And then there were three. Tom Welling is set to reprise his Smallville role as Clark Kent in the CW’s upcoming DC Arrowverse crossover, joining two other actors who have played the Man of Steel, Tyler Hoechlin and Brandon Routh, both already set to portray the character in the crossover.
Talk started over the summer that the Arrowverse producers were looking to feature multiple versions of Superman in different time frames during the Infinite Earths event, with Welling, Hoechlin and Routh all on the wish list.
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While Hoechlin and Routh already are members of the Arrowverse — Hoechlin recurs as Superman on Supergirl, while Routh plays Ray Palmer/The Atom on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, — making their recruitment easier, getting Welling to reprise his signature role was not an easy proposition as he had been reluctant to revisit the character in the past.
He will now do it for the first time in a crossover guest stint, reprising his role as Clark Kent to reveal what happened to the character almost ten years after Smallville.
Arrow co-creator/executive producer Marc Guggenheim addressed the significance of the casting.
“For eight years, Arrow has stood on the shoulders of Smallville. Simply put, there would be no Arrow, and no Arrowverse, without it,” he said. “So when we first started talking about Crisis on Infinite Earths, our first, second and third priorities were getting Tom to reprise his iconic role as Clark Kent. To say that we’re thrilled would be a Superman-sized understatement.”
As Superman, both Routh and Hoechlin will suit up, putting on the iconic cape. It is unclear whether Welling will do so or only appear as alter ego Clark Kent.
Titled “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” the upcoming mega-crossover will unite the entire Arrowverse series franchise – Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman – in a five-episode epic that will span two quarters, with three episodes airing in December and the two concluding installments debuting in January.
The season finales of Arrow and The Flash provided some clues for the upcoming crossover, which shares its name with the landmark 12-issue DC Comics series that was published in the 1980s and essentially reset the DC mythology by scuttling decades worth of characters and the dense thicket of a canon built haphazardly by the month by hundreds of writers over decades.