‘Constantine 2’ Story Being ‘Hashed Out’ With Keanu Reeves, but ‘Script Has to Be Written’; Director Wants a ‘Real Rated R Version’

Variety reported last fall that Keanu Reeves was in talks to return for a sequel to “Constantine,” the 2005 superhero horror movie based on the graphic novels from DC Comics and Vertigo Comics. Francis Lawrence, the 2005 film’s director, offered a small but notable update on the project. The filmmaker is set to return alongside Reeves for the sequel.

It turns out a script for “Constantine 2” still does not exist — it got held up by the WGA strike, which is now over — but the two men and original producer Akiva Goldsman are hashing out the story.

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“So ‘Constantine 2’ got obviously held up by the writers strike,” Lawrence recently told GameSpot. “And we had to jump through a bunch of hurdles to get control of the character again, because other people had control of the Vertigo stuff. We have control.”

“Keanu and Akiva Goldsman and I have been in meetings and have been hashing out what we think the story is going to be, and there’s more meetings of those that have to happen. The script has to be written,” he added. “[But we’re] really hoping that we get to do ‘Constantine 2,’ and make a real rated-R version of it.”

The original “Constantine,” which co-starred Rachel Weisz and Tilda Swinton, earned $230 million at the worldwide box office. Reeves starred as John Constantine, an exorcist with the ability to see the demons and angels influencing regular folks. He’s driven to send every last demon to hell, thus solidifying his place in heaven.

“Constantine” has been a hot property in Hollywood. After Reeves and Lawrence’s 2005 movie, NBC developed a television adaptation from showrunners Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer that only lasted one season and 13 episodes. A new “Constantine” series for Max by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions had been in development when news hit of Reeves’ potential return for a movie sequel. The new show had been far enough into development that a lead actor was already in talks to take on the lead role, but sources confirmed to Variety that the Max project was dead. Four scripts were written for the series, which was set in contemporary London.

After his work on the 2005 “Constantine,” which served as his feature directorial debut, Lawrence went on to direct Will Smith in “I Am Legend” and then worked with Jennifer Lawrence on all three “Hunger Games” sequels. He has returned to the franchise to direct the prequel movie, “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes,” in theaters Nov. 17 from Lionsgate.

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