While Smallville ended with Clark Kent becoming Superman, many fans were left disappointed by the fact that we never got to see a full shot of Tom Welling in the iconic costume, instead having to make do with a brief glimpse of a CGI Man of Steel.
It’s been said that it was ultimately Welling’s decision not to don the Superman costume in the episode, and in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actor has revealed that the original intention was for him to suit up early on in the finale, but he wanted to adhere to the show’s “no tights, no flights” rule.
“It was literally something that the entire series was behind in not doing that,” said Welling. “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.”
“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,” he continues. “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.’”
“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,” he adds. “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.”
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Welling has recently signed on to appear in another DC-related show in Fox’s Lucifer, but he also went on to reveal that he’d had talks about reprising the role of Clark Kent for Supergirl (presumably prior to Tyler Hoechlin’s casting), but had no interest in doing so.
“I know Greg Berlanti quite well and there had been some discussion, but they’re different worlds,” says Welling. “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.”
Are you still disappointed that we never got to see Welling in the full Superman suit? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…