NBC refuses to let John Constantine smoke on network TV

By Benjamin Mazzara,

NBC has confirmed that DC Comics’ demon-hunting anti-hero, John Constantine, will not be allowed to smoke his trademark cigarettes on-screen when his show, Constantine, premieres in October.

According to Comic Book Resources, Executive Producer David S. Goyer (pictured above) revealed in March that he and the show’s crew were trying to negotiate which aspects of the character were acceptable on television, a process Goyer he described as “tricky.” And it seems that one of the compromises that had to be made was eschewing Constantine’s trademark smokes.

Neil Marshall, who directed Constantine’s pilot, as well as two episodes of HBO’s Game of Thrones (“Blackwater,” “The Watchers on the Wall”), said, “It’s the one thing — a compromise, I guess…on network it’s the one thing you can’t smoke…That’s one of his character traits. We’re working around that. We’re trying to get aspects of it in there as much as possible. We’ll see.”

Marshall was asked if this lack of smoking would prevent Constantine from getting lung cancer, which was a catalyst, as /Film notes, for one of Constantine’s most well known and highly regarded comic tales. Marshall admitted that there is no mention of Constantine’s cancer in the pilot he filmed. He insisted, however, that Constantine will still be forced into some highly disturbing situations and has “no idea” where the show will go from his pilot.

Hannibal is on NBC, and that’s pretty dark and disturbing,” he said. “Whatever the regulations are, you can be as dark and disturbing as you want and we’re going to go in that direction. The intention is to be as dark and scary as possible with the show. And that was our whole kind of plan going in, to make it scary. So we’re going to explore all kinds of things. But the smoking is very frustrating. Who knows where it will go, where the story will go, where the character will go? There’s still lots of options.”

The show stars Matt Ryan, Lucy Griffiths, Harold Perrineau and Charles Halford and premieres Oct. 24 at 10 p.m. on NBC.

Photo Credit: INFphoto.com



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