Smallville star Tom Welling has revealed he had a say in ensuring his Clark Kent character would never wear Superman's iconic costume during the course of the series. At the end of the show's ten season run, Welling briefly revealed the classic logo from beneath his shirt; the only full shot of Superman in the show was a CGI creation shown from a distance.
“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,” Welling told Entertainment Weekly. “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.'”
“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," he added. "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.”
Clark Kent's character stayed true to the show's "No flights, no tights" motto, even as other characters introduced in the series demonstrated their own variety of powers, or "abilities."
“It was something that we discussed before we ever shot the pilot," Welling said. “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.”
Smallville aired on the WB and CW networks from 2001 to 2010. Welling is slated to be featured on another Warner Bros. property when he appears on Fox's Lucifer series this fall.