Keanu Reeves returning to the Constantine franchise, as revealed by Deadline earlier this afternoon, has thrown up some dust in the TV business.
HBO Max has passed on the J.J. Abrams-exec produced television series version of Constantine, which was being written by British writer Guy Bolton, and a series based on DC Comics’ Madame X with Angela Robinson.
Both were in development at the streamer and came from Abrams’ Bad Robot in association with Warner Bros. Television.
The fact that Warner Bros. is developing another installment of Constantine on the film side with Reeves attached to return with Francis Lawrence directing and Akiva Goldsman writing, didn’t help its small-screen sibling series’ chances.
However, the series, which was a darker reboot of the DC character, inspired by the character’s appearance in the Hellblazer comics, that takes place in contemporary London, had been in development for over two years, well before HBO Max even launched and long before David Zaslav took over the studio.
It was time for HBO Max, which already has seven live-action DC series on air, to move on.
This was similar for the version of Madame X that Robinson was exec producing and set to serve as showrunner.
Both projects will be shopped by the studio to other platforms next week, Deadline understands. Sources said that both Warner Bros. Television and Bad Robot remain high on them and expect them to find new homes.
Given that the studio has had success with the likes of The Sandman at Netflix and Lucifer at Fox/Netflix, means there is a chance.
On Constantine, Bolton is set as exec producer and showrunner and four scripts have been written. On Madame X, a pilot script has been written. Abrams and Rachel Rusch Rich are executive producers for Bad Robot on both projects.
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