Constantine is coming back to TV as a ‘chain-smoking bisexual’
Comic book detective John Constantine is returning to TV – and this time he might not be straightwashed.
Popular DC comic book series Constantine follows Constantine, a bisexual British exorcist and occult detective who actively hunts supernatural entities.
A short-lived TV show based on the comic book aired in 2014 – but the show didn’t feature any same-sex romances for Constantine, played by Matt Ryan.
However, all is not lost.
The character will be making a return to TV, with Matt Ryan reprising the role again for a one-off guest slot in DC’s superhero time travel series Legends of Tomorrow, which is set in the same universe.
And this time, he’s actually bisexual.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Legends of Tomorrow producer Phil Klemmer said: “As for Constantine, we knew that an alienated, chain-smoking, bisexual, world-weary demonologist would feel right at home among our Legends.”
The producers of the original Constantine TV show had insisted their variant of the character was not bisexual.
Executive producer Daniel Cerone insisted his sexuality wasn’t important to explore, suggesting it as a plot line for a hypothetical 20th season of Constantine.
Mr Cerone said: “Within three decades [of comics] there might have been one or two issues where he’s seen getting out of bed with a man. So [maybe we will do it] 20 years from now? But there are no immediate plans.”
Constantine was duly cancelled after one season, just 19 short seasons away from getting actual queer representation.
Legends of Tomorrow, meanwhile, is perfectly happy to have LGBT main characters, with Caity Lotz playing the bisexual White Canary on the show.
Lotz previously said it was “important” that the series remained true to her character’s sexuality.
She told Vulture: “That was a big, important thing for me, that she stays bisexual, and [the showrunners] were 100 percent game for that.
“I go to conventions, and I’ve had a lot of girls come up to me and say how much it’s meant to them to have a character representing them on TV, and I think the show does a really good job on that with Sara, where it’s not like, ‘Oh yeah … hot girls, making out’.
“There’s an actual relationship and love there. And Sara is bisexual, so she loves men, too. I think Sara just loves a person for who they are.”
Keanu Reeves played Constantine in a separate 2005 film that also failed to address his bisexuality, focusing on a female love interest.