Keanu Reeves Had To Beg For A Sequel To His Darkest Movie

Keanu Reeves had to beg Warner Bros. for a sequel to Constantine, which may finally happen.

By Phillip Moyer | Updated

Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves might be best known for his roles in John Wick and The Matrix, but he liked playing John Constantine in the aptly-named 2005 film Constantine. He liked it so much that he was determined to make a sequel, despite the movie’s mixed reception. SlashFilm reports that Reeves kept begging Warner Bros. to make a sequel for years, and it finally paid off.

In an interview, Keanu Reeves said that he loved playing the character of John Constantine, and thought that director Francis Lawrence did a great job with the film. He went on to say that he asked the higher-ups at Warner Bros. for permission to make a sequel pretty much every year, and they kept denying him right up until the point that they didn’t. 

Now, the film has been greenlit, and Keanu Reeves says that the team has just started to work on what the story of Constantine 2 will be. 

The original movie was a supernatural film noir about a demon hunter trying to stop the Antichrist from coming to earth. Keanu Reeves played that hunter, John Constantine, a troubled exorcist who knows that he is condemned to hell because he committed suicide as a teen before being brought back to life.

The film was moderately successful in theaters, bringing in $230 million worldwide against an estimated $100 million budget. However, critics were split on the film, complaining that the film was confusing and lacked focus and resulting in a 46% Tomatometer rating. Some critics said that the performances, including Keanu Reeves’ portrayal of John Constantine, were uninspired. 

Another common complaint was that Keanu Reeves’ version of John Constantine strayed too far from the Hellblazer comic books the film was based on. While it kept the theme of a conflict between the forces of heaven and hell, and John Constantine already starting the story knowing that he’s condemned to eternal damnation, the rest of the movie was almost entirely divorced from the DC Comics title it is based on. 

However, in the years since the film’s debut, opinions have shifted. The film has become something of a cult hit, with people praising Keanu Reeves’s performance and marveling at the movie’s stylistic choices. Opinions about the film are still mixed, but the fans are starting to outnumber the critics.

It’s little wonder, then, that Keannu Reeves’ persistence toward making another Constantine film has finally managed to finally pay off. With people’s opinion of the original improving, and Keanu Reeves’ popularity skyrocketing after the success of the John Wick franchise, what once seemed like a risky proposition now seems like a potential hit in the making.

It also helps that James Gunn is shaking up the DC Comics franchise, meaning there might be room to release the film under the comic label. While Keanu Reeve’s once again playing John Constantine might have seemed out of place when DC was trying to bring together a shared cinematic universe, the new direction might allow more room for unusual films like Constantine.