The original writer of Keanu Reeves’ 2005 Constantine movie, Frank Cappello, has revealed that there were plans for a Swamp Thing movie that he was developing for Warner Bros. and DC after they pulled the plug on making Constantine 2 after the film bombed at the box office.
Cappello recently took part in an AMA on r/Movies and shared the following information on the project that was ultimately scrapped:
“After Constantine released and didn’t do as well as the studio wanted, they had to cancel my contract on writing an official Constantine 2. They offered me two alternates and one was Swamp Thing. Now if you know the Constantine/Hellblazer world, Alan Moore wrote the original Swamp Thing and that was where John Constantine was first seen. So once I saw that I decided to pick Swamp Thing to write.
The screenwriter went on to reveal what he was looking to do with the Swamp Thing movie, saying:
“I wrote it as a metaphysical horror film and wanted to put Constantine in it but I was not allowed for legal reasons. So I invented a character that had the same vibe as JC and called him Mr ‘E’. That was a Joel Silver production and it never got made. Probably because Mr Silver wanted a giant talking plant man like the cheesy TV series and my draft was based on the darker cool world that Alan Moore originally did. I wish I could leak that script out so people could see how cool that film would have been.”
He should leak the script! I’d read it! I’d be interested in seeing what his unique vision for Swamp Thing was. During the Q&A, Cappello also reflected on the backlash to casting an American actor as John Constantine, saying:
“I was on the Hellblazer chat site in England while writing the first one and heard all the gripes about Keanu being in it and disowning it before it ever came out, so there was no winning them over at that point. When it finally came out, they were split. It wasn’t their JC, it was America’s and of course they rebelled, but many liked it for what it was – and the haters got their series with an English guy and the fans of the film started screaming – where’s Keanu!
“And the series failed. It’s like fans of Batman hated Michael Keaton originally cast as Batman and yet screamed for his return after Clooney and Val and it’s the only thing in current The Flash people didn’t hate – the return of Keaton as Batman.”
DC Studios is currently developing a Constantine sequel with Reeves coming back to reprise his role. They are also developing a Swamp Thing movie with James Mangold set to write and direct! Both projects are pretty exciting! It seems like we’ve got a long way to go before these films are made, but I’m excited to see how they turn out.