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Details emerge for DC Comics' 'Constantine' and 'Gotham' TV shows

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John Constantine Hellblazer
John Constantine Hellblazer

Comic creators Marvel took some of its biggest characters to the small screen for live action drama last year in Agents of SHIELD. Now arch-rival DC Comics is planning to do the same. Deadline reports that pilots for TV shows Constantine and Gotham have been greenlit at NBC and Fox respectively.

Both shows were first revealed last September. Gotham was expected to focus on the early life of Gotham City's police commissioner Gordon, but Fox chairman Kevin Reilly said yesterday that the show would also feature "all of the classic Batman villains," including Catwoman, the Riddler, and the Penguin. The program, described as "an operatic soap with a larger than life quality," is also set to tell the story of a young Bruce Wayne. According to Deadline, Gotham will track "track Bruce from a child, until he puts on a cape (in the series finale)." Deadline says a writers room will be set up in February, with the "full intention to go to series" after the pilot.

'Gotham' will feature classic Batman villains and a young Bruce Wayne

Supernatural detective John Constantine will also be getting his own TV pilot after NBC purchased the rights to adapt a TV series based on the character last year. The chain-smoking, trenchcoat-sporting detective was created by Alan Moore and appeared in Vertigo Comics' Hellblazer, before shifting over to DC Comics' Constantine in 2013. Deadline reports the pilot will be written and produced by David Goyer — a writer for Christopher Nolan's three Batman movies and Man of Steel — and executive producer of The Mentalist, Daniel Cerone. The commitment was sold with a penalty if NBC decides not to follow through with the production of the series.

Air dates and specific plot details for the pilots are yet to be confirmed, as are the actors who'll take the lead roles. Keanu Reeves played Constantine in 2005's movie of the same name, but it's unclear if he'll be reprising the role for TV. Deadline reports that the actor that does earn the part is also likely to appear on the big screen in the future: John Constantine is rumored to appear in the Justice League Dark movie set to be directed by Guillermo del Toro.