[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Constantine.]
In the 2008 film Iron Man, filmmakers Jon Favreau and Kevin Feige and actors Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Downey Jr. changed cinema forever with post-credits scene hinting at an expanded universe. Except… three years earlier, Francis Lawrence, Akiva Goldsman, Keanu Reeves, and a devilishly angelic Shia LaBeouf had already done it at the end of Constantine. Sorry, Nick Fury, ya too slow!
In celebration of the horror-tinged superhero film’s 15th anniversary, Collider’s very own Steve Weintraub interviewed the director Lawrence, the producer Goldsman, and the star Reeves for a special Comic-Con@Home panel. He asked the dream team what the process was for cultivating this Constantine post-credits stinger, which involves Reeves visiting a slain LaBeouf’s grave, only to discover him rising from the depths of death, sprout angelic wings, and fly the heck into the sky. Lawrence revealed that the idea came from Goldsman:
“And that was not part of our initial shoot, it wasn’t part of our initial photography. After we had that screening of that sizzle reel, and we got the studio [Warner Bros.] really excited, Akiva and I kind of went back to them and said, ‘Hey guys, now that you’re excited, there’s a couple of other things we want to do. I’d really love to reshoot this club sequence, and we’d really love to do this thing at the end. After the credits, Akiva has this idea.’ And they said, ‘Great, go ahead.’ And they gave us a decent amount of money to go get additional footage. But that was Akiva’s idea.
Goldsman explained that “there’s not a lot of explanation about” the fate of LaBeouf’s character Chas in the film; his death was filmed with deliberate ambiguity. “So it was a way of closing that story, opening up other stories should we ever have gotten to do them, in a sort of way that made sense to us [and] was relatively oblique compared to how things are typically laid out. But it was fun.”
The time has come, Hollywood. The time has come for a Constantine Cinematic Universe starring LaBeouf as a damn angel flying across the world and solving Hell-crimes! I can get you a draft by next Tuesday.