Last time the subject came up of whether John Constantine would be able to smoke in his new NBC show, the answer was a firm maybe. Now, according to pilot director Neil Marshall, it appears the famous comics chain smoker will be giving up that particular vice. What’s next? Does he drink kale smoothies and do yoga? Where does it end?
On network television, are you able to have Constantine smoking cigarettes constantly?
Marshall: No we’re not. It’s the one thing that’s a compromise I guess. It is network. You can’t smoke on network. And it’s like… 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.
But if Constantine doesn’t smoke… is he still slowly dying of lung cancer? Marshall said that there’s no mention of any sort of cancer in the pilot, but he doesn’t know where the rest of the story is going, so slow your roll, nerds (that last part is me).
If you think it’s a bit odd that with such dark source material—and on a network that airs the gore-tastic Hannibal—smoking would be the sticking point, well, Marshall is right there with you. “Hannibal is on NBC, and that’s pretty dark and disturbing,” he explains. “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.”
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