While this may not seem like that big of a deal to those unfamiliar with Hellblazer comics, Constantine pilot director Neil Marshall has confirmed that John Constantine will be forced to buy some nicotine gum, as he’s not allowed to smoke on the upcoming NBC series.
In order to fully understand the eventual backlash and possible storytelling repercussions of this news, you need to understand just how important Constantine’s addiction is to his character. There’s a reason that just about every image you see of the character includes a cigarette hanging from his mouth. Smoking is an integral part of who he is, and the consequences of that addiction, including cancer, are a very important part of his story.
Even the mishandled 2005 Constantine film starring Keanu Reeves, which threw out most of the recognizable aspects of the source material, managed to include his chain-smoking. So, this will likely disappoint and anger a ton of diehard fans who were looking forward to a more faithful adaptation this time around.
Of course, just because Constantine doesn’t smoke doesn’t mean that the show will be terrible. From the look of the marketing and trailers, NBC has gotten a lot of things right. Perhaps they’ll approach his addiction from another angle, or allude to it without showing him actually smoking.
Tell us, is this a deal breaker for you? Or will you still watch Constantine even without the chain-smoking element? Let us know in the comments section below.
Starring Matt Ryan, Constantine arrives on NBC on Friday, October 24th, at 10 pm.