Superhero movies aren’t going away. With the success of “Iron Man” and “The Dark Knight,” the superheroes are lining up and will continue to fly our way very, very swiftly. One superhero franchise that has also enjoyed great success is “Smallville.” It is the live-action television show about the story/re-telling of young Clark Kent, and his journey to become Superman. With “Smallville” going on for almost a decade now, the fans of the show have lots to celebrate because they are getting closer and closer to the payoff. What pay-off am I talking about? I will explain. The show has been picked up for yet another season, but it is most likely its last. This means that all those fans that have anxiously waited for Clark to take the final steps into becoming the superhero they know and love, Superman, is just around the corner.
From the beginning of the show, the writers and creators set a series of rules, not to mention all the restrictions we don’t even know about that were burdened on them. These included the preposterous yet infamous “no tights, no flights” rule. These were cool concepts and kept the show interesting, but soon, fans started growing impatient. The show that, at one time, scored eight million viewers started to decline. What happened? Well, perhaps these folks never left, and perhaps as technology has progressed, people simply don’t watch TV the way Nielsen ratings wants them to. With the DVRs and TIVOs, people can watch at their leisure, when it is convenient to them. Also, it is possible when the WB became the CW, their outreach to viewers is not as ample as it used to be with the WB.
Whatever happened, the ratings haven’t been the same. Nevertheless, the DVD sales have always been extraordinary and growing every season. The ratings worldwide are even better than in the U.S.A. For example, South America has an average of 11 million viewers per episode. Yes, new and current episodes. The producers know there is money to be made here. This is why after Tom Welling’s contract ended after season eight, they offered him a fortune to come back for two more season. This also made him jump to the top 10 list of highest-paid TV actors and in 2009, with an average of $175,000 an episode!
Now, with the new “Superman” reboot movie heading our way in 2012 or 2013, the fans are already going at it on forums, blogs and Twitter about their choice for the character roles. One name that is always popping up is Tom Welling. Could he play the part and do it justice? Could he be involved in the other rumored project that is circulating around like the “Justice League” movie? How about a “Smallville” movie? To all these options the fans are very verbal, and following are some of the usual arguments I hear.
One popular argument is that he is afraid to be typecast. Yet before “Superman Returns” happened, he met with Brett Ratner for the role of Superman when Ratner was hired to direct the movie at that time. Tom turned down the role to star in the movie because the movie would mean the end of the show or doing both at the time was impossible. (Don’t believe me? See an interview where he goes into detail about this here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x522s6_tom-welling-on-last-call-with-carso_shortfilms). Does that sound like someone who is afraid of being typecast? Not to me. With the new reboot starting to start filming around the same time “Smallville” ends, it will be interesting to see if Welling is offered the role once again. Also, now that Nolan has been asked to oversee the upcoming “Superman” reboot project, it seems likely this will be a darker-themed Superman movie. If you have seen any of the “Smallville” episodes in the last few seasons, you know this is the feel the show shoots for. Even the costume of “The Blur” (the name people are calling the dark hero who will one day be known as Superman) is black, and has been successfully pulled of by Tom Welling.
Is it possible to lure those millions of viewers back if they know that they will finally get the long awaited pay-off? Would it simply be more profitable to go with a “Smallville” movie — film that gives the millions of fans worldwide the opportunity to finally get their beloved Superman from the long running show? A straight-to-DVD movie would definitely prove to be a pot of gold in my opinion. Up to now, “Smallville” DVD sales have always been great on Amazon and iTunes, but this is just for the show DVDs. A movie would bring in greater number in my opinion, with all the comic-book fans, and Superman and “Smallville” fans world-wide.
A “Smallville” movie made for theaters also would be successful in my opinion. It has all the necessary key-points to succeed — the show has always been considered an alternate time-line (Star Trek-ish) or “elseworld” version of the Superman story: beautiful people and a great set-up based on greatly repressed characters and plots. I mention repressed because one of the shows tactics is to take all the characters far enough where we are all interested, but never to where they are supposed to end up … yet. So for all the millions of people out there, waiting patiently for a decade, an outcome like this would make the wait worth it. The cast is established and has a die-hard following. The characters are admired for many reasons; looks, acting abilities and cool factor. The show’s line-up is comprised of some of the most attractive people out there. Tom Welling is good looking enough and cool to bring the comic-con to a halt last year and to inspire all kinds of unique and interesting fan-fiction. Yes, he is still pretty unknown to the movie community, but then again wasn’t Brandon Routh too? Also, Erica Durance is seemingly in the FHM top 50 hottest women every year. And her Lois Lane is loved and preferred by many. So, with a cast like this, it would be smart to take advantage of this.
Another issue is the show started out as a retelling of the myth, but as time went by, and the story derailed from the mythos, it was claimed that “Smallville” was an alternative universe or time-line story, so it wouldn’t interfere with the movie/comics Superman. But now, the writers have been hard at work at lining up the show with the movies and comics, and actually, they have done a great job. They have almost erased all the plots that tarnished the known and respected story of the beloved Superman. With just a few more details to touch up on, the show will soon catch up and line itself up with the mythos and original story lines.
This will lend itself to three possibilities:
1. To end the show on an enormous high note
2. To continue on with “Smallville” movies, straight to video or theater, just like “Stargate,” “24” and “X-Files”
3. To open the door for Tom Welling and others cast members to move on to the planned WB/DC “Superman” reboot
If they go the “Smallville” movie route, the show has so my directions it can go — it has the Brainiac story line, Bizarro, and they even explained how Doomsday ended up underground, when he re-surfaces in the future and fights Superman to the death. I mean a “Smallville: Superman vs Doomsday” movie would be amazing in my opinion. It could have Lois and Clark engaged, and even have Lois know Clark’s secret. In my opinion, Erica Durance would be amazing at crying over Clark who’d she think was dead, and then comes back by the movie’s end. I think that could work! Yes, there are so many possibilities.
I hope you are as excited as I am about the possibilities that are out there. What route will they take? I don’t know, but one thing I do know is that the fans will go nuts, and the non-fans will have already been preparing themselves for a change … a new “Superman” is coming. At times, these fans do a better job at promoting the show and movies better than the show-makers themselves, so it would be interesting to see what a properly-promoted “Smallville” movie could achieve.
This could be big.
. . .
Follow Josue Sanchez on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Josue_can.
great article!! as you know i expressed my thoughts on this already & P.S. I totally caught it 😉
No thanks, the Smallville story is not big screen material. And Tom Welling can’t act.
I really want to see a Justice League/Smallville movie featuring all if not most of DC characters and Tom being Superman in the movie would be great as a movie straight out of DVD or theatrical release. Plus I wouldn’t mind if they can’t get Michael Rosenbaum at the end of the series that he might play Lex again for a “Smallville” movie. Yet, I must admit for Superman “reboot” from Nolan I want to see a fresh start meaning a new person to play “man of steel” for Nolan’s version. As well, I really want Tom Welling to wear the suit and fly on the show because to me it should be for us fans that stick on the show for this long for the payoff to happen there and not in the movie. Wonderful article, Josue. You’re the best. =)
a very good article man. i agree with alot of your points. It would be great if welling was superman. But like i said in our chats. ITs probably not likely an option. since wb/dc comics will probably want to go in a different direction and all that. But what ever happens i hope it works out well for them. They need to make the right calls this time. Cause if they muck up superman again it is not going to be good news for them.
Oh Josue, seeing a Smallville movie, whether it be straight to DVD or, hope upon hope, on the big screen, is an ultimate dream of mine!
Smallville is something so special to me that I DO NOT want to let go of it after S10!
I hope this article gets read by TPTB somewhere!
DTV is always a possibility, but a theatrical feature ain’t gonna happen. DC and Warner Bros aren’t going to want to distract from their upcoming Nolan-led reboot. There’s also the fact that studios are very wary of producing films based on cult-fave shows in the wake of SERENITY’s mediocre performance.
Yep! This could be big indeed Josue! Huge!
If Smallville movie-DVD would make me deliriously happy then a world wide Smallville movie, with the cast, would make me a blubbering mess! A mess of joy that is!
I agree Josue. Smallville has a strong fan base. So far it receives little promotion from the network yet the fans really pull through for the show. I can really see if Smallville made it into a movie, its strong fanbase will do its part. The fan will promote the movie just as they do with the series. I for certain will do my part. Now I sincerely hope the idea of a Smallville movie is heard by the right people.
Nice article and good argument. However, I’d have to disagree about a theatrical release. While ‘Smallville’ has a strong, devoted following, it is a relatively small following, especially considering the movie-going public at large. Ultimately, it’s not large enough to guarantee huge box office. As a result, the background that the show offers could actually prove to be a deterrent for a wider audience. I can see a DTV movie or series of movies but never a bigscreen feature.
I have to agree with both Cam Smith and moviefan.
Based on those comments alone, I firmly believe that Warners will not want to make a Smallville movie when it ends next year. At least not with a Superman reboot due out in late 2012. And with Nolan overseeing the development of said film, he’ll already have his own vision on what he wants the movie to be like and who’s likely to star in it.
To have a Smallville movie made sometime before or after Superman reboot will either confuse people, or just be pointless.
Either way, you make some excellent points. And regardless with what happens in Smallville, the Superman reboot will indeed be something different altogether. 🙂
I’ve never watched the show but I’m intrigued by this possibility.A movie would make me want to go back and watch all the shows to see how this all happened.Which you would think would be something exec’s would take into account.Comparing this to Serenity seems unfair though.Firefly had 14 episodes produced,got no promotional push, and was never a big success because Fox hates Whedon for some reason.Smallville has over 200 episodes,been on the air for 10 years and is dealing with a known entity,which would be an advantage going into the movie being a success.It’s too bad Nolan was brought in because this would really be interesting.
Josue, what a fabulous article! The idea of a Smallville movie sends shivers down my spine. It would be phenominal!! But a Superman movie starring Tom & Erica would send me over the edge! Great job 🙂
Once again you have out done your self. This article is awesome! I feel the same way as you. Right now a Smallville movie would be perfect specially if the same cast & crew are involved. The movie would be epic.
Josh another fabu article. As you know, I’m a newbie to Smallville and have enjoyed this past season. Depending on how the next season ends, a Smallville movie is definitely a possibility. Either way, Superman or Smallville, I would see either one…and tweet with you all while watching.
Keep up the good work-looking forward to more of your writing.
Oh, by the way, I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more of Ollie 🙂
I was a ravid fan of Smallville and watched every episode when it aired, in season 4 my work schedule didnt allow me too, well trying to come back into it in season 6 just didnt work for me. So ive just been buying the seasons on dvd (Imm a few behind right now) but I loved the show and saw on twitter weeks ago that next season is the last for sure. I honestly dont think Tom Welling would take a movie offer, although he is a good choice for the role. I can tell that hes ready to move on.
Too many Smallville haters cite the RETCON issue as an argument why it shouldn’t be made into a movie or why Tom Welling shouldn’t be involved with the Superman reboot. Well, that’s ridiculous, because EVERY comic book, comic book movie or TV show has done it for decades! An interesting person from ComicBookMives.com elaborates how true Smallville has been to the Superman mythos at the link below.
RETCON: Retroactive continuity (often shortened to retcon) is the deliberate changing of previously established facts in a work of serial fiction. Retconning may be carried out for a variety of reasons, such as to accommodate sequels or further derivative works in the same series, to reintroduce popular characters, to make a reboot of an old series more relevant to modern audiences, or to simplify an excessively complex continuity structure.
Retcons are common in comic books, especially those of large, long-established publishing houses such as Marvel Comics and DC Comics, because of the lengthy history of many series and the number of independent authors contributing to their development. Retconning also occurs in soap operas, movie sequels, professional wrestling, video games, radio series, series of novels, and any other type of episodic fiction.
It wouldn’t make ANY sense to not use Tom Welling for the Superman reboot! For the last 9 seasons he’s established himself as Clark Kent and in Smallville’s 10th and final season will solidify himself as Superman. Honestly, what sense would it make to change actors? The timing of the reboot and the timing of Welling becoming Superman on Smallville is too perfect. Using any other actor would be silly. Tom Welling is this generations Superman!
please use tom welling on your superman it so great play clark kent i could love in the big screen as superman tom welling fit the role on superman movie please use tomand erica as the movie christopher nolan
Latino Review has hinted more than once that D.Goyer was interested in Welling for the part. I think all the objections to the idea really come from the intense fanboys, who get tied up in knots over continuity or have always hated Smallville for its “too sexy / model-ish” young Superman take. Despite Goyer’s reputation as fanboy-oriented, he also has a mainstream vision in mind and thus doesn’t have their hangups.
I have never heard any regular audience member argue about any film’s continuity, from Indiana Jones to Star Wars. That kind of obsessing is pure fanboy stuff. All Joe and Jane Moviegoer care about is “Did we have fun?” If the answer is “Yes”, they don’t care if the movie made sense to fanboys. Did either Transformers movie make sense? Did the audience care? No. Did the audience have fun? Yes. Were fanboys outraged by the general audience loving the movies and seeing them multiple times and making them some of the highest DVD-sellers ever? Yes, fanboys were incandescent with rage, and the studio laughed all the way to the bank.
Meanwhile, Kick Ass and Spliced flopped. The day of studios listening to fanboys is almost over. Go to any industry site, and you’ll read more and more dissing of fanboys every day. The industry is over that infatuation and bored with them. It’s all about the young female audience now. And to bring the topic full circle, guess which demo loves the “too sexy / model-ish” version of old stories, including Superman?
i talk to much, (comment number 18) you arey hero! 😉
see, even made me nervous, i talk to much, (comment number 18) you are my hero!
What a fabulous idea! From your article to the WB’s head honchos’ ears. After seeing Tom Welling and Erica Durance portray the characters of Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane in Smallville, I have been wishing and hoping that they’d star in the theatrical version. I’ve been dying for this to come true! I guess we’ll see, won’t we? Thanks for such an awesome article.
Thanks but no thanks. If they want to do a Smallville movie, Do it for TV. Please. I want to see TW fly as Superman in the TV-MOVIE, and not on the big screen. You know who I want to see play Supes on the big screen? Joe Jonas, he looks and fits the part and is a good actor and can act better than that doofus Welling. If TWdoesn’t want to wear the suit on the big screen , I say give it to Joe Jonas.
i think it would great as a major film a lot of depends on how much money they trow at it i also think a great title for it would THE KRYPTONIAN