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Hercules Says Hell Is Too Good For The Latest DC Superhero Project From BATMAN BEGINS/MAN OF STEEL Screenwriter David Goyer!!

I am – Hercules!!

NBC, which failed to take David E. Kelley’s “Wonder Woman” to series a couple of seasons ago, has been working with screenwriter David S. Goyer to bring the DC Comics icon John Constantine to the small screen.

Sting-lookalike Constantine, created in 1985 by Alan Moore (“V For Vendetta,” “Watchmen,” “From Hell,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”) in the pages of “Saga of the Swamp Thing,” is a hard-living, cigarette-loving British sorcerer.

Contantine’s Swamp Thing introduction, collected in volume three of the “Saga of the Swamp Thing” graphic novel, is one of the best stories I’ve ever read in the comics.

Empire Magazine ranked Constantine the 3rd greatest comic-book character of all time (after Superman and Batman). Wizard ranked Constantine the 10th greatest comic book character of all time (beating the likes of The Hulk, The Flash, The Thing and Green Arrow).

He was transformed into a dark-haired American for Francis Lawrence’s flaccid and point-missing 2005 Keanu Reeves movie.

For the new and snoozy NBC version, they’ve let “Contantine” keep his accent and his blonde locks, but they won’t let him smoke his trademark cigarettes.

Goyer has made a career out of adapting superhero tales for the screen, starting with the 1998 David Hasselhoff TV movie “Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD.” He went on to write all three Blade movies (directing the third, “Blade Trinity,” himself), he co-wrote “Batman Begins” with the Nolan Bros., he scripted “Man of Steel” and worked on at least one early draft of the coming “Batman V. Superman.” Goyer also shared “story” (but not “screenplay”) credit for the Nolan Bros.’ “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Before masterminding Starz’ “Da Vinci’s Demons,” Goyer served as creator/showrunner on three awful (and quickly cancelled) TV series: Spike’s “Blade: The Series” CBS’s “Threshold” and ABC’s “FlashForward.”

Aside from his comic-book adaptations, Goyer’s received credit for his work on the big screen’s “Death Warrant,” “Kickboxer 2,” “The Puppet Masters,” “Dark City,” “Zig Zag,” “Jumper,” and “The Unborn.” He also received a “story” credit on Warner Bros.’ 2014 “Godzilla” remake.

Longtime TV writer-producer Daniel Cerone (“Charmed,” “Dexter,” “Dirty Sexy Money,” “The Mentalist”) partners with Goyer on the project.

Candidly, Constantine was a lot funnier in the funnybooks; how do screenwriters manage to keep transforming such a wildly entertaining character into such a bore? For a great TV series, all one need do is follow the blueprints Moore drafted in the comics 30 years ago.

Hitfix says:

… a generic paranormal mystery show ... roughly what you might expect from the network TV version of John Constantine: aesthetically scruffy, but with the emotional and thematic edges sanded off …

The New York Times says:

... In the premiere, he’s a little flat. The energy’s there, but the passion isn’t. It might have something to do with the preponderance of digital special effects, and with a certain mushiness in the way Mr. Cerone’s script shapes the character, half nasty and half nice. That’s not the way to cast a spell on an audience.

The Los Angeles Times says:

... while "Constantine," which premieres Friday on NBC, gets a lot of little things right, overall it feels too much like a mishmash. … Genre devotees may choose to stick around to find out. But everyone else may want to swivel their heads elsewhere. …

The Washington Post says:

... sometimes sharp but painfully predictable … Just frequently enough to minimize his yammering monologues about the netherworld, Constantine is confronted by hissing demons, who haven’t changed much in the 40 years since Linda Blair sent back her split-pea soup: same clouded eyes, same flexible joints, same matted hair. Sometimes they aren’t seen at all; in one scene, Constantine casts the demon out of a downed power line that lunges at him like a cobra. It’s silly only because the show insists it be taken so seriously. … “Constantine” thrusts us into an all-too-familiar milieu of meaningless symbols, old leather-bound books, sudden power outages, gathering storm clouds, garbled Latin and the Beast within. All that nonsense makes it hard to see any hope for redemption.

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

... The performances are so-so — no one really stands out — but then again, the writing would be a challenge for any competent actor. …

The Newark Star-Ledger says:

... while Constantine, a self-proclaimed "nasty piece of work," is an irresistible anti-hero, the writers need to up their game with a more coherent, compelling story in which to sheathe him. …

The Boston Herald says:

... a nifty spookfest with dark humor and some genuine chills.…

The Boston Globe says:

... with the explanation-heavy first episode behind him, perhaps he can do less yelling and whining about his tortured past and get on with kicking demon butt.

Deadline says:

… where the adaptation of the hugely successful and influential Hellblazer comic series should burn, it barely smolders. … Honestly, it’s no Gotham on Fox and not The Flash on The CW. ...

Entertainment Weekly says:

... A wan female sidekick comes and goes. But the cockroaches impress. Good luck giving a damn about the rest. …

USA Today says:

... boasts a few good jolts, a welcome bit of visual flair, and an appealing star turn from Welsh actor Matt Ryan, who conveys just the right mix of tortured soul, biting wit and hunky hero. …

Variety says:

... nearly chokes on its mythological mumbo-jumbo, and frankly, yelling at demons in foreign tongues seemed a whole lot scarier back when “The Exorcist” first turned heads. …

10 p.m. Friday. NBC.

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