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"Constantine" a Supernatural Hit at Comic Con

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    NEWSLETTERS

    “Constantine” is based on the popular Hellblazer comic book series about a modern-day sorcerer who, despite his cynical nature, takes it upon himself to rid the world of dark forces in an attempt to overcome his troubled past. The show, starring Matt Ryan as John Constantine, Harold Perrineau as Manny (Constantine’s Guardian Angel), Angelica Celaya as Zed, and Charles Halford as Chas Chandler, premieres on NBC on Friday, October 24 at 10:00 p.m.

    Another comic-book staple is taking over primetime this fall – chock full of demons, exorcisms and blood.

    While devoted fans may think they’re getting simply a visual telling of longtime DC Comics series “Hellblazer,” producers Daniel Cerone and David Goyer said Saturday they’re taking a multidimensional approach to “Constantine.”

    “We really wanted to present the reality in the show,” Cerone said “We really just want this to be as compelling and real as possible.”

    The pilot is set to premiere Oct. 24 on NBC. It follows John Constantine, a man with supernatural powers who’s reluctantly brought into the role of defending people against dark forces. Fans got a screening of the pilot at “Constantine’s” Comic-Con International panel, followed by a brief Q and A session with the producers and stars.

    For a show that hasn’t even aired yet, it’s received quite the response at Comic Con. Promotion of “Constantine” outside the San Diego Convention Center was big, with an interactive display greeting incomers to Gaslamp Square.

    On Saturday afternoon, a long line of fans poured into the panel, filling most of the seats.  And following the screening, applause rang out.

    Comic-book fans were apparently thrilled to hear when Goyer said in the panel that they planned to stay consistent to “Hellblazer” writing, eliciting cheers.

    “The best writers have been writing ‘Constantine’ for the past 25 years,” he said. “We’re going ‘old school.’”

    But, the producers said, they plan to explore the ambiguity of the characters and delve into the human element of the story line. For instance, is Constantine good or bad? That’s something to be explore.

    Not a big comic-book fan before taking the role, Matt Ryan, who plays the lead role of John Constantine, said a good friend coached him on how to portray the enigmatic Constantine.

    “He’s my own personal critic,” Ryan said of his comic fan friend. “Once I got the job, I kind of delved into the comics.”

    So how is “Constantine” different than other comic books-turned-TV shows?

    “To us, it’s most relatable,” said Angelica Celaya, who plays Zed Martin, referring to the exploration of moral good and bad elements. “Constantine is Constantine.”