While production has not yet begun on The CW’s upcoming series Superman & Lois, the stars and showrunner offered an overview of the series during DC FanDome: Explore the Multiverse on Saturday. Their comments positioned the series as a family drama with familiar Superman tropes.
Indeed, the fact it will be a show about a Superman with a wife and kids sets it apart from previous programs featuring the Man of Steel. As executive producer and showrunner Todd Helbing put it, the idea is to “tell a story that is as grounded as it can be and still have Superman.”
He added, “We also have Superman and Lois as parents, and what does that mean when they have jobs like that?”
The weight of parental responsibilities when compared to a life’s ambition is something star Elizabeth Tulloch (Lois) and Tyler Hoechlin (Clark) can relate to. “I have a 17-month year old and I already feel like she’s judging me,” Tulloch joked.
Hoechlin, who has no children, was able to interface with the conflict by reflecting on his father, a private practice doctor who was often called away to handle patients. “It’s a perspective shift for me to look back on how he accomplished that,” he said.
The Kent children — Jonathan and his as yet unnamed fraternal twin — will be aged up from infants to teenagers thanks to cosmic changes from last year’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover. Helbing said they took the opportunity to age up the twins because teenagers inherently offer more conflict on family dramas and “we wanted to present two kids with wildly different skill sets.” We’ll presume this means only one of the boys will exhibit superpowers.
Adding to their teen troubles: they’re the new kids in town as Lois and Clark move to Smallville. The departure from Metropolis offers Helbing the chance to tell the story of a community in decline as its chief economic engine leaves town. Also, he said the Super couple “find it’s easier to raise children [there] than it is in Metropolis.”
The move to Smallville also means Clark will once again be seeing Lana Lang (Emmanuelle Chriqui) on a more frequent basis. Although the Helbing promised Superman will never have an affair on the show, he is intrigued by what it means to reestablish any sort of relationship with a childhood sweetheart. “It’s interesting how, as an adult, you deal with that,” he said.
Equally interesting is the potential for tension between Lois and Lana, although Helbing said, “We don’t want Lois and Lana brawling.”
For her part, Lana has a family of her own with husband Kyle Cushing (Erik Valdez) and daughter Sarah (Inde Navarrette), who will befriend the younger Kents before too long.
And to underscore the theme of parents and children, Dylan Walsh will appear on a regular basis as Lois’s father, General Sam Lane. Though Helbing said the General “sees Superman as his soldier,” his relationship with Lois is “a little fraught” and reflects her own worries about managing her career and the kids.
That worry will also be on Clark’s mind as Hoechlin said Superman will be asking himself, “When is it okay to turn off the world [for his family]?” A question with no easy answers.
Despite the family drama trappings, the series will still feature action — it is an Arrowverse show, after all — and Lois and Clark teaming up as an “unstoppable force” against corruption and crime.
Superman & Lois will debut on The CW in 2021.