Constantine’s showrunner Daniel Cerone on smoking, the supernatural and taking inspiration from Swamp Thing Comic Heroes: What period of the character’s history did you draw on for TV’s Constantine? Did you go back to the AlanMoore issues of Swamp Thing or Jamie Delano’s run on Hellblazer? Daniel Cerone: That’s a really good question. Constantine is probably one of the most challenging comic book properties to adapt because my understanding is that Hellblazer was the longest-running series that was never reissued or renumbered. I think it ran for something like 25 years. The other thing that’s interesting about it and unique is that Constantine pretty much aged in real time. We met him in Swamp Thing when he was young, and then we kind of watched him grow older. That’s just something that you don’t see happen in comic books much. So in terms of choosing an access point for our TV series, it was very daunting. It was very challenging. But we basically went back to the beginning. We were all very inspired by Alan Moore’s initial introduction of Constantine in Swamp Thing. Frankly we’re using that as a major launching point. We’re meeting Constantine at roughly the same point in his life as when he was introduced in Swamp Thing. CH: As far as developing the character’s mythos, was anything in his history fair game? DC: Yeah. We have both serialised storytelling and standalone stories. If you remember the original “American Gothic” arc in Swamp Thing, basically the conceit there was that “The darkness is coming”. There was an unknown force stirring up supernatural entities and forcing dark things into the light. Supernatural attacks are on the rise. Constantine essentially works with Swamp Thing to find out what that is. That basic arc is what we’re looking at for our series. So within the framework of Constantine investigating what kind of dark force is coming and what’s behind it, he is also trying to put out these sort of supernatural brushfires. And within those closed-end stories, we’ve got 30 years of Constantine to draw on. CH: Constantine’s cigarette habit is a big part of his character – at one point in his history he had terminal lung cancer. Will he smoke on the show? DC: On our TV show he’s a character who’s going to smoke. Obviously we fall into [American] Broadcast Television Standards, so we can’t necessarily show him smoking. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t smoke. But we’re gonna try and let audiences know that that’s who the character is. Now that might be a scene where we open with Constantine throwing a cigarette on the ground and stubbing it out with his foot. Or maybe we end a scene with Constantine lighting up. Just because we’re prohibited from actually showing him smoking doesn’t mean that we have to completely neuter him. You just hope that the fans are gonna be understanding enough to know that that’s the reality of the marketplace. So within the reality of that marketplace, we’re gonna do everything we can to stay true to the core of the character. CH: Might we see any other supernatural characters from the DC/Vertigo universe? DC: Yes, definitely. You’re gonna see that Constantine ends up inheriting this house that’s a repository for many occult and supernatural items. One of them that we’ll clearly see in the pilot is Fate’s helmet. We’re looking for opportunities to meet characters both in the Vertigo and DC universes. The guiding force is that they have to feel organic – but there will definitely be at least one significant DC character in our early episodes.