2001 was the year Smallville began to tell us the story of a young Clark Kent on his path to become Superman, and for ten year we expected to see the Man of Steel suiting up in his famous tights, but such thing never happened.
In 2011, when the last episode of the series aired, we only got a glimpse of the suit right when Tom Welling ripped his short off and we got to see the House of El insignia… before taking off with the camera only showing us a CGI Superman flying on the distance.
A lot of fans felt teased, waiting for ten years to see the suit only to get almost nothing, but in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Tom Welling (aka young Clark Kent), talked about the reason why we never got to see the suit.
“It was something that we discussed before we ever shot the pilot with [creators] Al [Gough] and Miles [Millar]. We literally had a sit down where we talked about the show and I asked about the suit and the tights and the flying, and they said, ‘No, absolutely not,’ part of the reason being is that show is about a teenager trying to figure out who he is. They felt that once Clark put on the cape and the suit, life became too easy, in a sense. They wanted to focus on who this character was before that. And, at the time, because of where visual effects and special effects and stunts were, it would be too expensive. That’s mainly why they save that for movies, more or less.”
Rumors said that it was Welling’s decision not to suit up in the series finale, and when pushed on that he said that it was because the show was about Clark, not Superman.
“It was literally something that the entire series was behind in not doing that. We did things on that show where we didn’t call them powers, we called them abilities — you weren’t allowed to say powers; you just weren’t because Clark didn’t know they were powers, he just knew he had those abilities, so little things like kept us grounded and kept us faced onto the story we were telling about this character, not what he could do with these abilities.”
But, surprisingly, he revealed that there was actually a plan were we would see a Superman in all his glory in the season finale, but to him, it felt wrong.
“Our series finale was supposed to be, in the first act, Clark puts on the suit and flies around, saves Lois on a plane, and does this other stuff. It was a call that I had with Peter Roth, who is the head of Warner Bros. Television, who’s a good friend of mine and we have a great relationship. I said, ‘That’s not our show, Peter.’ He’s like, ‘No, it’s going to be great,” and I go, ‘Yeah, but just think about what we’ve been doing. If we just jump into that, we haven’t earned it.’”
Finally, he addressed the controversial final scene and the meaning behind it.
“We jumped onto this idea that at the end of the show, the idea is that Clark becomes Superman and he’s out there, and we know he’s out there, but we can’t go with him, but that we know and we feel good that he’s out there doing good. That was what we strove for, and I think we hit it. I liked the ending of the series, because it’s like, ‘Yes, he did it!’ I hope the audience didn’t feel like we didn’t show them something that they needed to see. I felt like we gave them the jumping off point for their imagination as to what could happen.”
It makes sense why we didn’t see Superman’s suit in Smallville, it was a show about Clark becoming Superman and how he struggled to become the hero we knew he was, but it still feels like something was missing.
In that same interview, Welling revealed that in fact, he was actually considered to play the Man of Steel in Supergirl season 2, but rejected the part as it was something he didn’t see doing anymore.
“There was an idea that maybe Supergirl, appearing on that, but it’s such a different show. I’m older now, I don’t look the same. Appearing on that show as Clark Kent or even Superman, for me, I would not want to watch me do that at all. They just have such a different tone. To me, because this is still even a DC Universe, which wasn’t a consideration in the beginning, but Lucifer is still DC, so in some ways it’s one foot in, one foot out, but it wasn’t a motivator for me to join the show. It just so happens that it was connected in that way.”
What do you think about this news? Would you have liked to see Tom Welling suiting up in tights or in Supergirl as Superman? Let us know in the comments below!
Tom Welling is set to return to the small screen with Lucifer season 3, premiering this October 2.