Superhero Hype! (US), December 4, 2003
Tim Bradstreet on Constantine & The Punisher
(snipped for Constantine)
Hero Realm chatted with comic book artist Tim Bradstreet about the Constantine and The Punisher big screen adaptations. Here's a few clips from the interview...
A.H.: Any thoughts about Keanu Reeves playing Constantine?
Bradstreet: Hmm. I have to be honest and say that when I first heard the rumor, there was also buzz to the fact that Guy Ritchie would direct. My thought's were, if Ritchie is directing I don't care who they get to star in it cause it should be good. With Ritchie helming, maybe they would move the storyline out of the states and back to the UK where it belongs. Then I heard that Ritchie wasn't in but Keanu was. I don't hate Keanu, it's better than having Arnold attached. And if they are going to build this film around the star it makes sense to Americanize the character given the fact that I just can't see Keanu pulling off a Liverpool accent.
I will reserve final judgment until I see the film. Keanu may just pull it off. The thing I'm most upset about is the fact that they've taken the character out of the UK. London is just as important to Hellblazer as John Constantine is. Fans are already alienated from this production because of that alone. Where is the benefit of alienating your core audience? Apparently, they don't believe that the 14,000 or so people who read it monthly are very important in the scheme of things. But that's Hollywood. Take everything that is essential to the character and change it to fit the profile of the popcorn industry. All that matters is that Keanu does his job and brings in his core audience. That's how the bean counters look at it. It really sucks that if they wanted to stay true to the book it would probably hurt the box office. American audiences just don't want to pay to see a British chap con people and use magic (I'm assuming). Although I would have definitely plunked down my cash to have seen it. Now if I was casting that film I'd have cast Paul Bettany as Constantine. That would have made my day. But Paul Bettany is not proven box office and this industry is all about profit. Too bad really. Now, bitching aside I really hope that director Francis Lawrence and his hard working crew are passionate about the project and deliver a film that makes me eat my words. I wish them all the best of luck. And don't count out Keanu yet. I remember a certain comedic actor who donned the cape and cowl of a certain Bat Man a while back. Fans raised holy Hell when that was announced and then quickly changed their collective minds when they saw the film. If the cast and crew of Constantine manage to create a work that is a cut above the usual comic book to film adaptations, then the jeers will turn to cheers.