One of the coolest creations of the DC Universe, in my humble opinion, has been the Hellblazer series and the character of John Constantine. Unlike many of his DC counterparts, who were created as products of a world struggling through two World Wars and the Great Depression, John Constantine was created during the early eighties, an era defined by a Cold War that found it's people in the constant grip of a seemingly inevitable nuclear oblivion. While heroes like Superman were inspired by Greek mythology and steeped in American idealism, Constantine seems to tap into a darker, more cynical place. He carries himself with the cynicism of a Noire Detective, and his encounters are something out of an H.P. Lovecraft novel. Hellblazer is not your typical comic book, and John Constantine is not your typical comic book hero.
But who should play him? the character is supposed to be a surly Brit, but you can be certain that NBC is not focused on keeping the character's British origins necessarily. It will depend on who they cast, because it's very likely the show itself will be set mainly in the States. I believe the look and manner will be most important to people. So here is my short list of popular film and television actors that I think could do the role justice (though I'm sure there are other's I'm not thinking about):
5. Misha Collins.
Fans of Supernatural have come to love Misha Collins as the often misguided angel Castiel. He has displayed a subtle range on that show that would serve the character of Constantine well. He also has this really great deep, gravel quality to his voice. Also, he has perfected that desperate look in the eyes of a man who has seen too many things, walked too many roads. Finally, he once admitted in an interview that his character's look on Supernatural was based on Constantine, so we know he's familiar with the character. He isn't British, and he doesn't look much like Sting (who became the artists inspiration for the character's look in the comics) but he has the intangibles in spades. However, Supernatural was just picked up for a tenth season so availability may be an issue.
4. Liam McIntyre
Fans of Spartacus: War of the Damned can tell you, this guy has an impressive screen presence. He has a great swagger about him. He can communicate a full range of emotions without speaking a word, and rage is a specialty. He would wear the role well.
3. Michael C. Hall
Another fine actor, he can definitely bring off the look. And after years of hunting and dispatching serial killers like wild game on Dexter fans will have no problem picturing him as an occult detective, battling demons. His years talking to ghosts on Six Feet Under would also serve him well, as John Constantine is plagued by the deceased spirits of friends and family. Again, there are those who may object to him not being British. It's being made for an American audience, think we'll have to get past this one.
2. Ryan Gosling
Ok, some people may get up in arms about this one. And it's certainly in the "highly unlikely " category as well. But Gosling is a very good actor who has recently made some very bad films (and some good ones that nobody saw). He could use the popularity boost. And Movie actors going to TV is a lot less taboo than it used to be. Just ask Kevin Bacon, Anna Faris, Karl Urban, and Robin Williams.
1. Damian Lewis
Ever since he played Lt. Winters in Band of Brothers, I have been a huge fan of Damian Lewis. I've thought for some time he would be perfect for this role. He's tough, he has the right look about him, and he's British. Perfect. Now if we can only pull him away from Homeland long enough to make this thing happen.
So there it is. I'm sure you will all have fun pointing out who I've forgotten, and I will enjoy reading all about it. Just for fun, let me know which of these five you would MOST like to see in the role.