As the first and one of the most iconic superheroes of all time, there are countless images that come to mind when you hear the name “Superman.” One of those happens to be of the hero’s dramatic transformation, usually with mild-mannered Clark Kent running and ripping his button-down shirt open to reveal the Superman symbol. That shot has been used in countless cartoons, movies and television shows — and now the CW’s “Supergirl” gets to use it to.
Trailers for the show’s sophomore season have shown actor Tyler Hoechlin pulling the famous move as he runs down an alley. During an interview with CBR, “Supergirl” premiere director Glen Winter revealed that the trailer-worthy moment was all ad libbed.
“I had a vision in my head of what I wanted to do,” Winter told CBR. “In the script, it basically said, ‘Clark ducks into an alley and opens his shirt.’ The shot from behind where you see him running in the suit and taking off wasn’t even in the script. I was like, ‘He’s here. He’s in the suit. We have to do it.’ Originally in the script, he rips open his shirt and you cut to him flying up in the stratosphere. I didn’t want to deny the audience the opportunity to see him take off for the first time.”
Winter has an extensive history with superheroes on TV, too, as he’s directed episodes of all of the CW’s DC superhero shows — even including a few from “Supergirl’s” debut season on CBS. His tenure even stretches back to “Smallville,” where he helmed a dozen episodes but never got to do the iconic “S” reveal shot.
“For me, any kind of graphic, cinematic moment that I can play out — if it’s not in the script, I’ll add it,” Winter continued. “Sometimes it’s a nice surprise for the producers. It can’t hurt to do a little bit more instead of a little less. Running him down the alley was super-fun, exciting and iconic. Again, I never got to do that on ‘Smallville.’ That was certainly noted, too.”
Keep an eye out for the full interview with Glen Winter later today on CBR.
Starring Melissa Benoist as the Girl of Steel, “Supergirl” returns for season two tonight at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars David Harewood as Martian Manhunter, Mehcad Brooks as Jimmy Olsen, Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers and Jeremy Jordan as Winn Schott and features appearances by Calista Flockhart’s Cat Grant as well as Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman.
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