Matt Ryan revived his role as John Constantine in CW’s Arrow
Fans of Matt Ryan’s take on John Constantine have been chomping at the bit all season since it was revealed that the actor would return to the role on Arrow. The CW Constantine cameo has kindled hope that the character will live on even if his show on NBC was canceled, but is this actually a possibility? Will the CW pick up Constantine where NBC left off?
The CW’s Constantine Cameo
John Constantine appeared in the November 4 episode of Arrow, titled “Haunted.” Without giving too much away for those who haven’t seen it, Constantine was brought in to help Arrow and company deal with the complications of resurrecting a fallen comrade. Twists and turns abound, establishing Constantine as a character within the Arrowverse and setting the stage for possible returns.
Though this is intended to be Matt Ryan’s only appearance in the season, the effects of his visit will be seen throughout the remaining episodes. “The outcome… will come out later in the season,” Arrow executive producer Wendy Mericle explained to The Hollywood Reporter.
Mericle also revealed that the cameo in part came about because of Constantine’s cancellation at NBC. She explained that “I actually don’t know what would have happened if the show was still on the air. My gut instinct is [the cameo] would have been less likely” due to having to negotiate with NBC for the character cameo instead of DC.
Will Constantine Return?
The big question, of course, is whether this is a one-off appearance or if John Constantine will return in some capacity to the Arrowverse. While this obviously requires a lot of discussion behind the scenes, it’s at least theoretically possible since the character has been established as a preexisting part of the shared universe. Perhaps more importantly, the positive fan reaction since the cameo was first announced has been noticed by both the CW and DC… and they’re the ones who will ultimately make the decision.
The Constantine cameo will likely end up being one of the high points of the season in terms of viewership. It’s likely not the high point, though, given that there’s still a Flash crossover coming and of course the requisite twists and turns leading up to the season finale. Still, extended viewership will likely be strong.
There is also the possibility that Constantine will show up on other Arrowverse shows as well. While there have been no current announcements of the character showing up on The Flash it’s always a possibility for a future season, and he could also make an appearance in the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow series that is being set up so heavily on Arrow and The Flash recently.
A New CW Constantine Series?
Now that fans have seen Constantine interacting with the Arrowverse, many are left wondering whether there could eventually be a full-fledged Constantine revival on the CW. Constantine and its canon are still the property of NBC, and while it’s possible for shows to switch networks (see Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Stargate SG-1 as examples), it’s unclear whether the CW or NBC would be interested in pursuing this.
A more likely scenario would be a new series starring John Constantine that pays homage to the NBC run without directly referencing it. It’s possible that characters established in the NBC run could return with the same actors so long as they were established DC characters, firmly establishing Constantine as at least unofficial continuity for the new series. This would make negotiations easier, since the CW would only have to deal with DC (as they did for the Constantine cameo) and they wouldn’t have to purchase rights to the Constantine show itself.
There has been no new John Constantine show announced, but there have likely been at least a few discussions somewhere. If the CW decides to move forward with a series starring the character, there will almost certainly be an announcement within the next several months. Given the way fans have reacted so far, it seems like just the sort of project that would be fast-tracked to be the next post-Legends of Tomorrow expansion to the Arrowverse.