'Superman & Lois': Prepare for a New Suit on the Arrowverse Series
After debuting in Supergirl and Arrowverse crossover episodes, Clark Kent/Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) and journalist Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) have their own show, Superman & Lois, joining the CW lineup in January 2021. They and executive producer Todd Helbing participated in a panel for DC FanDome Saturday, hosted by publisher and chief creative officer at DC Jim Lee.
What sets this version apart from other adaptations is that the leads are married from the start — and raising two teenage boys. "Just to tell really a story as grounded as it could possibly be and have Superman in it and as a couple, we really get to lean into Clark and Lois not being Superman and the most famous journalist in the world, but really as parents," Helbing says. "What is that like when you have jobs like that? … We wanted to present two kids who have completely different skillsets and how do you deal with that as parents."
You'll recall that "Crisis on Infinite Earths" began with the couple with just one son, an infant, but everything had been rewritten by the end, when the worlds had merged. And suddenly Lois was calling Clark to inform him there was a problem with the boys. "We took Crisis as an opportunity to really age up and change things for them as parents," the EP explains, because with teenagers is "when things really get complicated for parents." Crisis allowed them to "start with a blank slate and tell the story in a way that we couldn't have otherwise."
What prompts Clark and Lois to move back to Smallville? Helbing won't give that away just yet, but after a "tragic event, [they] move back to Smallville and really find that it's easier to raise kids maybe in a place where life isn't so hectic as it is in Metropolis."
And it's in Smallville that Clark reunites with his first love, Lana Lang (Emmanuelle Chriqui). "It's an interesting dynamic as an adult how you deal with that relationship," Helbing allows, but he promises there won't ever be an affair. "That dynamic as an adult is really interesting to us, those feelings are impossible to ignore and I think that's a real thing for some people, especially when kids are involved." (Speaking of, there will be a bit of a love triangle for Clark and Lois' sons and Lana's daughter.)
Expect a complicated relationship for both Clark and Lois with her father, General Lane (Dylan Walsh). "He's a very military guy, so he sort of looks at Superman as his soldier, and his relationship with Lois is a little fraught because of the way he took his job when he was a parent versus the way Clark is doing his job," the EP shares. "All of that messiness is really fun."
There will be plenty of superhero action too, Helbing promises, but adds, "to us, what's just as interesting as when Superman goes out and saves the day or he's fighting a villain or he's stopping a nuclear reactor from exploding, Lois is out there hunting a different sort of villain and using her superpowers to be just as effective, and you see them as a team, kind of this unstoppable force, which is a lot of fun to play."
We've already seen Hoechlin in the Superman suit — and he calls putting it on the first time "the most surreal moment" — and rip open his shirt to reveal it underneath (The Flash's Grant Gustin gave an "audible inhale" at that moment from the crossover), but will there be upgrades? "That suit just wasn't built to sustain a series," Helbing says. "Yeah, let's make a new suit. … There's going to be a really badass Superman suit in this show that I'm pretty excited about."
Superman & Lois, Series Premiere, January 2021, The CW