This fall NBC will premiere a TV series based on the Hellblazer books from DC Comics. Because the title character, also known as John Constantine, is openly bisexual in the comics, fans were eager to see how the network would handle its protagonist's sexual orientation. But Sunday the show's executive producer set the record straight — literally.
Speaking to reporters Sunday at the Television Critics Association's press tour, executive producer Daniel Cerone said Constantine's sexuality isn't an important part of his character and downplayed the character's bisexual history as archived in 30 years of comic books, reports Entertainment Weekly.
"In those comic books, John Constantine aged in real time," Cerone said. "Within this time of three decades [of comics] there might have been one or two issues where he’s seen getting out of bed with a man. So [maybe] 20 years from now? But there are no immediate plans."
In the comic books, Constantine alludes to past relationships with both women and men and is periodically depicted leaving the bed of male lovers. But NBC's Constantine, played by Matt Ryan, doesn't have any same-sex dates on his dance card at the moment, it seems.
And while Cerone is right in noting a few instances where Constantine was seen getting out of bed with a man, it was more than just "one or two issues." Throughout the comic, Constantine alludes to more than just a few sexual encounters with someone of the same sex.
In issue 51 of Hellblazer, Constantine mentions he’s had a few boyfriends in the past.
The 2005 film incarnation of Hellblazer, titled Constantine and starring Keanu Reeves in the title role, didn’t even allude to the fluidity of the character’s sexuality. What was shown, however, was the character's incessant smoking habit — another characteristic that could end up on the cutting room floor in the network TV version.
"It's like, look, he's a smoker," Cerone said Sunday. "We’re on network television, so we're limited to what we can do and what we can show. But within that framework we're going to be very honest to the character. … I believe Constantine has a very healthy sex life; we're not going to see that on TV either."