(Warning: the following could — theoretically — contain SPOILERS for future episodes of CBS and DC's Supergirl. Proceed with whatever level of caution that suggests to you is wise...)
Now, with DC and CBS's Supergirl seemingly going from strength to strength all on its own, the early season argument in favor of a full Superman cameo seems to have lost a whole lot of its steam. After all, with Kara and pals proving sufficiently engaging all on their own, the need for another, roughly-the-same-but-more-male counterpart to our hero seems limited.
And yet, that hasn't stopped the rumor mill from turning.
A Onetime Superman Was Just Asked Whether He Might Yet Turn Up In 'Supergirl'
The Superman in question?
Why, Smallville's own Tom Welling, of course...
Welling, after all, has become many fans' first choice for a Supergirl-based Superman, for two main reasons: One, the current big-screen Man of Steel, Henry Cavill, seems distinctly unlikely to cameo, and two, we all watched Welling grow into Superman in Smallville, so seeing him as an older, wiser and established hero would be, for lack of a better word, geektastic.
Welling's own thoughts on heading to Supergirl as the Man of Steel, though, have remained very much unconfirmed — until now. Buzzfeed's Jarett Wieselman recently spoke to the actor about a potential return, and Welling had this to say:
"There's people who would like it... there's people who don't like it, but I will tell you that no one has ever actually asked me to do it. So, I don't know. It would be kind of odd. I don't know who he is at that point. He would obviously be Superman..."
Or, in other words? Welling doesn't seem unwilling, but hasn't been asked to do it. Which leaves us... pretty much right back where we started.
The big question now, though?
Could It Actually Happen?
Well, on the one hand, absolutely. Welling remains a fan-favorite, and his schedule isn't as prohibitively full of movies as Henry Cavill's, or as subject to the re-casting Gods as Legends of Tomorrow's one-time Superman (and now Atom) Brandon Routh's. Were he to be offered the role, there's a pretty solid chance that he would take it, and that it would be awesome.
On the other hand, however, there are some obvious problems. The presence within Smallville's narrative of an entirely different (and incompatible, plot-wise) Supergirl — to mention nothing of the horde of other DC favorites who have been played very differently in the two shows — would seem to preclude the possibility of Supergirl and Smallville existing in the same universe. That, in turn, makes Welling's appearance potentially confusing to fans of both shows, something Supergirl's producers are likely to want to avoid.
Would that actually stop it from happening, were a role to open up for Superman (say at the end of this season, or sometime next year), and assuming Welling was willing to take the role? I suspect that it wouldn't — but only time will tell...