Last week, Warner Brothers Pictures Group President Jeff Robinov announced that the studio plans to reboot the Superman film franchise yet again. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Robinov mentioned the studio's desire to put a darker spin on the character in order to capitalize on the success of The Dark Knight. This means that the next Superman film will look nothing like Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, which didn't rake in as much cash as the studio hoped. Singer and Returns star Brandon Routh will likely be out, which means the search for an all new Superman will soon be on.
With Superman getting another reboot, it's time to ponder that age old question: Should Smallville's Tom Welling be cast as the big screen version of Clark Kent?
There was a time when Christian Bale was only known by hardcore film geeks such as myself. The actor had been putting in solid work for years, but after his roles in the extremely awesome Equilibrium and American Psycho fans all across the Internet started shouting that he'd be a great choice for Batman. Cut to a few years later, and director Christopher Nolan cast Bale as Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins. I'm sure Nolan didn't make his decision based solely on message board hype, but the outcries of fans certainly didn't hurt.
When it came time for Bryan Singer to cast Superman Returns, Smallville fans also took the Internet to post about how Tom Welling would be perfect for the title role. They didn't get their wish, however, either because Singer wasn't interested in the actor or because Welling was still committed to Smallville. Brandon Routh took on the role and did an admirable job, but the movie didn't exactly rocket him to stardom.
It's tough to know if Welling would fit into the new vision that Warners has for Superman. I think making the character darker based on the success of The Dark Knight is fairly ridiculous, as Superman isn't a particularly dark and edgy character. Regardless of my opinion, the studio seems determined to inject fresh blood into its stalled franchise.
We've seen Welling play dark on Smallville more than a few times, so we certainly know he could pull it off, and like Bale he has a strong fan base backing him up. It's also likely that Welling's time on Smallville will be over by the time the new movie begins filming, which will probably be in 2010. It's impossible to know what this latest big screen reboot of Superman will look like, but if you think Welling deserves to be cast, now is the time to speak up.