Only days after she was announced, the new female character on Constantine has been cast! It was announced at the Television Critics Association press tour Sunday that Zed will be played by Angelica Celaya starting in episode 2 of the upcoming DC horror series adaptation. Lucy Griffiths, who is playing Liv in the pilot, was originally supposed to be the series lead, but was written off after the show’s creators decided to go in a “different direction.” Executive producer Daniel Cerone gave more details on Liv’s departure at today’s press tour, saying that while she was a great character, “she’s not a character from the comics and we felt a bit hamstrung by her.”
Luckily for us, there’s no such problem with Zed, as she’s appeared many times in the original Hellblazer comic book series. Cerone explained not only why she’s a better fit for the show, but a better fit for its protagonist as well.
She’s a psychic. She’s someone who already has powers when she meets John. She has a very dark past with many secrets. She’s just someone who can go toe-to-toe with John… Constantine is a con man. He’s a spiritual drifter. He’s a bulls— artist. Zed is a character who is intuitive and she can detect bulls—. She’s the perfect person to call him on his stuff.
The switch from Liv and Zed may still seem odd to some people, but to executive producer David S. Goyer, it’s not a big deal. He pointed out that John Constantine’s friends “drop like flies,” saying that it’s the “price of doing business.” As for the switch itself, Carone states that there will be a scene added in the second episode that will both appropriately let Liv exit as well as introduce Zed. Oh, and don’t worry, Liv’s departure doesn’t mean the world will be devoured by demons and whatnot. Constantine will have her map, which will allow him and Zed to track these dark forces.
Since my original concern over how they would handle tracking these demons post-pilot has been addressed, I’m all cool with this change. Zed seems like a much more interesting character than Liv, and with a show like this, it’s better to have a stronger woman rather than the “girl who’s discovering her destiny” trope. It’s a little played out.
On a side not, while the show is keen on improving his supporting cast, certain aspects of John Constantine’s character are still in flux. First, it was originally reported that the character wouldn’t smoke his trademark cigarettes on the show. When asked about this, Goyer stated that “he is a smoker in the show, we’re not shying away from it, but we’re not glorifying it.” There are also no “immediate” plans to delve into Constantine’s bisexuality, which is a recurring theme in the comics. Ideally they’ll get to this at some point. I get that fighting creatures from hell is taking up most of his time, but it would be a waste to completely eliminate something that makes Constantine unique among most male protagonists…anywhere really.
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter