Despite the insistent sunlight, it was a chilly morning as Warner Brothers pictures took over at least two floors of the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills to host the freaks and geeks of the media, covering “Hellblazer,” the big screen Vertigo adaptation. This afforded the Comic Reel a chance to sit in on roundtables with many of the cast and makers of the film. The following is part one of the summary of that wild day of pork-laden craft services and overpowering air conditioning.
KEVIN BRODBIN/FRANK CAPPELLO
Brodbin has been a fan of the property since “Hellblazer” first hit the stands, and had been shopping the concept around for years. It wasn’t until he took out the necessity of John Constantine being both blond and British that things began to move.
Cappello was brought in to give the script a proper Hollywood polish, and he was complete neophyte to the world of John Constantine. Cappello didn’t consider his ignorance of the twists and turns of Constantine’s life hindered him. “It’s about this man,” he told reporters, “not about all this plot machinations. He’s more for humanity that’s here on earth” than any of the celestial or infernal forces at play.
They created the character of Detective Angela Dodson as a layperson’s “in” to the world of demons and mysticism, someone that John Constantine could affect with his presence. Cappello added that giving the detective a twin was his idea, one that he thought worked well to interject Dodson into the story.
Both writers admitted that there was much more of Hell shown than Heaven. “The reason why heaven isn’t shown is that nobody knows how to depict it in a cool way that we haven’t seen before. If you show them angelic, all white and fluffy, they go ‘oh gosh.'” Cappello said, “Francis even asked me, ‘how do you show heaven in a way that’s cool?'”
The writers also admitted that there was an inconsistency, possibly caused by all of the revisions to the script, about the Archangel Gabriel. At numerous points in the film, it’s stated that neither angels nor demons can directly manifest on Earth. By way of clarification, Gabriel is called a “half-breed” at points, but was intended by Cappello to be the real deal, the biblical archangel. They came to a point of clarity, theorizing that an angel of Gabriel’s might could manifest in flesh through a mortal medium.