When Constantine debuted in theaters in 2005, few realized that Keanu Reeves’ holy shotgun-toting demon killer was actually a creation of acclaimed comic book author Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta .) Or that in the comics, he’s blonde and, uh, British. In fact, the appearance of the comic character is actually based on a certain famous blonde Brit: Gordon Sumner, aka Sting.
John Constantine first popped up in 1985 during Alan Moore’s seminal run on the DC Comics title Swamp Thing. (Yes, the same green swamp monster who dated Heather Locklear on film .)
Moore has said on a number of occasions that Constantine was at first
only created as a fun way for the artists to insert Sting into Swamp Thing. Of course, Constantine grew to be much more than mere homage, becoming both a strong supporting character in Swamp Thing and the beloved lead of the Hellblazer series.
For the movie, Constantine did start out
British in early script drafts but, predictably, the studio took more
interest in the project once he was Americanized. While it’s not known what Sting thought of the movie (or if, as
a sometime actor, he was even considered for the part), he has piped up
about his thoughts on the comic character. In an interview with Musician
magazine in 1991, the rock star stressed the separation between his private life and public perception of him. “That’s not me, he said. “That’s the public
domain creation. Anything can happen to that, bad or good. It doesn’t
affect the core of me. Having created a kind of mask or image, you
should then put it aside and get on with your life. That character is
someone else. It’s not me. And thank God. Nice things happen to it, bad
things happen to it — fine.”