‘Constantine’: Keanu Reeves Said ‘Throwing Down’ with This Oscar Winner Was 1 of the Highlights of Making the Movie

Bill and Ted Face the Music is heading to on-demand services. The Matrix 4 is set for a theatrical release in 2022. And John Wick: Chapter 4 is currently in development for that same year. In short, it’s an excellent time to be a fan of Keanu Reeves. Now fans of the actor’s 2005 movie Constantine have had reason to celebrate.

Keanu Reeves arrives for the 2019 LACMA Art+Film Gala
Keanu Reeves arrives for the 2019 LACMA Art+Film Gala | JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images

Keanu Reeves’ ‘Constantine’ hit theaters to modest success in 2005

Based on the DC Comics title Hellblazer, Constantine stars Reeves as the mystical anti-hero John Constantine. The character’s adventures often deal with heaven and hell as well as other supernatural concepts like witchcraft and the various dark arts. So, coming a few years after Marvel’s success with Blade, the movie likely seemed like a smash hit.

Alas, Constantine didn’t kickstart a franchise as some involved in the project had hoped. The movie — from first-time director Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) — earned only $75 million domestically. The $100 million production did eke out a profit internationally, reaching $230 million worldwide. But it has since developed a bit of a cult following.

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The actor stars opposite a future Oscar winner

So the Comic-Con@Home 2020 panel celebrating the movie’s 15th anniversary proved to be a highlight for Constantine fans. Reeves joined the event, as did Lawrence and producer Akiva Goldsman. And during the 46-minute reunion, the three men discussed the film’s production. In particular, Reeves pointed out the fun he had working with the movie’s ensemble cast.

Playing that role, I get to have these great moments with all these characters in the film. Throwing down with Peter Stormare while I’m bleeding out! And he’s leaning into me and lighting my cigarette. Throwing down with Tilda Swinton as she’s choking me “John? John?” with her foot on my throat.

Working with Shia Labeouf, working with Djimon Hounsou… the dialogue is so juicy and the scenes are so…you know, that hard-boiled thing…there were so many times of getting to work with so many extraordinary artists, and we were all just having fun.

Swinton would go on to win an Academy Award a couple of years later for Michael Clayton. And the actor isn’t exactly who audiences would think of to play the angel Gabriel. And the same year Constantine hit theaters, she would have arguably her biggest role to date. Swinton played the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

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Reeves could return to the role for a sequel

Indeed, Reeves himself concedes he doesn’t resemble the comics’ John Constantine, who is historically a blonde British man. But the actor reveals he was drawn to the “humanitarian cynic” in Constantine. “Tired, world-weary… but still a part of it,” he said. “And I loved his sense of humor.”

Moreover, now thanks to the movie, Reeves is probably the version most moviegoers are familiar with. Matt Ryan has played the character on television, but Reeves is still the only big-screen Constantine. To that end, could Reeves reprise the role in the DC Extended Universe?

Rumors have certainly swirled about a Reeves’ presence in the DCEU. And the actor, Lawrence, and Goldsman seem interested in pursuing a sequel, even now. So perhaps fans of Constantine might see Reeves return for a sequel to another of his beloved movies in the near future.