Why Was John Constantine Replaced By Johanna Constantine In Netflix Series, ‘The Sandman’?


Morpheus’ journey to gather all his stolen tools starts with the pouch of endless sand. He is one of his most powerful tools that helps him generate a dream or travel through different realms. He sacrificed a gargoyle to regain the strength that enabled him to summon “the Fates.” The three sisters (The Fates) told the whereabouts of the tools, and according to them, the pouch of sand was possessed by one Johanna Constantine. Morpheus came to an understanding that he had once met a woman of the same name in the 17th century. He then traveled to reality and was confronted by a woman named Johanna Constantine. In the comic book, this Johanna character only appeared once in the 17th century, and John Constantine kept the pouch of sand. So, why was John replaced with Johanna? The reason is simpler than you think.

The Reason Why John Constantine Became Johanna In Netflix’s ‘The Sandman’

Neil Gaiman once put his thoughts on Twitter to answer this question. He had already announced that there would be no John Constantine in the series. The reason is that the character “John Constantine” was already in production for HBO Max’s upcoming release. J.J. Abram’s production house, Bad Robot, already has the rights to the character as they plan to do a series on “Justice League Dark.” In it, John Constantine will be one of the central characters who will help the Justice League on its mission. DC’s “Legends of Tomorrow” also included Matt Ryan’s Constantine long before Netflix’s “The Sandman.” John Constantine is one of the most recognizable characters in the DC Extended Universe. To avoid any confusion regarding the copyrights, we can assume that DC had to make some drastic decisions to put down the character in “The Sandman.”

However, the introduction of Johanna Constantine was not at all depressing, as it turned out. She played the same character, just like in the comic book. They kept Rachel, too, making Johanna, gay in the process. As described, Johanna went to grab the pouch of sand from Rachel, but they started making out in the series. Soon, she realized it was not Rachel but an illusion created by the magic of the sand she was holding close to her. When Morpheus came to see what was happening, he found out that the sand gave Rachel the enormous power of immortality, but instead, it took almost everything from her. He grabbed the pouch of sand and was about to leave the place when Johanna begged for help. She reminded him that he wanted to acquire the pouch of sand to save humanity, so he should start with saving Rachel. He caught the logic behind this and granted Rachel a painless death.

What Happened In ‘The Sandman’ Comic Book?

When Morpheus contacted John Constantine, he told him that he bought the pouch of sand at a garage sale in San Francisco. As soon as he owned the tool, he knew it had something compelling inside it. He had a girlfriend named Rachel who stole the pouch from him. When they reached her place, they found a place full of mysteries. Soon, Morpheus understood that the whole site was covered with some nightmare playing its tricks. He ordered it to stop whatever it was doing and let them pass. They finally found Rachel with the pouch and saw how its power tormented her. As Morpheus was leaving after he got hold of the pouch, Constantine begged him to help her. Morpheus granted Rachel a happy dream and then a painless death. The King of Dreams was glad about John Constantine’s involvement, so he blessed him with his wish of relieving the nightmares he was having.

What Happened In The Netflix Series?

When the Fates told Morpheus about Johanna Constantine, he visited her. He found her doing an exorcism on humans. A sister from the church insisted she conduct the marriage between a royal princess and a footballer named Kevin Brody. The sister felt the presence of a demon, so she asked for Johanna’s help. Johanna then spelled some Latin words in front of the couple, and as it turned out, there was a demon named “Agilieth” residing within the body of Kevin Brody. Agilieth told Morpheus to give her the princess back, and she would tell him which demon had traded her helm. But, before he could do anything, Johanna Constantine sent the demon to hell. Later, Morpheus tells her about the pouch of sand, and the rest of the story goes almost the same as in the comic, except Johanna starts to make out with an illusion created by the “sand” keeping Morpheus waiting. However, unlike what happened in the comic book, Morpheus wanted to grant Johanna a gift for helping him find the pouch. He said that whatever nightmares were keeping her awake at night, they wouldn’t be coming back again.

Other Characters That Weren’t In ‘The Sandman’ Series

Well, only the first two volumes have been covered primarily in the Netflix release. So, the first two volumes, i.e., “Preludes and Nocturnes” and “The Doll’s House,” had a few characters that weren’t introduced here in the series. We don’t know why characters have been cut off, but we can name them and what their purpose was in the comic.

Etrigan: Apart from John Constantine, there is another character that had some blistering outlook cut off by the makers. It was Etrigan, the demon of hell. When Morpheus visited hell, he was asked a few questions by the keeper named Squatterbloat that pointed to a hint of disrespect for the lord of dreams. He was very angry with the demon’s behavior, and Etrigan interfered. Morpheus knew that Etrigan was a demon of Merlin, and he was half-human. He used to be a rhymer, but now he was in charge of different things.

Doctor Destiny: Due to some copyright issues, even Doctor Dee was not introduced in the series. John Dee, son of Ethel Cripps, took hold of the Ruby and then altered it. He used it against the humans to control their dreams with the power of the jewel. He called himself “Doctor Destiny.” All of this was cut off from the series.

Justice League: In the comic book, it was said that the Justice League took the ruby from Doctor Destiny to save humanity. Then they kept him in the Arkham Asylum. There was no mention of the Justice League in the series.

Scarecrow: When Ethel Cripps sent the Amulet of Protection to John, he decided to use it to escape from the Asylum. He was successful with his approach, and then he interacted with Scarecrow, who acted like a hanged man. When John told Scarecrow about his wish to change the world, he advised that they all return to the Asylum again.

Mister Miracle: When Scott Free was having a nightmare regarding his childhood, Morpheus visited him and asked him about the ruby. Scott Free used to be a member of the Justice League and went by the name of Mister Miracle. He helped Morpheus locate Martian Manhunter, who could help him with the Ruby situation.

Martian Manhunter: Seeing Morpheus in front of him, Martian Manhunter greeted him with the utmost respect. Morpheus learned that the Justice League kept the ruby in a garage in upstate New York. He thanked him and left while Mister Miracle came to know a bit more about the dream lord of Martian Manhunter.

Hector Hall as The Sandman: One of the nightmares that escaped from the dream world was Brute and Glob. They were represented as one character in the series and were named “Gault.” In the comic book, Brute and Glob brought the dead Hector Hall to life and brainwashed him by saying he was “The Sandman.” However, Morpheus came and stopped them from doing any more wrong to humanity. However, Hector Hall was represented entirely differently in the series, which was as exciting as the comic book itself. But some might argue against the notion. But overall, the improvisation looked pretty subtle throughout.

Final Words

Some boundaries are meant to be there and some creative liberties ought to be taken, when creating a series like “The Sandman.” Neil Gaiman had written the story 30 years ago, so the audience is likely to understand why the changes were made. These may have affected the whole construction a bit, but the foundation of the story remains intact. There is a lot more to anticipate in the upcoming chapters of “The Sandman.”

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Shovan Roy
Shovan Roy
Shovan is an aspiring filmmaker who loves to live in the world of cinema. When he is not writing his own scripts, he likes to study the work of auteurs and learn from them. The greatest films ever made are his constant escape from reality and also keep him motivated.

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