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John Constantine is leaving Legends of Tomorrow, but his actor will return

Matt Ryan will play a new character not from DC Comics canon

Matt Ryan as John Constantine on Constantine Image: NBC

The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow has stayed fresh over the course of six seasons through a rotating cast that has involved both swapping in new principal actors and letting existing performers play new characters. At a virtual San Diego Comic-Con panel, the cast and show runners revealed two major shakeups coming for season 7.

Matt Ryan has been playing the exorcist and occultist John Constantine since 2014, first on NBC’s Constantine and then bringing the DC Comics character to guest star in season 3 of Legends of Tomorrow before joining the main cast in season 4. This will be Ryan’s last season in the role.

“We love Constantine, we want the best for you, but at some point you have to be honest about who that character is,” co-showrunner Phil Klemmer told Ryan.

This season has been a bit of a roller coaster for John, who started happily in love with socialite and wind totem-bearer Zari Tomaz (Tala Ashe). But after John lost his magic due to a spell cast to stop British occultist Aleister Crowley, he went down a dark path by using blood to regain his powers.

“I think in previous seasons we’ve used storylines from Hellblazer,” Ryan said. “This season is an open book of how can we mess John up ourselves.”

Klemmer said not to expect a happy ending for John, who has a long history of self destructive behavior and attempts at redemption. But while the character will be going his own way, Ryan will be staying to play Gwyn Price, a Welshman who may be able to help the Legends when they’re stuck 100 years in the past. Gwyn doesn’t seem to be based on an existing DC Comics character.

“John as a character throughout his comic book history walks alone,” Ryan said. “I’m so excited to be doing another role on this show and creating a new role with everybody.”

Season six will also be the final season for Dominic Purcell, who has played the pyromaniac criminal Mick Rory since the show’s first season. However, another original performer will be getting a bigger role as Amy Pemberton joins the main cast. The voice of the AI computer of the Legends’ time ship, the Waverider, she’ll be appearing in the flesh in season 7.

The panel also previewed a sizzle reel showing off some of the genre-hopping episodes coming during the rest of season 6. Co-captains Ava Sharpe (Jes Macallan) and Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) will have their wedding crashed by immortal tech bro Bishop (Raffi Barsoumian) and the Legends will need to compete against an alien bowling league in a tribute to The Big Lebowski directed by Macallan. That episode was so expensive that the showrunners needed to do a bottle episode to save money, so the crew winds up trapped in a game of Clue by an increasingly out of control Constantine.

The reel also showed that Kayla (Aliyah O’Brien), the alien who laid a bunch of eggs in Rory’s skull after a passionate tryst, will be returning. Rory currently thinks she’s dead because he left her on a planet full of lizard monsters, but that happy reunion will likely pave the way for Rory’s exit from the show. At least one episode will also involve tripping on mushrooms, which wouldn’t be the first time for many of the show’s characters.

Aliyah O’Brien as Kayla in Legends of Tomorrow. Image: The CW

Alien abductee Esperanza “Spooner” Cruz (Lisseth Chavez) was a newcomer this season, but will be sticking around for season 7. Expect more development of the friendship she’s formed with Astra Logue (Olivia Swann), a sorceress who was raised in hell.

“We want to play with this really nurturing friendship between these two women who had really difficult lives,” said co-showrunner Keto Shimizu. “Your personalities are so different and your upbringing is so different, but there’s a core of trauma and loss. We love the connection that you two have so much.”

For fans of all the music numbers that have been featured on the show this year, Legends of Tomorrow will also be releasing an album. Tracks will include the David Bowie-inspired “Space Girl” and music from the show’s singing competition episode “The Ex-Factor.” The cast said they’d love to do more musicals in the future, suggesting riffs on Moulin Rouge! and Yellow Submarine.