NBC’s Constantine pilot recently cast its leading man – Welsh actor Matt Ryan, who will play the title role in the potential series – an adaptation of DC Comics’ Hellblazer graphic novels, centered on John Constantine, a master of the occult, who’s haunted by his past, but finds himself suddenly called upon to defend humanity from the gathering forces of darkness.
You’ll recall the 2005 feature film based on the comic, which starred Keanu Reeves. And if you’ve seen that film, you’ll also remember that Djimon Hounsou co-starred, playing a character named Midnite.
In the graphic novel that the film is based on, Midnite is Papa Midnite, Constantine’s old adversary, who eventually teams up with him to fight evil, although, not being too familiar with the comic, my research tells me that their relationship is kind of rocky.
Papa Midnite is an immortal Vodun shaman, by the way.
Word on the street is that Papa Midnite should find his way into the TV series (if, after the pilot, it gets ordered to series).
Papa Midnite will be introduced in the pilot, with a subplot that explores his origins and, if the series is picked up, fans will get to see John Constantine and Papa Midnite squaring off numerous times, as the stakes are continually raised.
Apparently, it’s supposed to be a big part in the series. The character even received his very own comic special (see the cover below).
So, assuming this sticks, the obvious question here is who will be cast to play Papa Midnite? To assist, I’d add that, given that NBC appears to be going somewhat younger with the key roles in the project, I’d assume Midnite will likely be played by a younger black actor. For comparison, Matt Ryan, who will play Constantine, is 32 years old. Keanu Reeves was 41 when he played the character on the big screen. But I suppose anything is possible, and age may not be a factor at all, as long as they look the part.
My research returned no news of any candidates for the part – at least, not yet; so we wait to find out. But, those familiar with the graphic novel series, feel free to chime in with your thoughts on who you think would be suitable for the part, given what you already know about him.
Daniel Cerone (Dexter) penned the pilot and will executive-produce the project with David Goyer and Warner Bros. Television.