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Constantine will not be allowed to smoke on TV

06.30.2014

Good news for anti-hero John Constantine, who smokes thirty or so Silk Cut cigarettes a day, he’s been cured! All he had to do was talk to the standards & practices department at NBC and he is now on the right track to a cleaner lifestyle. Seriously though, with the upcoming show Constantine arriving on network television, it has been revealed that the character is not allowed to smoke according to pilot director Neil Marshall.

Collider spoke to Marshall who explained NBC’s decision:

"No we’re not (smoking). 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 …

Hannibal is on NBC, and that’s pretty dark and disturbing. 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.”

So John Constantine, who is such an avid smoker that lung cancer became a pretty major plot point in the DC series, has been told to butt out. Fans of Constantine, aka Hellblazer, have been anticipating the upcoming NBC TV series as a way to hopefully correct some of the changes to the mythos brought about in the 2005 movie with Keanu Reeves. I think this single change probably casts a bigger cloud over the source material than the movie now it’s safe to say.

Smoking isn’t good for you;If you’re a smoker, you know what you’re doing to your body and what stupid choice you’re making. That can also be said for the guy in the drive-thru right now who’s buying some artery clogging options for dinner too. You reach a certain age and society hopes you're mature enough to make the right decisions for yourself. They make rules and regulations such as movie and TV ratings so that mature audiences can watch a particular show with adult themes and know that it's just a TV show. The audience for Constantine is expected to know better than to take up smoking because their new favorite TV character does it. They also know that his occult skills are fictional and not to be replicated...right?

Character is important; Constantine is a damaged man with more vices than my ex-girlfriend. Imagine if the “The Smoking Man” on The X-files was “The Gum Chewer”; I don’t think it would have resonated as much. With so much violence on TV, such as NBC’s other show Hannibal as mentioned by Marshall, featuring blood, guts, sex, drugs, and all the other sins of our rock stars, you would think smoking is the least of their concerns. I’m not advocating smoking; I just wish more people who make decisions could differentiate between fiction and babysitting.

What do you think about this decision? Would Constantine be better on cable?

Constantine premieres Friday October 24, 2014 on NBC.

Extra Tidbit: If he starts using an e-cigarette, Iím out.
Source: Collider

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+1
8:01PM on 07/01/2014
lmao True Detective got me smoking again
lmao True Detective got me smoking again
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6:56PM on 07/01/2014
Sorry...triple post :o)
Sorry...triple post :o)
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6:55PM on 07/01/2014
Sorry...double post :o)
Sorry...double post :o)
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6:54PM on 07/01/2014
Given all the stuff you see in modern TV shows (Spartacus, True Blood, TWD, Game of Thrones etc etc), it's actually quite funny that they'll draw a line on cigarette smoking. Then again...I work in the tobacco industry and am not surprised that they're going down this route. Heck, even Keanu switched from a cigarette to a gum in the final scene of the Constatine movie.
Given all the stuff you see in modern TV shows (Spartacus, True Blood, TWD, Game of Thrones etc etc), it's actually quite funny that they'll draw a line on cigarette smoking. Then again...I work in the tobacco industry and am not surprised that they're going down this route. Heck, even Keanu switched from a cigarette to a gum in the final scene of the Constatine movie.
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5:40PM on 07/01/2014
They should just have him smoking in between shots of him on camera. Every time the focus returns to him, smoke mysteriously comes out of his mouth or nostrils. Or, um, ears?
They should just have him smoking in between shots of him on camera. Every time the focus returns to him, smoke mysteriously comes out of his mouth or nostrils. Or, um, ears?
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1:36PM on 07/01/2014

Enough is Enough...

This is like taking Wolverine's claws or deciding Daredevil shouldn't be blind. Characters have habits, traits, ideas, beliefs and values that are as much a part of their identity as their very faces and names. Taking the Silk Cut out of John's mouth absolutely changes who he is on more levels than NBC could possibly understand. John is SUPPOSED to smoke because he courts death every day and laughs in the face of his own mortality, even once his habit nearly results in his expiration. We're
This is like taking Wolverine's claws or deciding Daredevil shouldn't be blind. Characters have habits, traits, ideas, beliefs and values that are as much a part of their identity as their very faces and names. Taking the Silk Cut out of John's mouth absolutely changes who he is on more levels than NBC could possibly understand. John is SUPPOSED to smoke because he courts death every day and laughs in the face of his own mortality, even once his habit nearly results in his expiration. We're adults, we can handle it. Shame on NBC.
What really pisses me off is the systematic neutering of this character over the past couple years. First DC cancels the last true Vertigo title, the one book that still had a high issue number and told rich, compelling, adult stories over and over again; then they relaunch him with a new consumer-friendly title that takes the character out of the universe he earned his place in and made him just another quarter-bin casualty. Why oh why do companies constantly go after the casual fan or try to please parent groups instead of just flipping the middle finger to what the wrong people think and instead making the target audience happy? The Hellblazer I know would tell this whole thing to go fuck itself; the new Constantine they seem to think we want would probably piss his pants and run away screaming.
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3:01PM on 07/01/2014
Completely agree with u SchaefDizzle!!!!
Completely agree with u SchaefDizzle!!!!
4:20PM on 07/01/2014
Fuck yeah!
Fuck yeah!
+0
1:10PM on 07/01/2014
I guess him not smoking is going against his character but no more so than Penguin NOT BEING SHORT OR FAT in the new show Gotham - that seems to be getting a pass though for some reason.

I am not saying I don't want him to smoke or that I don't care if he does or doesn't, I am just saying that other shows and movies change shit all the time and people give the pass. Batman didn't have the batmoblie in the Nolan movies - that tumbler IS NOT a batmobile, even the batcave wasn't really present,
I guess him not smoking is going against his character but no more so than Penguin NOT BEING SHORT OR FAT in the new show Gotham - that seems to be getting a pass though for some reason.

I am not saying I don't want him to smoke or that I don't care if he does or doesn't, I am just saying that other shows and movies change shit all the time and people give the pass. Batman didn't have the batmoblie in the Nolan movies - that tumbler IS NOT a batmobile, even the batcave wasn't really present, those are important traits of batman, yet no one mentions those?

if the show sucks then call it like you see it, but until we see a few episodes we should hold our anger.
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12:33PM on 07/01/2014
Whatever...Jessica Lange's chain smoking on "American Horror Story" can fulfill those needs.
Whatever...Jessica Lange's chain smoking on "American Horror Story" can fulfill those needs.
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9:13AM on 07/01/2014

Why even bother calling him Constantine?

I don't really care because I love the Keanu Reeves film and find this to be unnecessary but I think it is a slap in the face to the fans that were really looking forward to a more faithful adaptation of the comic. Pretty soon you are going to have a Blade that isn't a vampire.
I don't really care because I love the Keanu Reeves film and find this to be unnecessary but I think it is a slap in the face to the fans that were really looking forward to a more faithful adaptation of the comic. Pretty soon you are going to have a Blade that isn't a vampire.
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9:08AM on 07/01/2014

wait a minute

Was ANY of you expecting him to smoke (and be the kind-of-good guy) on TV network ?
NOT surprised at all, unfortunately.
Was ANY of you expecting him to smoke (and be the kind-of-good guy) on TV network ?
NOT surprised at all, unfortunately.
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9:07AM on 07/01/2014

I will not be allowing myself to watch this.

Thats like saying Clint Eastwood's man with no name character is going to be a farmer instead of a gunslinger, oh don't worry he still is a bad ass he just chews on a piece of wheat instead of a cigar and he uses a shovel instead of a gun, but really it's still ubber bad ass!
Thats like saying Clint Eastwood's man with no name character is going to be a farmer instead of a gunslinger, oh don't worry he still is a bad ass he just chews on a piece of wheat instead of a cigar and he uses a shovel instead of a gun, but really it's still ubber bad ass!
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8:44AM on 07/01/2014
The pilot was terrible anyways, smoking couldn't have fixed that. I was very disappointed, and I don't know why I let myself get excited in the first place. David Goyer wrote it & is show runner after all. After Goyer's shit like Ghost Rider 2, Blade 3, and Man of Steel you would have thought I'd learn my lesson.
The pilot was terrible anyways, smoking couldn't have fixed that. I was very disappointed, and I don't know why I let myself get excited in the first place. David Goyer wrote it & is show runner after all. After Goyer's shit like Ghost Rider 2, Blade 3, and Man of Steel you would have thought I'd learn my lesson.
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7:39AM on 07/01/2014
OMG!!!! They shouldn't even make this! They ALWAYS screw up the source material. There's no possible way that can be Constantine if he doesn't have that prop in his hand. They should have just cast him as a black. I loved transformers though.


(That is sarcasm by the way, or really just making fun of a specific person. A lotta ppl actually. I know movies can get away with more, and we did see him drinking, but I thought they did a good job with referencing Iron Man's alcoholism in
OMG!!!! They shouldn't even make this! They ALWAYS screw up the source material. There's no possible way that can be Constantine if he doesn't have that prop in his hand. They should have just cast him as a black. I loved transformers though.


(That is sarcasm by the way, or really just making fun of a specific person. A lotta ppl actually. I know movies can get away with more, and we did see him drinking, but I thought they did a good job with referencing Iron Man's alcoholism in his movies. I'd prefer a straight up Demon in a Bottle storyline, but they compromised well. It doesn't make sense, but it's not going to make or break the show. And a badass anti-hero who smokes would definitely be appealing to younger kids/teens. It would def romantacize it. Is it gonna guarantee they'll smoke? No. Is it gonna make it look cool and overall increase the chances? I think so, and I'm sure there are studies out there that say so. Fans of this character should just be happy the show exists, though I don't think it should ever have been set up at abc or nbc or whichever it's at. This material would thrive on AMC, HBO, Showtime, Netflix, etc
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7:11AM on 07/01/2014
Bullshit. While I don't think this is a dealbreaker, it's fucking obnoxious that we are allowed to derive pleasure by watching people's agony for an hour (the Hannibal comparison is a good one--that show gets downright brutal), but smoking is apparently too damaging. I mean, fuck, if we're worried about TV affecting the behavior of its audience, at least we know the generation of psychopathic murderers we're raising will have healthy lungs.
Bullshit. While I don't think this is a dealbreaker, it's fucking obnoxious that we are allowed to derive pleasure by watching people's agony for an hour (the Hannibal comparison is a good one--that show gets downright brutal), but smoking is apparently too damaging. I mean, fuck, if we're worried about TV affecting the behavior of its audience, at least we know the generation of psychopathic murderers we're raising will have healthy lungs.
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7:47AM on 07/01/2014
I really don't think that applies for 12 year old watching this show. I agree it's stupid, especially if it's really brutal violence which I've heard Hannibal has, but a child is at least gonna know violence like that will get him in serious trouble if no problems with consciousness. And I haven't seen the show, but I assume they depict him as more monster than good guy - is that right? The cool rebellious anti-hero with the British accent who smokes is different, and is why you mainly see
I really don't think that applies for 12 year old watching this show. I agree it's stupid, especially if it's really brutal violence which I've heard Hannibal has, but a child is at least gonna know violence like that will get him in serious trouble if no problems with consciousness. And I haven't seen the show, but I assume they depict him as more monster than good guy - is that right? The cool rebellious anti-hero with the British accent who smokes is different, and is why you mainly see bad guys smoking in film/TV (unless it's like historically). But in the later circumstances, I def agree that smoking will look appealing to 11ish year old kids and increase their chances.
5:35AM on 07/01/2014
Doesn't surprise me at all.

That Mr. Banks flick would have been rated R had the filmakers gotten their way & been allowed to have Tom Hanks' Walt Disney chain smoking as he did in reality.
Doesn't surprise me at all.

That Mr. Banks flick would have been rated R had the filmakers gotten their way & been allowed to have Tom Hanks' Walt Disney chain smoking as he did in reality.
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7:49AM on 07/01/2014
Or monuments men! That might've been rated though.
Or monuments men! That might've been rated though.
2:36AM on 07/01/2014
It seems harsh to judge it without seeing more at this point, hopefully this isn't indicative of too many other compromises. I look forward to seeing it for myself.
It seems harsh to judge it without seeing more at this point, hopefully this isn't indicative of too many other compromises. I look forward to seeing it for myself.
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12:54AM on 07/01/2014
Not even an E-Cig? Damn
Not even an E-Cig? Damn
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12:08AM on 07/01/2014
Nope. Also, I saw the pilot, and the writing is even more noxious and dangerous to viewers than the sight of John blazing a Silk Cut might ever be.
Nope. Also, I saw the pilot, and the writing is even more noxious and dangerous to viewers than the sight of John blazing a Silk Cut might ever be.
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11:47PM on 06/30/2014

nope

what a waste of character. do it or don't do it. or give the show rights over to a network with some balls.
what a waste of character. do it or don't do it. or give the show rights over to a network with some balls.
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11:30PM on 06/30/2014

It's a bummer...

but you can't really fault the show-runners for it. This is just the reality of network television.
but you can't really fault the show-runners for it. This is just the reality of network television.
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11:24PM on 06/30/2014
Funny how the show is trying to correct things the movie did wrong only them to not use one of the things the movie did right.
Funny how the show is trying to correct things the movie did wrong only them to not use one of the things the movie did right.
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11:09PM on 06/30/2014

I'm okay with him not smoking

Smoking is literally a filthy habit: your teeth turn yellow and your lungs turn black. I don't think people will tune in to see him smoke and some people will not want to watch because of it. Plus you are technically endangering the life of the actor by making him smoke for the audience.
Smoking is literally a filthy habit: your teeth turn yellow and your lungs turn black. I don't think people will tune in to see him smoke and some people will not want to watch because of it. Plus you are technically endangering the life of the actor by making him smoke for the audience.
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11:50PM on 06/30/2014
Nobody's arguing that it isn't a filthy habit. But John Constantine's smoking is a very big character trait and his lung cancer plays into the story. He's suicidal and doesn't care for himself, hence his chronic smoking.

If some people are turned off by the show because of the main character's smoking habit I seriously doubt they would find the rest of the story's subject matter appealing. So it wouldn't matter anyway.

And movies and TV have had plenty of non-smoking actors playing
Nobody's arguing that it isn't a filthy habit. But John Constantine's smoking is a very big character trait and his lung cancer plays into the story. He's suicidal and doesn't care for himself, hence his chronic smoking.

If some people are turned off by the show because of the main character's smoking habit I seriously doubt they would find the rest of the story's subject matter appealing. So it wouldn't matter anyway.

And movies and TV have had plenty of non-smoking actors playing smokers. They don't use real cigarettes, but use herbal cigarette alternatives. While not "healthy," they don't contain all the crap that's in regular cigarettes. Plus any other number of editing tricks and CG to indicate he's a smoker. Not to mention the actor auditioning for the role would be informed that the part requires them to smoke. If they don't like it they can pass on the part.
7:54AM on 07/01/2014
I agree with both of u and I like the fact JC smokes - why he does. But again the point is younger kids looking up to him, who has a kind of "badass" attitude similar to wolverine (from comics).
I agree with both of u and I like the fact JC smokes - why he does. But again the point is younger kids looking up to him, who has a kind of "badass" attitude similar to wolverine (from comics).
9:59PM on 06/30/2014
When you think about it, 'hellblazer' can also refers to his smoking habit. The 'hell'fire will consume him, figuratively and literally. He's actually an anti-commercial for smoking.
When you think about it, 'hellblazer' can also refers to his smoking habit. The 'hell'fire will consume him, figuratively and literally. He's actually an anti-commercial for smoking.
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9:53PM on 06/30/2014

Grow Up America...

Showing murder, demon possession and mysticism is A OK but showing a character smoking, a MAIN trait of the MAIN character albeit, is not? The only thing that comes to mind where changing this worked is with Sherlock. Holmes no longer smokes a pipe and is actively trying to quit, however smoking is not as central to Holmes as it is to Constantine... I don't know, I guess we will have to see how they work around it.
Showing murder, demon possession and mysticism is A OK but showing a character smoking, a MAIN trait of the MAIN character albeit, is not? The only thing that comes to mind where changing this worked is with Sherlock. Holmes no longer smokes a pipe and is actively trying to quit, however smoking is not as central to Holmes as it is to Constantine... I don't know, I guess we will have to see how they work around it.
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8:54PM on 06/30/2014
"Previously on Constantine...we saw what happens when someone tries to look badass while toking on an e-cigarette."

Yeah, I was guessing this was going to be the case, but honestly, as important to the character as it is, this is not a deal-breaker for me.
"Previously on Constantine...we saw what happens when someone tries to look badass while toking on an e-cigarette."

Yeah, I was guessing this was going to be the case, but honestly, as important to the character as it is, this is not a deal-breaker for me.
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8:54PM on 06/30/2014
Maybe Stephen Dorff can hook him up with a E-Cigarette?
Maybe Stephen Dorff can hook him up with a E-Cigarette?
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8:51PM on 06/30/2014

Knew it

I was worried from the moment I heard NBC picked this up, that we wouldn't be getting the Constantine I know and love. Sure, I guess smoking isn't such a big deal... but let's face it. It's simply not John if he is not blazing a silk.
I was worried from the moment I heard NBC picked this up, that we wouldn't be getting the Constantine I know and love. Sure, I guess smoking isn't such a big deal... but let's face it. It's simply not John if he is not blazing a silk.
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8:48PM on 06/30/2014
I guess I would rather have the show than not. So I guess no smoking it is. I hope the show is great as I love the character.
I guess I would rather have the show than not. So I guess no smoking it is. I hope the show is great as I love the character.
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8:47PM on 06/30/2014
Maybe he's allowed to have a nicotine patch.
Maybe he's allowed to have a nicotine patch.
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8:47PM on 06/30/2014
So NBC is fine with showing a guy slicing up his face and eating his nose on the same time slot, but heaven forbid smoking?
So NBC is fine with showing a guy slicing up his face and eating his nose on the same time slot, but heaven forbid smoking?
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+2
8:46PM on 06/30/2014
Eh, figures. It's not like you could really do a faithful Hellblazer adaptation on NBC, anyway.
Eh, figures. It's not like you could really do a faithful Hellblazer adaptation on NBC, anyway.
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