Constantine lives! Kind of.
Mark Pedowitz of the CW announced that Matt Ryan would be reprising Constantine for one episode on his network—but the real question is will he be sticking around?
NBC hyped (potentially overhyped) Constantine, but after accusations of straightwashing the beloved bisexual icon garnered national news attention, NBC appeared to have second thoughts about the show. Executive Producer David S. Goyer later backpedaled, saying:
“[I] never said Constantine wasn’t bisexual. He just isn’t getting out of bed with a man in the pilot.”
But the with the PR campaign going from 100 to nothing practically overnight, the premiere pushed to October, and the show itself struggling for ratings in its Friday night death slot, the damage was done.
Despite all this, Constantine gained a devoted cult following, and despite the last episode airing in February fans held out hope that the show would be renewed in May along with the other series pickups, choosing to believe that the lack of news was not simply a stay of execution. According to Executive Producer Daniel Cerone’s announcement, the studio did attempt to find a new home for the show, but with no success, the actors and writers were released from their contracts in June.
All hope for the Hellblazers seemed lost—until now. Their savior arrived in the unlikely form of Steven Amell, star of the CW’s Arrow. Back in May, he mentioned he’d been in talks with DC—not NBC or the CW—to guest star on Constantine:
“The reason that I was going to guest star on Constantine, at least the idea that we were throwing around, was [Constantine’s] an expert when it comes to the Lazarus Pit, which is now something that is a part of, and will continue to be a part of, Arrow.”
Amell must have worked some sort of magic, because yesterday’s announcement effectively created a cross-network crossover event.
— Matt Ryan (@mattryanreal) August 11, 2015
Although cross-network series continuations have happened before, this event—which is so far only one episode—would be the only time in recent memory that a canceled TV series became part of an existing universe, in a kind of retroactive continuity previously only heard of in comic books. Retconning like this that is the only reason John Constantine is a character in DC Universe with as Oliver Queen and the Justice League to begin with.
But will he stick around? And, more importantly, will he be bi? The CW has already had a bisexual woman, Sara Lance, as a superhero. If the CW wants me, and other Bi!John supporters to tune in this fall, we’d better see him getting in (or out of) bed with a man.