Matt Ryan is best known for his voice work as Edward Kenway in the hugely popular video game Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. He has also starred on the TV series Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and in the indie movies Armistice and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. He is fairly unknown in the states.
The actor will play John Constantine, a role originated by American actor Keanu Reeves in the 2005 adaptation of the DC Comics series Hellblazer. While many fans scoffed at Keanu Reeves' dark haired, surfer-accented Californian take on the character, NBC is going back to the comic's roots, with a British character who doesn't stray too far from the original storyline. He is described as such:
[John Constantine] an enigmatic and irreverent con man-turned-reluctant supernatural detective who is thrust into the role of defending us against dark forces from beyond."
Constantine's story picks up in the pilot with him trying to save the daughter of a late friend who has been targeted by a demon.
The Mentalist executive producer Daniel Cerone wrote the pilot script alongside Man of Steel and Batman Vs. Superman scribe David S. Goyer.
Constantine is being set up for a fall premiere.