It was just announced that Matt Ryan will be reprising his role as John Constantine on season 4 of Arrow. Fans of the cancelled Constantine are crying tears of joy to once again see our beloved John back on the small screen. Matt Ryan was a perfect fit for the unruly "master of the dark arts." I was so pleasantly surprised by the quality of Constantine, and devastated when I heard of its cancellation, although there was some lingering hope that the show would be picked up by another network. Unfortunately, in May it was officially shut down. However, with this recent announcement, let's peer into the darkness and look for a sliver of hope that our favorite Demonologist's show could be saved!
The Bright Side
The reason I remain hopeful about John's appearance on Arrow is the fact that one of the CW's biggest shows right now, The Flash, was birthed on an episode of Arrow. We were given a single episode where Barry Allen was introduced as his normal self and helped Team Arrow solve a crime. Many of us loved this cameo, but wrote it off as just a nice nod to the fans. It was soon after this though that we got the announcement of Barry's reappearance in a later episode, as well as a series of his own.
The CW was able to plant a single seed and have it grow and flourish into one of the most successful shows on their network. This was all done by introducing a character before he even had his powers! Now, John is set to appear and play an integral part in the resurrection process of Sara Lance. Constantine will already be an established "master of the dark arts" with a high level of skill. John is being introduced as his full fledged character and is helping establish the beginnings of a new character on another one of CW's soon to be hit shows, Legends of Tomorrow. Helping Team Arrow accomplish a feat as major as this cannot be enough for a simple one-off use of a character as rich as this. I can't believe that they'd bring in a beloved, established hero like Constantine, have him bring the White Canary back to life, and then just say, "Oh thanks for that. Have a good life." The CW is planting a seed here just as we've seen them do before. There is room for John on this network, and they are helping shape his image and popularity, a problem the previous show had whilst on NBC, by associating him with the biggest heroes on their network.
The Not So Bright Side...
Unfortunately, the heads over at CW and Warner Bros. sound pretty certain when they say that the Matt Ryan's appearance as John Constantine will be
[A] great one-shot episode.
Everyone at the network seems very pleased to have the opportunity to bring Constantine into the Arrowverse, but it sounds like they are being very upfront about his presence being one of finite existence. Here's what they say about the use of John Constantine in Arrow's season 4 episode, "Haunted":
We are thrilled to have Matt Ryan reprise the role of John Constantine on an upcoming episode of ‘Arrow.’ Matt is an incredibly talented actor and his portrayal of this beloved character was always something we admired. The introduction of magic and mysticism on the show this season has provided a truly organic opportunity for us to bring John Constantine to ‘Arrow’ and the CW’s DC universe. It will be a well-deserved tip of the hat to all the ‘Constantine’ fans who were so incredibly supportive of that series.
More specifically, executive producer Wendy Mericle of Arrow and Flash said to Variety, in regards to John's storyline:
We knew Sara was coming back and we wanted to have her soul… she needed to be resurrected, and even in the world of the comic books, he’s the guy to do it. We weren’t sure it was all going to work out, but DC was very generous and Matt Ryan’s schedule worked out and we’re very excited.
Unfortunately, it sounds like the big wigs over at the CW and WB know exactly what they want to use John for, and seem to have little interest in furthering a storyline with a focus on his own character development.
Now we wait. I know it's hard but that's all we can do! We have to wait to watch the episode and see where they leave his character. Then, for those of us who want to really see more of John we must rally with support! I really think there is a great chance that we can see Matt Ryan's John Constantine earn his own show on the CW, but it is up to us to let the studios and networks know how much we want to see John Constantine in the Arrowverse!