In an interview, director Francis Lawrence spoke about the long-planned “Constantine” sequel. This time he won’t compromise anymore.
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Hardly anyone expected this announcement: It was only recently announced that Warner Bros. is planning a sequel to “Constantine” 17 years after the first film. The DC adaptation of the “Hellblazer” comics with Keanu Reeves as the chain-smoking exorcist John Constantine wasn’t all that successful in 2005, but over the years it has developed into a small cult insider tip.
The fact that director Francis Lawrence, who made his directorial debut with “Constantine”, is given another chance after such a long time is certainly due to the new popularity of Keanu Reeves and the restructuring at Warner Bros. Discovery under new CEO David Zaslav. For the 51-year-old, the unexpected opportunity comes at just the right time after he and Reeves had been trying to crank out a sequel for many years. They always felt that Constantine’s story had not yet been fully told on the big screen.
Most importantly, Lawrence felt betrayed in a way—by the US Motion Picture Association. The association issues the age recommendations and gave “Constantine” a high R rating at the time. In Germany, the film, which you can stream via Amazon, was released with an age rating of 16 and over. The 100 million US dollar production was designed for the widest possible audience, Lawrence deliberately held back when it came to horror and violence in order to receive a PG 13 rating.
Lawrence promises in an interview that he will not repeat this mistake with “Constantine 2”. The Wrap:
“One of the biggest issues for me with the first film was that we followed Warner Bros. rules to make a PG-13 film in terms of violence, gore, profanity and sexuality. But the review board gave us a hard R based on the gray area of intensity. And I really regret that we have an R rated film that is actually a PG-13 film. If I was supposed to do an R-rated film, I really would have made an R-rated film. I would have made it a lot scarier, a lot more violent, and I would have directed a real R-rated film.”
So much scarier. Would “Constantine” have been as scary as these films in our video?
“Constantine 2” is supposed to be scarier, bloodier, but also more cynical
However, fans will have to wait a while before “Constantine 2” hits the cinemas. Lawrence is a sought-after filmmaker, having just finished filming the Hunger Games prequel A Song of the Birds and the Snake, and next he is turning his attention to the video game adaptation Bioshock for Netflix. Speaking of which, the streaming service will start on November 18, 2022 his new film “Slumberland” with Jason Momoa.
Work on John Constantine’s next adventure is still in its infancy, with a screenplay yet to be written. There are plenty of ideas – and the plan to iron out the mistakes of the first film:
“The idea this time, for me at least, is to throw myself in and do a real R-rated ‘Constantine.’ That, I think, is what people wanted from the start – not a PG-13 version that just happens to be R-rated.”
But more horror and more action alone are not enough, Lawrence wants to bring the character of the exorcist closer to the comic template, i.e. make him more cynical and darker. That should also be in the spirit of Keanu Reeves.
Can you tell Keanu Reeves’ age from his films? Certainly not a problem for fans, right?
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