It's likely as not as that what they know of the character didn't get past anything except the surface description of him. "A British supernatural detective! Sounds great!"

Any rough edges will probably be sanded down to prickly instead of outright bastard. He probably won't smoke because this is the US and Smoking is Bad and There Are Kids Who Might Watch.

People who love Hellblazer are small small minority as compared to the eyeballs they want to watch this show. The best you can hope for is for the writers to drop just enough hints and easter eggs for the fandom to at least give it a chance. I'm not going to crap on it before it even gets out of the gate; I am cautiously hopeful, but once it premieres, it will either live or die depending on cast/writing/merits. Them's the breaks, sadly.
posted by Kitteh at 12:11 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


@Kitteh,

I'm also cautiously optimistic. I think it's possible for them to hold on to the nuts and bolts of the character and still make him accessible to a wider audience. Even if we got a version of this show on HBO or Showtime, I don't think it would draw the viewers in if they wrote him totally true to character. And it would still get cancelled after one season. On network TV we at least have a shot to get the viewership to make this something that lasts.

I just hope that it's something that lasts that is also good. :D
posted by d20dad at 12:23 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


Oh, I get it now. A lippy Englishman with gelled hair whose mischievous demeanor belies recent pain? Who appears out of nowhere to take a bewildered young woman on journeys through time and space? NBC wants its own Doctor Who. (Again.)
posted by Iridic at 1:44 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


Here's the thing that everyone who hasn't read Constantine probably doesn't get. (And probably the tv show will miss, though it's already better than the movie).

Constantine is a class warrior. He's the little guy who's been screwed so often that that's what he expects. He's the hustler living scam to scam because it's not like he was ever going to get a piece of the pie by sitting politely at the table.
posted by lumpenprole at 4:53 PM on May 12 [6 favorites]


I'll check Constantine out, if only because it'll get us a little bit closer to a "Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol" series.
posted by happyroach at 6:30 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


Morrison's Doom Patrol was great. But not a patch on Rachel Pollack's.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:22 AM on May 13


Morrison's Doom Patrol was great. But not a patch on Rachel Pollack's.

Who would be so silly as to choose between them?
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:30 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]


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