Last week news broke that NBC had greenlit a pilot based on DC’s Constantine, but we’re now learning that the creators who created the John Constantine character aren’t going to be seeing any rewards from their work creating him back in 1985.
“As of this morning, it appears there will be no payment to the Constantine creators for the series,” artist Stephen R. Bissette posted on his Facebook page Monday, referring to his work with Alan Moore and Jon Totleben. “This option apparently rolled out of the already-paid-for option for the Constantine movie in the 1990s. Thus, we’ll only see $$ waaaay down the road, it appears, if this series makes it to being a series. If it makes money. If it trickles down.”
The movie Bissette refers to seems to actually be the 2005 film Constantine contentiously starring Keanu Reeves. Presently its unclear how the optioned rights for this new NBC Constantine series would fall under the umbrella of this 2005 feature film, as well as the precise details of Constantine’s original creators contract with DC and it’s parent company, Warner Bros.
John Constantine was originally created by Moore, Bissette and Totleben in 1985 as a secondary character in the comic series Swamp Thing. Due to the popularity of the character, in 1988 DC launched a solo series for the character under the title Hellblazer that lasted for 25 years and became a pillar in their “mature readers” Vertigo line. Earlier this year, DC relaunched the series as Constantine and set it squarely in their superhero universe
Bissette did go on to state that while he didn’t expect any royalties or incentive payments from the Constantine pilot, that he does expect to see some money from the sales of comic books and graphic novels related to the character if the show proves successful.
“Hollywood accounting: gotta love it,” Bissette says at the end.