Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. In the case of “Constantine,” that smoke is coming straight from the show’s leading man.
Despite reports to the contrary, producers David Goyer and Daniel Cerone swear that John Constantine, the magician at the heart of NBC’s adaptation of the long-running DC Comics character, will absolutely smoke cigarettes, just as he’s done for decades in the comics.
“We never said he didn’t,” Goyer told MTV News. “There are certain FCC broadcast standard regulations: he can’t inhale.”
Cerone said that while he and Goyer “can’t change broadcast standards,” they can have some fun within the FCC’s parameters.
“We’re being as faithful as we can given what we can show,” said Cerone. “He’ll have cigarettes in his hand. He’ll grind them up, light them up, and then we’re out of the scene. We’re going to do it in a fun way. He might have a cigarette in one scene and then he’ll have to throw it away. We want to do it with a wink and a nod and let you know that we get it, we’re with you, we’re on your side.”
In fact, Goyer said that Constantine’s status as a smoker was one of his only requirements from the network in order to make the show work.
“When we met with NBC, we said there are a couple of things that are non-negotiable,” said Goyer. “He’s gotta be British, he’s gotta be blonde, he’s gotta have the trench coat and the skinny red tie, and to the extent that he can, he still has to smoke.”
But what about his sexuality? In the comics, Constantine has been portrayed as bisexual, a part of his life that won’t be featured on the show — at least not yet, according to Goyer and Cerone. They claim that Constantine’s bisexuality is not off the table, although it’s not in their plans right now.
“We never said he wasn’t. It’s just not what we’re leading with,” said Goyer. “When was Constantine in the comics introduced as being bisexual? How many years into the run? Ten, eleven, twelve years into the run? When he was first introduced, sexuality was not the big thing they were featuring. They didn’t even get into that, regardless of who he slept with, for a year or two.”
Cerone points to the fact that in the comics, Constantine aged in real time; the show will introduce the character at a similar point in his life to where he was during his first comic book appearance, before he was introduced as bisexual.
“However ‘Hellblazer’ introduced it, after a dozen years, probably when they’re like, ‘We’ve mined this character, let’s find something else that’s cool and interesting about him,’ we may find ourselves at that place too,” he said.
“Constantine” premieres on NBC on October 24.