This weekend at the Television Critics Association, the executive producer of NBC’s upcoming “Constantine” series, based on the DC Comics character, had some tough questions to answer. Two character details that had yet to be formally addressed by the show’s team were finally discussed at the panel of TV critics, and the answers are not likely to please fans.
In addition to being a demon fighter, the John Constantine of the comic book series is bisexual. That aspect of the character’s identity, according to executive producer Daniel Cerone, has been jettisoned.
“In those comic books, John Constantine aged in real time,” Cerone said (via EW). “Within this tome of three decades [of comics] there might have been one or two issues where he’s seen getting out of bed with a man. So [maybe] 20 years from now? But there are no immediate plans.”
What Cerone is essentially saying is that the “bi” aspect of Constantine’s sexuality was not present enough in the comics to make the crossover into the show, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was a bisexual character that will likely never be portrayed as such on the television series.
If Constantine’s bisexuality is really no biggie, like Cerone suggests, what would the harm be of including it in the show? By leaving that aspect of Constantine on the cutting room floor, the series creators (and likely the network) are making a statement. Bisexuality is something that needlessly complicates a character. It’s the kind of “fix” that doesn’t sit well alongside the progressive choices of more daring shows like “Orange Is the New Black.”
The way Cerone phrases his answer leaves the door open for a relationship between Constantine and another man, but from the sound of his “20 years” remark, that doesn’t seem very likely.
Another topic of conversation was Constantine’s serious smoking habit, which already had fans concerned, thanks to NBC’s strong anti-smoking stance. David S. Goyer, another of the show’s executive producers, confirmed that the TV Constantine is still a smoker, but in a way that meets the network’s standards.
On the topic of Constantine smoking, Cerone said, “Within that framework we’re going to be very honest to the character.”
I guess we’ll just have to see how honest the show is when it debuts in the fall.