Back in 2014, as The CW was just beginning to craft its interconnected DC universe — better known as the ArrowVerse — several other networks were kicking off their own standalone DC productions. As Fox premiered its Batman prequel Gotham, which went on to tell an epic five-season story, NBC kicked off the Matt Ryan-led Constantine.
Centering around an English magic-user and detective hunting supernatural beings, the series debuted to critical acclaim. However, after a thirteen-episode run of relatively low viewing figures, Constantine was canceled at NBC with Warner Bros. failing to shop it to other networks.
Following an outcry of fan support for Ryan's portrayal, the British star reprised his role as John Constantine in a guest appearance during Arrow's fourth season. Years later, the actor debuted on Legends of Tomorrow in a regular role as he joined the team on their time-traveling adventures.
After occupying the role for several years, Matt Ryan's supernatural hero has turned into a fan-favorite with many calling for him to play the role in the DCEU and other big-budget productions. But unfortunately, it seems that isn't meant to be as the actor has announced his retirement from the popular role.
MATT RYAN'S CONSTANTINE PARTS WITH THE LEGENDS
During the 2021 Comic-Con at Home panel for Legends of Tomorrow, John Constantine actor Matt Ryan was announced to be departing the role with the conclusion of Season 6 in September.
However, having become a staple of the DC time-travel epic, Ryan will continue his time on the show as a new character, Dr. Gwyn Davies, who will be introduced in Season 7 this October. The British actor's latest role has been described as an eccentric scientist from the early 1900s who could be the team's only hope.
Alongside the announcement, in comments transcribed by The Hollywood Reporter, Ryan confirmed the “time has come for John [Constantine] to part ways with the Legends.” As he “parts ways” with the character whom he debuted as in 2014's Constantine, the actor shared his excitement to “[discover] how this new character fits in and causes some trouble” for the team:
“As everyone who loves him knows, in the end, John Constantine will walk his path alone. The time has come for John to part ways with the Legends, and for me to part ways with John. I’m really excited to be creating this new role on the show and having some fun with it — discovering how this new character fits in and causes some trouble for the Legends.”
In another surprising twist, Gideon voice actor Amy Louise Pemberton will have a regular on-screen presence in the upcoming season as the physical form of the Legends' artificial intelligence system.
A SAD DAY FOR CONSTANTINE FANS
Many diehard fans of Matt Ryan's John Constantine have clamored for years to see the actor take the character to the big screen. As the British star announces his retirement from the role, the doors appear to be opening for another actor to take over the role in the near future.
Earlier in the year, Warner Bros. announced a Constantine series for HBO Max that will tie into a Justice League Dark project at the streaming service. With the supernatural show said to be in early production and searching for a lead with Guy Bolton attached to write, the magical hero probably won't be seen on screen for some time.
Historically, the ArrowVerse has often been forced to remove characters from its shows that will be showing up on DC's theatrical side. But with Ezra Miller and Grant Gustin simultaneously playing The Flash as Superman and Lois continue on the network, it's unlikely the big-budget Constantine production was a factor in the character's departure.
As of now, it's unclear if the series will offer an in-universe explanation for Ryan taking up a second role on the show. Interestingly, this isn't the first time Legends of Tomorrow has re-used an actor in a different role as David Ramsey — Arrow's John Diggle — returned to the ArrowVerse in a totally unrelated role earlier this season.
Legends of Tomorrow Season 6 is currently on hiatus and will return on August 6, meanwhile, Season 7 will premiere on October 13 on The CW.