‘Constantine’ Showrunner Daniel Cerone Discusses The Creative Process Behind The Former NBC Show

Constantine, the NBC iteration, has been dead and gone or months. Constantine, as performed by Matt Ryan, is alive, well, and waiting to drop into Star(ling) City in Arrow Season 4. The Inquisitr has been following Constantine’s developments, but Comicbook released some interesting interview responses from former showrunner Daniel Cerone that gives Constantine and DC Comics fans a look into the mindset of NBC’s direction for the show that has since been cancelled.

In a discussion about the “Monster of the week” format that Constantine, and other shows seem to follow these days, Cerone discussed what NBC wanted and expected from its DC Comics property, and illustrated their mindset from the moment they purchased the show.

“Look, NBC wanted stand-alone stories, without a doubt. That’s what we said from the beginning, that’s what they ordered.”

Constantine‘s producers and writers, Daniel Cerone, David S. Goyer, and company, were not deterred by NBC’s focus, but rather saw it as a starting point to slowly delve into John Constantine Hellblazer over the length of Season 1.

Constantine - DC/Vertigo Comics frame

To some degree, the Constantine crew had to consider viewers had never read Hellblazer. Cerone said, as Constantine fans, they were always intending on diving into the vast volumes of Hellblazer comics for the NBC show to source.

“We’re fans of Hellblazer, we’re fans of John Constantine as much as anybody that’s watching I hope, and we’re fans of serialized storytelling. And so we knew that as the show built, we would be able to lean more into serialization while also telling stand-alone stories but you couldn’t just jump into a serialized story because there’s also millions of viewers out there who don’t know John Constantine.”

Daniel Cerone explained that the stand-alone stories, also known as “Monster of the week” to some, was seemingly more to appease NBC. Cerone felt that once viewers took a dip into the stories and were drawn into the characters, they were able to start bring the ongoing Constantine story arc front and center.

“That was the network’s thinking in terms of having stand-alone stories. I think what you saw at the beginning was that you saw more episodic storytelling, but once people spent a couple episodes with these characters, we were able to loosen the reins a little bit and start digging into characters and continuing stories. Once we start digging into that rich tapestry of humanity around John, of course it exploded. How could it not? There was such a wealth of source material there that excites fans and certainly excites us as writers.”

Unfortunately for Cerone and Constantine fans, NBC dropped the master of the dark arts’ show, and it has yet to see the light of day at another network. Constantine‘s NBC outing also had some other odd quirks in how they placed episodes. As one example Constantine Episode 6 “Rage of Caliban,” though it isn’t mentioned by name and only as a Halloween-themed episode, was originally intended to air around Halloween. Constantine fans know that episode showed up at the end of November.

Constantine Meets Oliver Queen - DC Comics

Unbeknownst to most fans, that Constantine episode was apparently meant to be shown before the episode that Zed Martin found her way to the Mill house in Constantine Episode 2 “The Darkness Beneath.” Though NBC seem to feel that shuffling episodes around worked for them, Constantine the show is no longer on TV. Constantine, sadly, had problems right out of the gate with them ditching their original lead female character after the original pilot had been shown.

Constantine was certainly plagued with these issue, but did the NBC show fail because of it, or did fans simply not take to it? As Daniel Cerone had pointed out in the past, Constantine garnered over 3.5 million viewers when it was all said and done.

Constantine fans needn’t lament, as John Constantine will be dropping by Star(ling) City in a few weeks, and who fully knows what the CW has in store for the characters.

[Images Via NBC/Constantine/DC Comics/Vertigo Comics]