John Constantine is gonna get down and dirty this time. For real.
The sequel to 2005’s Constantine–based on the DC Comics supernatural character–is finally gathering steam, and the director is going on record as saying this film will be a true R-rated horror-fantasy feature.
Francis Lawrence–who returns to helm the sequel from a screenplay he’s working on with Akiva Goldsman and star Keanu Reeves–recently told The Wrap that one of the important things about the original was that he followed the Warner Bros. rules “to make a PG-13 movie in terms of violence, blood, language and sexuality–but the ratings board gave us an R rating based on their gray zone of intensity.”
His big regret about the first film, he admitted, “was that we had an R-rated movie that’s really a PG-13 movie. If I was going for an R movie, I would have made it much scarier and more violent.”
This time around, Lawrence added, he will “really go at it and make it a real R-rated Constantine which is, I think, what people always wanted–not the PG-13 version that just happened to get an R.”
Lawrence said, at this point, “we’ve got the right people to go forward. Now, we need the story. We’d all love to do it.”
As far as casting goes, Reeves is back on board to reprise the lead character, with additional cast members sure to be announced soon. J.J. Abrams and Hannah Minghella are producing the sequel under the Bad Robot banner.
The original Constantine–helmed by Lawrence from a screenplay by Kevin Brodbin and Frank Cappello–stars Reeves as John Constantine, a cynical exorcist with the power to perceive and communicate with half-angels and half-demons, and to travel between Earth and Hell.
The DC Comics Constantine character–created by Alan Moore, Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Veitch and John Totleben–made his first appearance in Swamp Thing No. 37 way back in 1985, and was given his own title three years later.
Keep reading Horror News Network for further updates on the Constantine sequel.