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John Constantine creators won’t see money from new TV deal

constantine1While the announcement of a Constantine series on NBC may be good news for Warner Bros.’ DC Comics-based television plans — the project joins Gotham and the Arrow spinoff The Flash on the agenda — it won’t mean immediate financial benefit for the creators of the fan-favorite character. It seems those media rights are part of an earlier deal.

“As of this morning, it appears there will be NO payment to the Constantine creators for this series,” Stephen R. Bissette, who created John Constantine with Alan Moore and John Totleben, wrote Monday on his Facebook page. “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 references is actually the 2005 supernatural action-thriller that starred Keanu Reeves as the cynical occult detective. Although the adaptation was lambasted by many fans for its casting of the American Reeves as the English Constantine and the liberties taken with the source material, it managed to gross more than $230 million worldwide on a reported $100 million budget. Its option apparently included sequel and television rights.

On the upside for the creators, the artist adds, “we will see $$ from any comics/graphic novels sold from the spillover of interest, FYI. Hollywood accounting: gotta love it.”

Of course, the announcement of a television project doesn’t necessarily mean it will ever make it to air; we don’t need to look past David E. Kelley’s much-publicized Wonder Woman revival, or the more recent Amazon effort at The CW for examples. However, in the case of Constantine, NBC has committed to a script plus penalty, meaning the network will have to pay a hefty fee to Warner Bros. Television is the pilot isn’t produced and aired.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

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8 Comments

A double whammy since DiDio and his Legion of Morons already ruined the character anyway.

So if the TV series was already included in the earlier option, wouldn’t a more accurate headline be “John Constantine creators were already paid for new TV deal 8 years ago”? I mean, I love bashing DC over creator’s rights issues as much as the next guy, but this seems like a non-issue.

Sounds like Mr. Bissette is bitter about it. I’m sure he was more than delighted to receive the money back in 2005 though. Can’t blame Hollywood for your financial decisions…

You’re assuming Bissette received money from the earlier option, that he had any hand in any decisions, and that Didio’s take on the character has anything to do with the series, none of which is supported here. Comments: useless.

I really hope these guys get something out of this. That’s crap that they are getting screwed by a deal from almost 20 years ago. Actors, screenwriters, directors, and producers get money when their concept transfers mediums but the guys who created the character get nothing?

I wonder how some of those creators who went on about how great DC is compared to Marvel when it comes to giving royalties for film and tv feel now?

“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.”

This quote basically states that they’ll make money if the show makes it to being a series. That’s a good thing, surely.

Okay, so I was upset until I read the article. Technically what you’re saying is that they were already paid for a potential television option when the movie came out. Now the only way they’ll see money is if the series actually goes into production.

Unless I’m missing something here, that’s actually fair. Granted, while I would like to see talented creators make money…I’m not sure I want this. Not on NBC at least. HBO? Showtime? Starz? Hell, even AMC or FX. There are TONS of better places this series could go that won’t leave it neutered. Still, if it actually happens I’ll give the series its fair shot.

Yeah the title of this article is kind of misleading, he already got paid for them to make the movie and in that contract it was included the TV rights, in no way it equals to DC SHAFTING THE CREATOR.. Im sure the “motherfn movie check” as Jay would put it wasn’t small so Im not crying for him lol

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