Superman and Lois: Todd Helbing Compares Writing CW Series, Smallville

With all of the explaining he's been having to do lately about The CW series' reveal that it's never been set in the Arrowverse (more on that in a minute), we're guessing Superman & Lois showrunner, writer & EP Todd Helbing is appreciating a question that's more specific to his time writing for The Man of Steel. In case you didn't know, Helbing and his brother Aaron Helbing wrote an episode of the Tom Welling-starring Smallville– 2008 Season 7 episode "Hero", to be specific (Todd Helbing's first professional writing work). Speaking with Looper, Todd Helbing explained the key differences & challenges to writing Superman at two distinctly different time periods in his life.

Image: Screencap/The CW

"There were so many challenges. First, that was [with] my brother [Aaron] and my first professional script, so we were very nervous. On top of that, to write Superman and all the characters in [the "Superman" universe] was a little intimidating, but generally, it was because Clark is now a father and Lois is a mother, and they're married — that dynamic is completely different than writing teenagers," Helbing explained. And while certain aspects may be common between the two shows, it was the perspectives that they came from that were the key factor. "That was the biggest difference: the type of stories, the type of relationships, and the complexities of being [adults and] working parents," Helbing added.

If nothing else, the eventual end of the Arrowverse will be known as a slow and painful one. Because in the season-ender of Superman & Lois, we learned how the show is tied into the Arrowverse. It's not. During that speech we mentioned earlier that General Lane gives, we get this line: "I've been working for the DOD for a long time. I've seen things you would not believe- glimpses of other worlds, and the leagues of superheroes they have on them. And even though we only have your father on this planet, thank God that we do, because he's the finest of any Earth." So… yeah. That means The Flash is the only one remaining (assuming DC's Stargirl also pulls the trigger on being its own self-contained universe). Helbing opened up to TVLine about the decision and to clear up some other points.

superman & lois
Superman & Lois — "Waiting for Superman" — Image Number: SML215a_0196r.jpg — Pictured: David Ramsey as John Diggle — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The Decision to Keep "Superman & Lois" & the Arrowverse Apart Was Made Earlier Than Expected: "DC and I had a conversation during Season 1, and the decision [to separate the show from the Arrowverse] was made then, but I couldn't make it public until the end of this season. So when I got all these questions [in prior interviews], I knew what we were doing, but I could never talk about it. It got a little frustrating on my end, but I totally understand DC's position. So this put that to rest. I've said from the beginning that we want to put our own stamp on the Superman property. This wasn't meant to alienate us from the Arrowverse, but because a lot of the other shows are sadly no longer going to be on the air, it felt like the right thing to do."

So While Tyler Hoechlin's Superman is Aware of the Multiverse… "we have to think about this as a separate Superman, a doppelganger of the one who was in the Arrowverse."

So David Ramsey's John Diggle During the Season 2 Finale Isn't "'Arrow' Diggle? Nope… "This is also a new Diggle. David Ramsey had grown a beard and grew his hair out. He called me and said, 'I've been growing my hair, I look different. Do you want me to shave and get a haircut?' So not to add more confusion to it, but he's a different Diggle."

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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