The CW will introduce Superman & Lois to the masses on February 23 with a 90-minute series premiere. During the TCA panel for the new standalone series, showrunner Todd Helbing spoke about how the new standalone series is bringing a fresh perspective of the iconic comic book superhero and journalist to the Arrowverse — one that may surprise many.
Helbing was joined by Tyler Hoechlin and Bitsie Tulloch, who play the titular characters along with cast members Inde Navarette, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Adam Rayner, Wolé Parks, Erik Valdez and Sofia Hasmik for the virtual panel. From the start of the pilot, viewers may notice that the tone, look and overall feel of Superman & Lois is dramatically different from other series in the Arrowverse — but still keeps it at an arms length away.
Helbing said that he and fellow executive producer Greg Berlanti talked about how they wanted to make Superman in general different. “We talked a lot about shows like Everwood and Friday Night Lights,” he said. He added that they wanted a family drama with Superman in it.
“Whenever you do any of these shows, you want to make them slightly different,” said Helbing. “We just approached this as much as we could like a feature — from the aspect ratio to the cinematography to the look to the design of the house and farm. We are competing with shows on cable and streamers…we wanted to be able to do that and offer audiences something of equal quality.”
Tulloch chimed in saying that when they first discussed about the show, she and Hoechlin were sold when Helbing referred to Friday Night Lights. “It was really grounded and really real,” she said of the show. “Part of what I am hoping audiences respond to in our show is that this couple — even though she’s this dynamic journalist and even though he is Superman — are incredibly relatable and they are dealing with the same issues that normal people deal with.”
Speaking to that, Hoechlin does step into the iconic suit with an “S” on his chest, but we also get to see him more as Clark. Playing Superman comes with all the superpowers we are used to seeing, but he spoke to putting his stamp on the character of Clark. We see him raise two teenage boys with his wife and attempt to navigate, as Tulloch pointed out, real-life issues many people encounter on an everyday basis.
Hoechlin doesn’t have any kids himself, but he said he pulled on his experiences with his nieces and nephews, as well as his own father who was an emergency room doctor. “Hopefully Clark can be half the dad my dad was,” he smiled.
Speaking of a new spin on Superman lore, we get to see his twins come into their own. Jonathan (Elsass) and Jordan (Garfin) add to the groundedness as the series will show their relationship as brothers develop and how Clark and Lois handle raising teenage boys.
The panel included plenty of talk about details in the pilot including the iconic suit, villain and Superman canon questions — which we can’t quite unveil just yet. However, we can say there is a new villain played by Parks introduced which goes by the name “The Stranger”. It will certainly cause a stir. We also get to learn more about reverse mortgages thanks to Chriqui’s Lana Lang — who also has a history with Clark. We will learn more about this in future episodes.
The official logline of Superman & Lois is: “Complicating the already daunting job of raising two boys, Clark and Lois must also concern themselves with whether or not their sons Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) and Jordan (Alexander Garfin) could inherit their father’s Kryptonian superpowers as they grow older. Returning to Smallville to handle some Kent family business, Clark and Lois are reacquainted with Lana Lang (Emmanuelle Chriqui), a local loan officer who also happens to be Clark’s first love, and her Fire Chief husband Kyle Cushing (Erik Valdez). The adults aren’t the only ones rediscovering old friendships in Smallville as the Kent sons are reacquainted with Lana and Kyle’s rebellious daughter, Sarah (Inde Navarrette). Of course, there’s never a dull moment in the life of a superhero, especially with Lois’ father, General Samuel Lane (Dylan Walsh) looking for Superman to vanquish a villain or save the day at a moment’s notice. Meanwhile, Superman and Lois’ return to idyllic Smallville is set to be upended when a mysterious stranger (Wolé Parks) enters their lives.”
Based on the characters from DC created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman & Lois is developed by Greg Berlanti and Todd Helbing, who serve as executive producers of the series with Sarah Schechter and Geoff Johns. Todd Helbing wrote the teleplay for the first episode, based on a story by Berlanti and Helbing. Lee Toland Krieger executive produced and directed the first episode. The series is from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.