Why Tom Welling refused to wear the Superman suit in the Smallville finale

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Aug 9, 2017, 10:29 AM EDT

After 10 seasons on the air, the Smallville finale turned out to be a controversial one for fans. Some loved it, some hated it. One of the reasons was that we didn’t get to see Clark Kent fully don the Man of Steel’s iconic costume.

Welling, who will be joining the cast of Fox’s hit series Lucifer in the fall, opened up about the reasons why he chose not to wear Superman’s suit in the finale, while the original idea was that Clark would wear it in the episode’s first act as the culmination of his hero's journey. Here's what he told Entertainment Weekly:

“Our finale was supposed to be, in the first act, Clark puts on the suit and flies around, saves Lois on a plane, and does this other stuff. It was a call that I had with Peter Roth, who is the head of WB Television, who’s a good friend of mine and we have a great relationship. I said, ‘That’s not our show.’ He’s like, ‘No, it’s going to be great,” and I go, ‘Yeah, but just think about what we’ve been doing. If we just jump into that, we haven’t earned it.’”

Tom Welling went on to explain that a compromise was reached between him and the network brass, which included the shot of Clark Kent ripping open his shirt to reveal the House of El sigil and a faraway CGI Supes:

“We jumped onto this idea that at the end of the show, the idea is that Clark becomes Superman and he’s out there, and we know he’s out there, but we can’t go with him, but that we know and we feel good that he’s out there doing good. I hope the audience didn’t feel like we didn’t show them something that they needed to see. I felt like we gave them the jumping off point for their imagination as to what could happen.”

One of the reasons why the actor was against wearing the suit in the first place stemmed from the show’s “no tights no flight” rule:

“It was something that we discussed before we ever shot the pilot. We literally had a sit down where we talked about the show and I asked about the suit and the tights and the flying, and they said, ‘No, absolutely not.’ Part of the reason being is that show is about a teenager trying to figure out who he is. They felt that once Clark put on the cape and the suit, life became too easy, in a sense. They wanted to focus on who this character was before that.”

There you have it. What do you think of Tom Welling’s explanations as to why we never got to see him wearing the Man of Steel’s red cape and blue tights from head to toe?

(via Entertainment Weekly)