Sci Fi Wire (US), April 29, 2003

Constantine Is Anti-X-Men

X2 producer Lauren Shuler Donner told SCI FI Wire that her next comic-book movie, Constantine, based on Vertigo Comics' John Constantine: Hellblazer, will be darker than her X-Men sequel. "It's PG-13, like X-Men, but the character doesn't have superpowers," Shuler Donner said. "It's really focused on John Constantine, and it's more spiritual. He sends demons back down to hell. It's a darker tone."

Shuler Donner added that it will be a challenge selling audiences on a hero without the name recognition of X-Men. "I think the challenge is just to make a really good movie," she said. "Even though there's a name, a cachet, the movie [still] has to stand up on its own."

Music video and commercial director Francis Lawrence will make his feature-film directing debut on Constantine. Shuler Donner added that she landed Keanu Reeves for the title role through luck. "We gave him the script, and he read it, and he liked it," she said. "He committed to it, luckily." Production begins in September.

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