John Constantine will be tobacco (and cancer) free in new NBC series
Fans of DC/Vertigo character John Constantine, aka “Hellblazer,” have been anticipating the upcoming NBC TV series based on the character as a corrective to the 2005 movie with Keanu Reeves – which made extensive changes to the character’s mythos and behavior. But it’s now been revealed that Reeves’ version will remain closer to the original in at least one respect: TV’s Constantine will not be a smoker.
The question of whether or not the character’s signature chain-smoking habit (and attendant cancer affliction) would be part of the series has been in question from the beginning, as most U.S. TV networks have strict rules against portraying heavy tobacco use. In an interview with Collider, pilot-episode director Neil Marshall was asked point-blank about the detail and answered:
“No we’re not. It’s the one thing, a compromise I guess. On network it’s the one thing you can’t smoke on network. 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.”
Created in 1985 by Alan Moore in the pages of his famous Swamp Thing run, John Constantine is an occult detective who investigates/battles demons and other supernatural threats. He will be portrayed by Welsh actor Matt Ryan.