NBC's upcoming series adaptation of DC Comics’ Hellblazer graphic novels, has cast its Papa Midnite.
Centered on John Constantine, a master of the occult, who’s haunted by his past, but finds himself suddenly called upon to defend humanity from the gathering forces of darkness, Welsh actor Matt Ryan will play the title role, and he will be joined by Michael James Shaw, who has been cast to play Papa Midnite in the series.
Shaw is an NYC-based actor, graduate of Juilliard and Howard University. Michael also studied with the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England, with a resume that includes theater, TV, and film.
His IMDB page begins in 2008, with several short films, as well as 2 indie features on his resume. So this Papa Midnite casting could be his highest profile role yet!
You'll recall the 2005 feature film based on the comic, which starred Keanu Reeves. And if you've seen that film, you'll also remember that Djimon Hounsou co-starred, playing Midnite, Constantine's old adversary, who eventually teams up with him to fight evil; although, not being too familiar with the comic, my research tells me that their relationship is kind of rocky.
Papa Midnite is an immortal Vodun shaman, by the way.
Apparently, it's supposed to be a big part in the series. The character even received his very own comic special (see the cover below).
Harold Perrineau also co-stars in the series, playing Manny, an authoritative angel who has the power to step into other people’s bodies, and who's assigned to watch over Constantine.
Charles Halford and Angélica Celaya also are cast memnbers.
Daniel Cerone ("Dexter") penned the pilot and will executive-produce the project with David Goyer and Warner Bros. Television.
"Constantine" premieres October 24 at 10pm ET/PT, on NBC.
USA Today was first to report Shaw's casting.