Ah, Constantine. What an odd duck that one was.
Debuting on NBC in 2014, Constantine should have been a hit. The tales of a British demon fighting exorcist, it was riding the high set by The CW’s “Arrowverse”. Gotham was debuting. And Matt Ryan was pretty damn perfect as John Constantine, The Hellblazer. But NBC promotion was lacking, and it aired in a Friday night death slot for all 13 episodes. Mid-season, Constantine got the axe. I never finished it. I completely missed the show’s return after holiday hiatus. But I enjoyed what I saw, and thought it was a well written, smartly cast show.
Even after getting axed, fans were behind the show. Petitions and campaigns to move the show were in effect immediately. For months, it looked like Constantine might move to SyFy, but it never happened. Eventually, though, Matt Ryan returned as the character for a guest appearance on the fourth season of Arrow. While that appearance didn’t lead to much, Ryan is due to return for the upcoming Justice League Dark animated movie. Now the fans have clamored loud and long enough to finally convince DC to release the series on home video.
You may have noticed the ad in the back of some recent DC Comics. But today DC finally confirmed a release date of October 4th on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital video. No announcement yet on whether the show will turn up on Netflix beside other NBC and CW properties.
There’s not a lot on the disc so far as special features. The Comic Con panels from mid-2014 and some behind the scenes footage. But that it’s even getting a release is a testament to how much fan support can actually mean. After it’s cancellation, Constantine seemed likely to gather dust for eternity. It likely would have been years, if ever, before Warner Bros decided to do a home video release. You can see plenty of examples of lesser known DC shows not getting home video releases. Despite it’s popularity, 1990’s The Flash got it’s only DVD release after the success of “Arrow”. Other shows, like Shazam!, Beware The Batman and later seasons of Superboy are only available via Warner Archive’s Made-On-Demand service.
There are of course now rumblings of a second season of Constantine, relocated to The CW. While Greg Berlanti’s thriving “Arrowverse” would benefit from the world building, it’s unlikely. Recent interviews imply there’s no plans to add more shows to the current line-up. However, with a different DC hero four nights a week and revolving casts, it’s only a matter of time before someone takes another chance on ol’ John.