Superman & Lois Team Talk Multiple Clarks, Being FNL-Relatable & More

After months of teasers and previews, The CW's Superman & Lois is ready to take flight this Tuesday night, February 23, with a two-hour premiere event. Along with the 90-minute season-opener, viewers will also be treated to the special Superman & Lois: Legacy of Hope, where the cast discuss what makes the series so important in these times and some surprise faces from across the Arrowverse show up (Grant Gustin, Javicia Leslie, etc.) to offer their thoughts on why The Man of Steel means so much to so many for so long. Bleeding Cool also had a chance to take part in the series' press even promoting its debut, and we'll be offering you highlights throughout the week. This time around, Tyler Hoechlin discusses the dichotomy between Clark Kent and Superman, while Elizabeth Tulloch (Lois Lane) and writer/executive producer Todd Helbing discussed their approach to telling Clark and Lois's story.

Superman & Lois released an official trailer for its CW debut. (Image: The CW screencap)
(Image: The CW)

"I think with Superman, he stands for something, he is so symbolic and there's things that you come to know that he's unwavering in. And so you kind of feel a responsibility to carry on those things as well. But with Clark, there is more leeway with that. You can kind of find those little subtleties, those things that, you know, are a little bit more human about him. And it's a little bit more flexible to kind of have some fun with it because in a way he's putting on a show when he's Clark," explained Hoechlin when asked about how he approaches his portrayals of The Man of Steel and his alter-ego. "And so it's like, well, how does he… what does he like to perform, to appear as just… you know… 'Oh, Clark Kent,' who you would never assume is, is Superman. So I've always kind of looked at it and really like, there's five, at least five different versions of him. I played either Superman as the symbol and no one knows who he is, or when he's closer to people and they know who he is. The other ones are like the extreme version of Clark Kent. And then there's a Clark Kent where they know he's Superman, but right now he's playing Clark. And then there's the one in the center that I really don't have a name for. It's just like genuinely who he is. Just as a person, it's who he is… it doesn't have a name, but it's when he's his most comfortable, like with his family and they know who he is and he can be himself."

superman & lois
Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

When it comes to the show's narrative approach and perspective, Helbing says they were looking to deliver viewers a take on the characters that balance the grandiose with these more personal, intimate moments. "Well, tonally, you know, from the first conversations Greg Berlanti and I had, it was really, how do we make this, how do we make Superman in general, different? And we talked a lot about shows like 'Everwood' and 'Friday Night Lights' and really a family show, a family drama that had Superman in it. And so tonally, the look, we just… whenever you do any of these shows, you want to make them slightly different. And so we just approached this as much as we could like a feature, from the aspect ratio to the cinematography, to the look, everything, the design of the house, the farm. We just wanted to give the audience… we're competing with these shows on cable streamers and cable networks. And we want to do that and to be able to offer the audience something on an equal quality," Helbing explained.

"I would say that when Todd and Tyler and I went out to dinner to really discuss the show, he, Tyler and I were really sold when, when Todd was talking about 'Friday Night Lights,' that that was a really important show, the way it was shot at the time was really novel. The actors had a lot more freedom, it wasn't like they always had to hit their marks and everything," Tulloch continued- and it's that approach to the filmmaking that she hopes helps audiences connect with the super-couple. "And I think part of what I'm hoping audiences respond to in our show is that this couple, even though she's this dynamic journalist and even though he's Superman, are incredibly relatable and they're dealing with a lot of the same issues that normal people deal with- whether it is lost jobs or having hormonal teenagers who are pushing back against us at every turn. It should feel – and I think it does – feel really, really grounded like Superman and Lois Lane could be your next-door neighbors."

In SUPERMAN & LOIS, after years of facing megalomaniacal supervillains, monsters wreaking havoc on Metropolis, and alien invaders intent on wiping out the human race, the world's most famous superhero, The Man of Steel aka Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin, "Teen Wolf") and comic books' most famous journalist, Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch, "Grimm"), come face to face with one of their greatest challenges ever – dealing with all the stress, pressures and complexities that come with being working parents in today's society. 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, "Little Fires Everywhere") and Jordan (Alexander Garfin, "The Peanuts Movie") 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, "Entourage"), a local loan officer who also happens to be Clark's first love, and her Fire Chief husband Kyle Cushing (Erik Valdez, "Graceland"). 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, "Wander Darkly"). Of course, there's never a dull moment in the life of a superhero, especially with Lois' father, General Samuel Lane (Dylan Walsh, "Nip/Tuck") 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, "All American") enters their lives.

superman
Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

The CW's Superman & Lois stars Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent aka Superman, Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane, Jordan Elsass as Jonathan Kent, Alexander Garfin as Jordan Kent, Dylan Walsh as Samuel Lane, Emmanuelle Chriqui as Lana Lang, Erik Valdez as Kyle Cushing, Wolé Parks as the Stranger, Inde Navarrette as Sarah Cushing, Sofia Hasmik as Chrissy Beppo, Stacey Farber as Leslie Larr, and Adam Rayner as Morgan Edge. Based on the characters from DC created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman & Lois is written and executive produced by Todd Helbing (The Flash) and executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Geoff Johns. Berlanti Productions produces in association with Warner Bros. Television. Lee Toland Krieger directs the pilot from a story by  Berlanti and Helbing, with a teleplay by Helbing.

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About Jimmy Leszczynski

Jimmy Leszczynski has been blurring the line between comics and reality at SDCC every year since 1994, and was a nerd long before Lewis, Gilbert, and the Tri Lamdas made it cool. Middle aged father of 2 that REFUSES to grow up, lifelong Bat-Fan, and he thinks he's pretty funny.
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