‘Constantine’: Matt Ryan confronts his demons in trailer for NBC show

May 13, 2014 | 3:49 p.m.
Matt Ryan as John Constantine, the DC Comics character that serves as the inspiration for the NBC pilot "Constantine." (Warner Bros. Television)

Matt Ryan as John Constantine, the DC Comics character that serves as the inspiration for the NBC pilot “Constantine.” (Warner Bros. Television)

The first trailer for NBC’s pilot “Constantine” has arrived, offering a sneak peak into Matt Ryan’s portrayal of the beloved antihero.

The show is based on the DC Comics character John Constantine, a chain-smoking con man and occult detective from Liverpool, England, known for his cynicism and foul-mouthed snark. Constantine, who served as the lead character in the “Hellblazer” series, made his comics debut in a 1985 issue of “Swamp Thing.” More recently, he’s the star of his own New 52 title, “Constantine,” and a major player in “Justice League Dark.”

Judging from the new trailer, the NBC series, created by executive producers Daniel Cerone (“Dexter”) and David S. Goyer (“The Dark Knight” film trilogy), appears more faithful to Constantine’s cynical, disaffected origins than 2005′s feature film “Constantine,” starring Keanu Reeves as the reluctant paranormal investigator.

The “Constantine” pilot was directed by Neil Marshall, whose feature credits include “Dog Soldiers” and “The Descent.” He also directed two episodes of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” including Season 2′s epic “Blackwater,” which depicted the Battle of Blackwater Bay.

A Welsh actor, Ryan had a small role in Matthew Vaughn’s British gangster movie “Layer Cake,” and he’s appeared on television shows including “The Tudors,” “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” and “Vikings.” His voice could be heard in “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.”

“Constantine” is one of a number of new comic book-inspired shows coming to prime time soon — also in the mix are Fox’s “Gotham” and ABC’s “Agent Carter,” which will see actress Hayley Atwell reprise her role from Marvel’s “Captain America” movies.

What did you think of the trailer? Are you excited for the “Constantine” pilot? Let us know in the comments below.

– Justin Sullivan | @LATherocomplex

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