We got half of what we wanted. I had always said that John Constantine: Hellblazer, would be a great idea for a show on HBO. Imagine all the classic storylines brought to life on the TV. And on HBO, where you could display all the profanity, violence and scares you could handle.
Well, we got a show for Constantine, starring Matt Ryan as the titular character. Unfortunately, it’s on regular broadcast television, NBC. Now with all the gore and viscera you see on the CSI’s and Bones and other procedurals, you’d imagine we’ll be okay on that front. The producers have stated that they will stay true to the comic series. Well, mostly. There is one change. One update the network has demanded that changes the character immensely.
Constantine can’t be seen to be smoking.
If you have any knowledge of the Constantine from the comics, you know how integral this ‘Dangerous Habit’ is to the character. And by excising his favorite vice (next to the occasional pint) you are tossing out one of the best, and most important, storylines ever produced for the character. Heck, even the mediocre Keanu Reeves film version incorporated this storyline.
Can the show still deliver the thrills and chills we demand from Constantine? Possibly, but the decision certainly appears short-sighted. I think at this point we all know that smoking is bad for you, and you’re potentially robbing the viewing audience of a fantastic seasons worth of episodes. At least this time he’s English.
So let’s discuss the other controversy surrounding Hellblazer. Is it pronounced ‘Constan-teen’ or ‘Constan-tie-ne’? And you can check out the trailer below.