A few months before hitting the air, Constantine is saying goodbye to its lead actress.
The producers of NBC’s upcoming supernatural thriller—which centers on popular comic book character and acerbic exorcist/master of the dark arts John Constantine—have decided to move in a different direction creatively. The character of Liv Aberdine , who is played by True Blood vet Lucy Griffiths, will not continue with the show. Liv, who has the power to see otherwordly things, was introduced in the pilot as the daughter of one of Constantine’s deceased friends. Constantine (Matt Ryan) takes her under his wing when she is hunted by a demon.
In place of Liv, the show will add Zed, a psychic who teams up with Constantine to battle various evil forces. A familiar face from the Hellblazer and Constantine books, Zed has not been cast yet, but the character will make her first appearance in an early episode.
Constantine executive producer Daniel Cerone says that the show is replacing the wet-behind-the-ears Liv with the more experienced and feisty Zed to give its main demon hunter a more effective partner/foil. “When you put a wide-eyed innocent into that world, she’s just very reactive,” he tells EW. “The nice thing about Swamp Thing, when he first teamed up with Constantine, was that Swamp Thing had abilities, Swamp Thing had skills. Constantine needed those skills. One of the coolest things about Constantine he doesn’t have any ‘powers.’ He came out of a time with all these superheroes with their garish colors and flashy powers, and he just comes out with a rumpled coat, wearing browns and greys, and he just knows a lot magic and spells, but it’s all knowledge-based. Anything he can do is based in knowledge and his own studying. Zed is actually one of the first women Constantine meets in the comic books, and she has various psychic powers. We felt ultimately she’s going to service the first season better as someone to pair Constantine up with. She can get in his face a little bit and have some of her own realizations and skills and really push him. But if whoever Constantine is working with is constantly on her heels, that just wouldn’t service the show really well.”
Additional characters will be introduced from Hellblazer and the occult DC Comics universe over the course of the series, which premieres Oct. 24 and is also executive-produced by David Goyer.