John Constantine Can't Smoke on Network TV

When Constantine premieres in October on NBC, DC Comics' occult investigator will sport his familiar trench coat and skinny tie -- we've seen as much in the promotional materials -- but he'll be missing one signature element: his cigarettes.

"It’s the one thing -- a compromise, I guess," Neil Marshall, who directed the pilot, told Collider. "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."

It probably shouldn't be that much of a surprise, as Executive Producer David S. Goyer revealed in March that the Constantine team was “negotiating" with the network about including cigarettes, which he described as "tricky."

Asked whether the character will have cancer in the TV adaptation, Marshall said that while there's no mention of it in the pilot, he has "no idea" where the series goes from there. But the filmmaker, who's recently earned acclaim for directing two epic episodes of HBO's Game of Thrones ("Blackwater," "The Watchers on the Wall"), assured that Constantine will be able to creep into some pretty shadowy corners.

"Hannibal is on NBC, and that’s pretty dark and disturbing," he said. "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."

Constantine, which stars Matt Ryan, Lucy Griffiths, Harold Perrineau and Charles Halford, premieres Oct. 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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