Exciting news today for Smallville fans. Tom Welling, who starred as Clark Kent on the WB/CW series for ten years from 2001 to 2011, will reprise his role as Superman’s alter ego on the upcoming Arrowverse crossover based on Crisis on Infinite Earths. Arrow co-creator and executive producer Marc Guggenheim told Deadline, “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.”
Guggenheim is right. Regardless about how you feel about Smallville or Arrow, one leads to the other. No one had really attempted the long-form origin superhero story before, and Smallville kind of got in there early before studios realized what they had with their superhero properties. Smallville was more genre-friendly than The Adventures of Lois and Clark, but wasn’t aimed a pre-teen viewers like Batman: The Animated Series. While the first few seasons were pretty content with monster-of-the-week fare where a “meteor freak” would be fighting a Clark Kent who’s slowly discovering his powers, there was also some really strong stuff between Clark and young Lex Luthor that I wish had run for the entirety of the series.
Welling will now join other Supermen Tyler Hoechlin and Brandon Routh, who were both slightly easier gets since Hoechlin has played Superman on Supergirl while Routh is already part of the Arrowverse playing Ray Palmer/The Atom on Legends of Tomorrow (although Routh will soon be leaving Legends of Tomorrow, which he said was “not my decision.”) There’s no word yet if Welling will be suiting up as Superman for the crossover or remaining as Clark Kent, but his participation will likely bring in the Smallville contingent who have missed seeing him play the character.
The Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover over will span five episodes across five franchises—Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Batwoman—and air three episodes in December with the remaining two in January.