During a recent screening of tonight's episode of Supergirl, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg told reporters that while he wouldn't rule out the idea of developing a Superman TV series around Teen Wolf and Everybody Wants Some actor Tyler Hoechlin, that wasn't the idea of bringing him into Supergirl, where a big part of their focus was to make sure he was a strong supporting character for his cousin, Supergirl (Melissa Benoist).
"The role of [Superman] coming into this, for me, from the very beginning, was to support her, which lends itself to being a supporting character," Hoechlin told reporters at the screening. "There was never an intention for this to be about him. It's always about her. It's called Supergirl, and Melissa has done such a great job. For him, it's always about building her up and being there to impart wisdom when he can and support her when he can, but in no way try to make her feel like she's not capable of doing anything that he could do."
That's becuase, as noted both in the show and at the screening, this particular iteration of Superman has been at the job for a while. He's the one other heroes (and the public at large) rely on and look up to -- and so much of the stuff that creates good drama in the early days of a superhero story are already in the rear-view mirror for Hoechlin's Man of Steel.
"The Superman that we designed was something that you really haven't seen too much of," Kreisberg added. "Usually, when you see Superman, whether it's the Christopher Reeve movies, Man of Steel or Lois & Clark, he's just starting out. We wanted to show a Superman who's been doing this for a decade and has gotten really, really good at it. Usually, when somebody comes in, they have a massive character arc, and that wasn't entirely the case here. He was coming in as a supporting character for Kara, and to be a friend, a cousin and a mentor. She's always compared herself to him, but comes to realize, 'I've got it all going on, too.' We simultaneously wanted to have a Superman that was relatable and fun and everything that you remember about Superman from your childhood while also demystifying him, a little bit. No matter how famous you are, there's always somebody more famous than you. Yeah, she can fly and she's famous, but there's a familiarity with all the people that she works with. And then, Superman comes in and it's like Mick Jagger just flew in and everybody's jaws drop, but she's completely over it. That's really the angle that we came at it from."
Quizzed about the possibility of another spinoff -- after all, there's still one weeknight without superhero show on The CW, and it's one that Smallville used to air on! -- Kreisberg soft-pedaled the idea, but didn't reject it outright. Still, even if that (in all likelihood) doesn't happen, that doesn't mean this is the last fans will likely see of Hoechlin.
"I'm not going to sit here and say that there's never going to be a world in which there is a Superman TV show and that Tyler's going to star in it," Kreisberg said. "I don't know what the future holds. But right now, that's not our focus. Right now, we're working on Supergirl, which is the flagship, and working on a way for Tyler to reprise the role is really what our focus is on Supergirl right now."
Supergirl airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. Next week, there's no Superman -- but look out for former Wonder Woman Lynda Carter starring as the President of the United States!