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Tom Welling Talks About SMALLVILLE Finale Decisions

Tom Welling Talks About SMALLVILLE Finale Decisions

A pressing question for longtime fans of the hit TV series Smallville was whether we would see Clark Kent make the full transition into the Man of Steel, after several seasons as a teenager trying to understand his abilities and the challenges they posed. (Spoilers, naturally–) Fans got an answer and the answer was a glimpse of Superman as he dons the signature suit and insignia and flying away in the distance, CGI style.

This conclusion made sense since it was always the point of Smallville to focus on Kent and not on his powers or him as a superhero. But, in a recent interview with EW, the star of the show Tom Welling explained how the finale wasn’t always so and how we ended up with a much different conclusion.

Welling told EW;

“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. 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.’”

Why was Welling adamant that the show end thus? It was the plan all along and he wanted to stick to it, he said.

“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. And, at the time, because of where visual effects and special effects and stunts were, it would be too expensive. That’s mainly why they save that for movies, more or less.”

“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.”

Makes sense to us and we are glad his view prevailed! He agreed as you may expect. Welling said;

“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. 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.”

What about you? Did you like the sendoff that Smallville gave Clark Kent?

Welling will next be seen as a villain in the show Lucifer, starring Tom Ellis.

About The Author

J. Don Birnam

J. Don Birnam, a voting member of the New York Film Critics Online, has been a movie lover since he saw the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film in theaters at a tender age, and has been a devoted student of American film history every since. His favorite films range from Back to the Future to West Side Story, depending on the time of day, and has a mildly unhealthy obsessions with the Academy Awards. Any similarity with the slightly unstable writer in the seminal 1944 film 'The Lost Weekend' is pure coincidence

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