During the Television Critic’s Association summer press tour Constantine Producers David S. Goyer & Daniel Cerone broke the news that Lucy Griffiths’ character, Liv Aberdeen, won’t be making it far past the pilot. Replacing the character as female counter to John Constantine will be Angelica Celaya in the role of Mary ‘Zed’ Martin, who was first introduced in Hellblazer 4.
In the comic Zed is represented in 2 different ways. In the first she is an artist rescued by Constantine from her Christian Evangelical extremist cult of a family, becomes his lover, and goes on to help John battle the supernatural and rescue his niece from a pedophile Occultist. In a later incarnation she is a Pagan Goddess-worshiping Sorceress. In descriptions of what is to come by the show runners, they are going to go with the later portrayal of Zed, possibly just hinting at their past together.
The decision to nix Liv Aberdeen was apparently due to the character being too doe eyed and green to be a good contrast to Constantine’s acerbic demeanor. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Daniel Cerone stated, “She’s someone who can go toe to toe with John [Constantine], and that’s ultimately something we felt like we needed, We wanted a more dynamic relationship, as opposed to someone who is a teacher/mentor and a student. It just didn’t feel as fertile and rich of an area as just a strong a man and a strong woman who are both very different.”
The inclusion of Zed is a good sign that they may stay somewhat true to the comic, which has a strong fan base who generally wasn’t pleased with the character portrayed in the 2005 movie, staring Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz. Though there is already some controversy in regard to changes that have been made, including removing an element that is considered integral in the comic book series. In the tv series, John Constantine wont be smoking. NBC has barred the trait being a part of the show, and for a man who sold his soul to 3 devils to avoid dying from lung cancer, it does seem to be potentially damning to not include this. It makes you wonder why graphic violence and gore are perfectly okay (don’t get me wrong, I love Hannibal) and the serial killer continues to excel, but showing that smoking has negative repercussions like dying of cancer isn’t alright. In addition to banning smoking, the Producers have also confirmed that John wont be bisexual as he is in the comics either, saying that his sexuality isn’t crucial to the character. I guess die hard fans will just have to be satisfied with Constantine being blonde and actually British, but this particular fan wishes that the show could have been done cannon on a cable network, and not have to placate to corporate sponsored censorship.
SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly