When we put together the Mt. Rushmore of Superman actors, it will be interesting to see if Tom Welling makes it up there. On the one hand, he hasn’t appeared on the big screen as the character with dudes like Henry Cavill and Brandon Routh having those honors in the last couple of decades. But Welling also needs some major props for how long he played Clark Kent/ Superman and the humanity he brought to the role, something majorly lacking from the other guys I just mentioned. So it’s with some excitement that we get word he might be returning to the role. In a recent YouTube interview, Welling let on that he’d be interested in getting back into the cape, maybe even in the new universe created by Matt Reeves’ The Batman.
During the interview, Tom Welling was asked a number of things about his time on screen as Superman in Smallville as well as chances he’s had to reprise the role. But during the questioning, he was asked about whether there would be any excitement about stepping back into the suit again at some point. With so many comic book offerings out there these days, the options seem like they’d be out there in some fashion. Here’s what Welling had to say about the possibility and what kind of role would get him excited to go all Kryptonian again:
“Yeah, I think that would be cool. My buddy Rob Pattinson, he is going to be the new Batman. I would love…it would be fun to be the Superman that shows up in his movie, just because he is a friend of mine. Yeah, who knows.”
Sometimes comments like these are off the cuff and sometimes they are well-placed. It’s tough to know the exact specifics with this admission from Tom Welling. Is he serious about wanting to play the part or does it just sound good to work with a buddy in Robert Pattinson? The truth is likely somewhere in between. Welling has worked to distance himself from the Superman role in years since Smallville went off the air in 2011. He’s worked on Lucifer and some other productions like his current role in Professionals. But then, last year he got back into the Clark Kent role for the Crisis on Infinite Earth storyline on the CW for the Arrowverse. Because this was wrapping together different superhero timelines, it was a nod to the studio’s past. But it was only in passing.
What Tom Welling is referring to here, and again, it’s likely only just an off-the-cuff comment is establishing the role of Superman in a new comic book universe. The Robert Pattinson version of Batman in the upcoming movie will be a storyline reset for the character and the world around him. It’s not going to exist in any of the other DC-branded timelines like the Justice League group, the upcoming JJ Abrams Superman film, or even the aforementioned Arroweverse. This will be its own world. And if it’s going full DC Comics, then eventually (presumably) it will need a Superman.
And even if this Robert Pattinson team-up doesn’t happen for Tom Welling, there is some chance of a return to Smallville at some point in his future. Giant Freakin Robot had the scoop this was possibly in the works and it was confirmed the other day through an Instagram live by Michael Rosenbaum. So there could be multiple options for Welling in the red and blue suit. Time will tell, but this is a guy who handled the character once and could certainly do it again.