When Tyler Hoechlin heads to Supergirl to play Clark Kent/Superman, it's safe to say that his will be significantly different from the version currently appearing on the big screen.
That alone will give a different view into the Superman mythology, but executive producer Sarah Schechter says that the Supergirl writers have had to think bigger than just that. Bringing Superman into the show is a game-changer for the audience, but it also gives them opportunities to explore different aspects of the characters, and to put to rest the idea that Supergirl is just a distaff counterpart to the Man of Steel.
"It was a choice not to have him on the show last season because we did want to establish her," Schechter told ComicBook.com, echoing a sentiment we've heard from the show's producers consistently since its pilot premiered. "It's not like we couldn't get Superman so we did Supergirl. We wanted to do Supergirl, and frankly I find her backstory even more complicated and interesting. She spent thirteen years [on Krypton]."
It's that element -- her Kryptonian past -- that separates Supergirl from Superman more than any other element. Much was done during Season One with her childhood years on Krypton, and even "For the Girl Who Has Everything" was a bit more of an emotional gut-punch for Supergirl than it would have been for Superman (whose story it adapted from the comics) since she had real, meaningful relationships on Krypton which were being toyed with.
"There's nothing more complicated than being a thirteen-year-old girl on any planet, so to be thirteen and to lose everyone you know and everything -- I mean, she's a refugee and she has the depth of her backstory," Schechter explained. "Clark grew up here. He was a baby here. For him, the tragedy is that he doesn't have any memories of that planet, of where he's from. But she does, and I think it informs her in a really interesting way. Looking for where she fits in is a very complicated question, and so having Clark on this year -- he's the only family she has left, now that Laura Benanti is off being Melania Trump, and [Benanti is] irreplaceable."
And while having Superman on the show changes the dynamic between Clark and Kara as defined through anonymous text messages and hazy, barely-visible cameos, Schecter says that it has the potential to change audience perceptions not only of Kara and of Supergirl, but of Superman as well.
"It just gives us a different window into Kara and frankly, into Clark," she said. "A Superman that people haven't met before is a Superman who has Supergirl in his life. So I think it's fun to see both of them."
In its second season, Supergirl moves from CBS to The CW, and production heads to Vancouver. One of the highest-rated and most buzzed-about episodes of Supergirl this year was its crossover with The Flash. A move to The CW will mean an increase in crossover opportunities with the DC Universe set up at the network. Supergirl shares executive producers Schecter, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg with Arrow, The Flash, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow. A four-way crossover has already been promised for the coming broadcast season.
Chris Woods joins the series in an as-yet-unidentified role from the comics. Besides Woods, Hoechlin and Ian Gomez have joined the cast as Superman and Snapper Carr, respectively.
Supergirl will air on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW starting on October 10.