This morning, Warner Bros. Television and The CW made the announcement that casting is underway for the role of Superman for the first two episodes of the sophomore season of Supergirl on The CW.
In the episode, fans will no longer have to deal with just seeing the character's boots or communication via Instant Messenger, as Kara's cousin finally pays her a visit in National City.
Predictably, considering the large fan base that still exists for Smallville, almost all articles covering this news (including our own) have had comments requesting a particular actor for the job: Tom Welling, who starred as a not-yet-Superman Clark Kent in ten seasons of Smallville on The CW. Casting Welling would be a coup for The CW, making a big splash for Supergirl's move to the network by bringing in the actor who brought The CW's first famous Kryptonian to life.
There are arguments to be made both for and against the idea. On the down side, this surely can't be the same Clark Kent that Welling played on Smallville, as that Clark had a Kara that he knew that looked a bit more like Supergirl's foe Indigo more than she resembled Melissa Benoist.
Additionally, Welling seemed very hesitant to put on a costume in Smallville's ten-year run; the series finale, even, had a computer generated Superman shown from far away, disappointing some fans. However, earlier this year, Welling suggested to Buzzfeed's Jarett Wieselman that he would at least be open to the idea, if asked.
"There’s people who would like it… there’s people who don’t like it, but I will tell you that no one has ever actually asked me to do it. So, I don’t know," Welling said, acknowledging that it would be "odd" as he wouldn't know who Superman would be at that point. Also in the Buzzfeed interview, Welling talked about why it was important to not really wear the costume on Smallville.
"This needed to be a show about Clark Kent, not about Superman," Welling said. "That was always the rule: No flights, no tights. When we got into Season 5, they started to say, ‘Well… maybe…’ But I always maintained that’s not the show. Thank god Peter Roth [Warner Bros. Television Chief Executive] knew that and always championed in our favor."
However... with this being a very different Superman, could Welling change his mind? Despite some roles in movies including The Choice and Parkland, Welling does seem ready and willing to return to TV... and as recently as the Flash season finale, TV's original Flash, John Wesley Shipp, played The Flash again... only a different one than he played in 1990. Who's to say that the Superman of Kara's Earth doesn't look like the Clark Kent of Earth-Smallville?
Could this be a way to finally get Welling as Superman without damaging the legacy of Smallville being a series that is just about Clark Kent's journey to get there? And would this give the millions of Smallville viewers that still exist a reason to check out Supergirl in her new home?
Whatever happens with the casting, it is likely that Warner Bros. will have found their [Super]man before Comic-Con. Stay tuned.