There are few roles in Hollywood more coveted and daunting than that of Superman. Last month it was revealed that the Man of Steel would be returning to TV in the upcoming second season of CW's Supergirl, with his role upgraded to include a face and actual spoken lines.
In the series' first season, the presence of Superman was teased with disembodied text messages, silhouettes, and distant wide-shots of the hero in action. However, we never got to meet the small screen version of the character in the flesh. That will change this fall as actor Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf) has been cast to play Superman in at least two episodes of the upcoming season.
In a recent interview with MovieFone, Hoechlin confirmed that he won't be wearing the famous cape in all of his scenes; we'll also get to see him as Superman's alter ego Clark Kent. "Oh, absolutely!" he responded when asked if he'll appear in both guises. "Absolutely. I think it's a part that you can't really ... it's not complete without him."
Up until this point, most of the discussion surrounding Hoechlin's casting has been on the impact that Superman's presence will have on the Supergirl show as a whole. However, little attention has been paid to the unassuming reporter from the Daily Planet, Clark Kent. The fun of watching a new actor take on the Superman/Clark Kent role is seeing how the performer distinguishes the two public personas.
It will certainly be a treat to see Hoechlin's Clark share the screen with Melissa Benoist's Kara Danvers, but of course many people will be tuning in to see the superheroes in action. The DC Comics icon is perhaps the most famous superhero of all time, and Hoechlin was asked about the pressure of taking on a role with such a heralded history.
"It's definitely incredibly humbling and flattering to even be given the chance to do it. And I think, I'm just going to do as much as I can to see how to bring the true spirit of the character to the show... I'm excited to just kind of look at it from doing it with a clean slate and not trying to replicate or duplicate anything that's been done, but just being honest to the story and how they're writing him."
Hoechlin's intent to bring the "true spirit of the character" to the show should be music to many people's ears. The legacy of the character is enormous and, particularly with the presence of fairly serious and stoic Superman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, there is an opportunity for a lighter take on TV that could complement the bubbly spirit of Supergirl.
Hoechlin will be making his debut as Superman in the October season premiere episode "The Adventures of Supergirl." Even if you aren't a fan of the the show, the prospect of seeing the heavy-hitters of the DC Comics universe in live-action and under one network umbrella may prove irresistible for many comic fans. We will soon find out if Hoechlin will become another face on the Superman Wall of Fame, or simply a forgettable guest appearance.
The Flash season 3 will premiere Tuesday October 4th at 8pm on The CW; Arrow season 5 will premiere in the same timeslot on Wednesday October 5th; Supergirl season 2 on Monday October 10th; and Legends of Tomorrow season 2 on Thursday October 13th.