Constantine Pilot Screening and Q&A Panel from NYCC 2014. Fans were excited to show up at the Empire Stage to view the pilot episode of NBC’s newest series Constantine at the 2014 New York Comic Con. Based on the Hellblazer comics by DC, the panel was moderated by USA TODAY’s Brian Truitt with appearances by writer/producer David S. Goyer along with series stars Matt Ryan and Angelica Celaya.
Fans were treated with the first episode of Constantine at the start of the panel. The pilot introduced audiences to John Constantine, a former conman who claims himself to be an exorcist and Master of the Dark Arts based on his business card. John travels to Atlanta, Georgia to track down Liv Aberdeen (True Blood’s Lucy Griffiths), the daughter of an old friend whom he must protect after he dies. We also get to see John’s partner-in-crime/chauffeur Chas Chandler, played by Charles Halford. An angel named Manny, played by Lost’s Harold Perrineau, then guides John on finding the demon who goes after Liv. The initial reaction to the pilot was positive based on the cheers from fans after the episode ended.
After the pilot screening, the panel went to the cast and crew who answered some questions from Brian about the new series. David S. Goyer said that Constantine would be loosely based on the Hellblazer comics that ran from 1988 to 2013. He assured everyone that Angelica Celaya’s character Zed Martin would make her debut in the second episode of the series. Angelica also discussed playing the character, who is actually an artist who crosses paths with John in the series. There was a glimpse of her that actually appeared in the end of the pilot which shows her painting many iterations of Constantine.
Matt Ryan discussed about the nature of his character, saying that he is a three-dimensional person with an antihero complex but tries to redeem his soul after losing someone he helped to a very powerful demon. He and David talked about his first audition for the role after Matt sent in a self-made tape. After going through many auditions, David said that he and writer Daniel Cerone decided that Matt was a good fit to play the main lead. Matt says that he thoroughly enjoyed playing John Constantine putting his own spin on the character but staying true to the source material.
Because of the nature of the show, David Goyer said that he knew of the network restrictions of what can and can’t show on television. He assured fans that we would still be able to see a bit of John’s smoking addiction even though we won’t see him smoke on screen. Artful language would also be a factor since it’s a big deal in the comics, but Matt confirmed that some words can be used in context. David told everyone that the tone of the comics is still part of the show despite broadcast standards.
If the show becomes successful, David Goyer hopes that he can bring in writers and artists who worked on the Hellblazer comics to help out with the show if it gets picked up for a second season. David also hopes to introduce more characters from the comic books based off of the Newastle Crew, who are spirits of Constantine’s dearly departed friends. The Newcastle Crew included members Sister Anne Marie, Emma, Gary Lester, Astra Logue, and John’s father Thomas. The pilot teased at Doctor Fate, another supernatural hero in the DC Universe. David sees that someone will probably take up the mantle of becoming Doctor Fate in the series soon. During the first season, David announced that we would see characters Nergal, Papa Midnite, and Jim Corrigan AKA The Spectre make appearances in some of the .
Production is still ongoing with the team currently working on episode 10, according to David Goyer. Even though David didn’t say how the season will end, he claimed that he liked a good cliffhanger but hopes that the show will become successful enough to come back for another season.
Constantine premieres on NBC on Friday October 24, 2014 at 10PM EST.
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