Two 2004 Comic Book Adaptations Gear Up for Production, Look for Female Leads

The adaptations of the comic book series “Hellblazer” and “The Punisher”continue to move forward in pre-production, as each looks for a key role in their films. For “Constantine,” based on the DC Comic “Hellblazer,” it is the second lead role to Keanu Reeves’ detective; for the adaptation of Marvel’s “The Punisher,” it is a woman named Joan, who is referred to in the “Welcome Back Frank” story arc as Joan the Mouse.

In “Constantine,” the central character is a world-traveling man with occult powers who investigates supernatural mysteries, often walking a thin line between evil and good. In the film, he will be paired with a detective named Angela, who is described by casting agents as a “beautiful, intelligent and strong detective in her mid 20’s to mid 30’s.” She is imbued with more than just instinct and seems to be in the right place at the right time where her perps are concerned.

Angela meets Constantine in an effort to enlist his help in tracking down her twin sister’s murderer, even though initially it seems like a suicide. She is deeply religious and becomes very concerned when it seems that supernatural forces are involved in her sister’s death. Through this journey, she realizes just how strong she is without having to be so tough. The casting call makes it a point to note that they are looking for Hispanic and African-American actresses for this role.

Following up on our report last week of casting calls going out for six characters, comes word that producers of “The Punisher” are looking to cast the role of Joan. Described as “classy, beautiful and reserved,” she has seen too much of world’s darkside. The casting agents are looking for someone smart with a good sense of humor. In the comic book series, this neighbor of Frank Castle is described as the mousy young woman who’s scared of everything, with the added effect of her dialogue written slightly smaller than the other characters.

“Constantine” begins principal photography on September 9, “The Punisher” on July 28.

”Constantine: Scorecard
Producer: Lauren Shuler Donner
Executive Producers: Lorenzo diBonaventura, Erwin Stoff and Akiva Goldsman
Director: Francis Lawrence
Casting Director: Denise Chamian
Start Date: September 9, 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Distributor: Warner Bros.

“The Punisher” Scorecard
Executive Producers: Kevin Feige and Stan Lee
Producers: Avi Arad and Gale Anne Hurd
Co-Producer: Ari Arad
Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Casting Director: Pam Dixon
Start Date: Approx. July 28, 2003
Location: Tampa Bay, FL
Production Company: Valhalla Motion Pictures
Distributor: Artisan Entertainment