Tom Welling Discusses SMALLVILLE - Why He Didn't Wear The Superman Costume and Changing Up The Finale
Smallville was such an incredible show to watch. I loved watching Clark Kent's journey from being a farm boy to becoming Superman. Even though we never really got to see him wear the classic Superman suit, it was still a wonderful and satisfying series.
Series star Tom Welling recently opened up about his time on the series in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. During that interview, he talked about why he was never shown in the full Superman suit and even talked about his idea of changing up the series finale.
As far as the suit goes, the choice was made not to see Clark Kent in the costume before the show even started shooting.
“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.”
I always respected that about the show. It was pretty cool that they never really caved in and put Welling in the full costume. Yeah, we did get a little glimpse at the end of the series as he flew into the sky, but that shot was done in CG. The closest we got to see of Welling in the suit was when he opened his shirt revealing the classic Superman emblem. He goes on to explain:
“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.”
Welling went on to reveal that there was another ending for the series that would have shown more of Superman in action. He didn't like it, though, and he pretty much fought for the change.
“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."
After he read the script he called the head of Warner Bros. Television to explain that that's not the way the series should end. He says:
“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.'”
I think some fans would have loved to see Superman flying around in his suit saving lives, but in the end, I think Welling made the right decision to change it. The ending we got stayed true to the series.
“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.”
They did hit it! That's why I loved the show so damn much! It was the ending that Smallville led to and deserved. He went on to share his thoughts on the ending of the series, saying:
"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.”
I think I might have to start rewatching Smallville in the near future.