Despite the pilot not even airing yet NBC’s Constantine is already changing up its cast, Lucy Griffiths who plays Liv, is apparently being written out of the show.
Griffith’s character was created for the show and it really showed in the way that her character was set up, the naïve and clueless daughter of one of Constantine’s old friends with ties to the occult and with Liv now becoming aware of everything her father was involved in. The idea of John Constantine reluctantly being babysitter/protector to a clueless girl really wasn’t the best of ideas, especially to carry an entire series, a one off episode maybe.
There’s loads of great female characters in Hellblazer as fans will know, so why not just pick one of them? Well they have, Executive Producer Daniel Cerone explained the situation at EW,
When you put a wide-eyed innocent [like Liv] into that world, she’s just very reactive. […] One of the coolest things about Constantine is he doesn’t have any ‘powers.’ He came out of a time with all these superheroes with their garish colours and flashy powers, and he just comes out with a rumpled coat, wearing browns and greys, and he just knows a lot of 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.
For those not in the know Zed is a character that featured in one of the first Hellblazer stories, first appearing in Hellblazer issue 4. She is an artist and psychic that aids John when his niece Gemma goes missing. The story from Jamie Delano set the dark and adult tone which Hellblazer would become known for featuring an occultist pedophile, militant religious fanatics, a murderous group of lost souls and the first appearance of the demon Nergal, who would become a major character in Constantine’s world.
Clearly NBC isn’t going to put out anything that dark, but that they’ve clearly seen the error in their ways with the character of Liv and replaced her with a character that’s not only from Hellblazer, but from the very early period of Hellblazer says a lot, which is a big deal for a show which has such massive potential.