Rumor: Marvel Eyes Tom Welling?

As fans gear up for Friday's two-hour series finale of Smallville, a rumor has surfaced that Marvel may have interest in star Tom Welling.

Although it seems unlikely that the studio would set its sights on an actor who's been so closely associated with a DC Comics character for the past decade, What's Playing contends Marvel is looking at the 34-year-old Welling for ... well, something. The website  floated the possibility of Doctor Strange -- a terrible case of miscasting if ever there were one -- until "sources who would know" ruled out that role.

"Welling isn’t up for Doctor Strange, and hasn’t been approached for any Marvel property yet," a source is quoted as saying, "but that doesn’t mean there isn’t interest in him."

But would Welling, who's branched out in recent years into directing and producing, be interested in another project? What's Playing says yes, pointing to his testing for Superman Returns as supporting evidence. His acting career outside of Smallville hasn't exactly set Hollywood on fire -- Cheaper by the Dozen, its sequel and The Fog are the extent of his film roles -- so it's possible that Welling would be up for a high-profile superhero project.

Still, is he a gifted enough actor to easily glide from one superhero role to another -- Welling lacks the charisma of Chris Evans -- and will audiences be able to shake the image of Clark Kent that's been ingrained in their minds for the past 10 years?

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