Crackpot Theories Episode 1
Like many fans I was crushed when NBC announced the cancellation of Constantine and overjoyed when CW announced Matt Ryan's return as the character in a guest appearance on Arrow Season 4. The question now is what does this mean for the character in the long run and the chances of an eventual series revival?
First let's look at what we know so far
The contracts for the cast have expired but the actor Matt Ryan has expressed his interest in continuing as the character past the guest spot on Arrow. Producers have been entirely too quick to characterize the appearance as a one-shot (very fishy). We also know that CW is already launching a team-centered show, Legends of Tomorrow.
My theory so far is that this guest appearance is designed as a foot in the door for the character. Once he is established as existing in the same world, the possibilities of bringing him back in a big way become more solid. Likely Constantine will play a role in the second arc of Legends of Tomorrow. The White Canary connection already ties him to one of the main characters on the show. In addition to this fact we know the producers have stated several times that they want to build up the supernatural element in the Arrowverse. We also know that John Constantine currently possesses the helmet of Doctor Fate, which I personally don't think the Arrow/Flash/Legends producers can pass up as a plot thread, it's way too tempting.
There have also been several subtle clues dropped to the possibilities of a CW based Constantine series contrary to what we've been led to believe. It stands to reason that if CW did a new series with Ryan they wouldn't just call it Constantine and have it be a new season of the old show. I suspect that they would change the name and retool it to better fit the CW's universe. This would likely mean they'll be calling the show Hellblazer. I have distinctly noticed that rather it's Matt Ryan or the Arrow producers referring to the series, the character and the fans they have been careful not to refer to it as Constantine but rather they always include the alternate name. I do not believe this is a simple matter of placating comic fans, I think it's a clue to their long term intentions.
One reason people have been skeptical about the possibility of a new Constantine series has been the fact that current CW series Supernatural is very similar in tone to what such a series would be. I however suspect that this is the very reason they are working to establish Constantine as a character in the Arrowverse. Supernatural is about to begin it's eleventh season, realistically in spite of the show's hit status it cannot go on forever. I expect it to organically end in the next couple of years and you can bet CW doesn't want to sacrifice the fan base that kept a show on for so long. They will want a series that can appeal to the same core audience, Hellblazer could be such a series. However I think they want to time it just right, so the series won't be immediately forthcoming. The main goal right now is to keep the character and the actor on peoples minds.
The other chief reason people don't expect a revival to work is reuniting the cast. In a way that is what makes John Constantine such a genius character for TV. They only need the one actor because of the nature of the character. John Constantine alienates his friends, it's a core character trait. The idea that the cast of the original series just got sick of his crap and stopped returning his phone calls makes perfect sense for the character. Depending on who, if anyone can come back when we see him again he could be just as miserable and alone as he was in the NBC pilot and it would work.