When it was reported that Supergirl was looking to cast Superman, every Smallville fan held their breath and crossed their fingers. I know–I’m one of them.
Superman is and will always be Tom Welling in my mind and in my heart. But Tom Welling will not always be Superman, and that’s okay. He’s a wonderful actor–and a phenomenally good-looking man!, so I’ll be thrilled to see him in anything. (Have you seen the movie Draft Day? It’s surprisingly good, and it features Tom Welling as a gifted, hard-working quarterback you can’t help but root for.) As a fan, I would never begrudge his choice to move on from Superman, rather than return to the role. I assume he was offered the role and declined, not based on any insider knowledge, just my own firm belief that no one would deliberately choose an actor other than Tom Welling to play Superman. Never mind Zack Snyder–he clearly isn’t telling stories about the Superman we know and love; his is more of an elseworlds version where the Kents are dour, suspicious people who could never have raised a pure-hearted hero.
But I have faith in the Supergirl showrunners. They’ve earned it. I trust their vision, their dedication, and their judgment. I’ve never watched Teen Wolf, but enough smart people seem to love it that I assume it’s good. So, welcome Tyler Hoechlin to the role of Superman. You are stepping into gigantic shoes, and you’re a brave man to do so. I commend you, and I commit to watching with an open mind and open heart. (Being a comic book fan prepares you to accept new actors–it’s basically the same as when a new artist takes over on a book.)
Finally, I have a small suggestion/request for the Supergirl showrunners to consider. We Smallville fans will be ecstatic at any crossover/stunt casting you choose to indulge us with, obviously. And the move to Vancouver opens up all kinds of possibilities! So here’s one I’d especially love to see:
Given that Smallville and Supergirl clearly inhabit different Earths, and The Flash has established the doppelganger phenomenon, what if Season 2 of Supergirl introduced the Emil Hamilton of this universe? With such a gifted and dynamic actor, we could enjoy a whole new portrayal that perhaps occasionally reminded us of the character we knew from Smallville but was clearly an alternate universe doppelganger. He might still be a trusted ally; he might be an insidious threat; his true intentions might be part of a season-long mystery. (And as a devoted fan of The 100 as well, it would cushion the blow of losing Sinclair. Just a little. Okay, honestly, I’m not going to stop being bummed about Sinclair, but I’d sure love to have Alessandro Juliani on another of my shows.)
Supergirl will premiere on The CW on October 10, 2016. It will air Mondays at 8 PM, just as in its first year on CBS.