During a panel at the 2022 New York Comic Con, Tom Welling said that he put a clause in his original contract that he would not put on the tights or the suit and cape most commonly associated with Superman.
Welling brought it up in response to a question from the moderator of the panel bringing up that the hook of the series had been “no flights, no tights.” Welling expanded that the reason for that was because “Smallville,” to him, was more of a character study “about people trying to figure out their identities and their places in the world,” and he felt that having Clark immediately become Superman would detract from that.
Welling added that his fears weren’t unfounded, as he saw a script for the fifth episode of the first season that had his character in the suit. He reiterated that the matter was not up for debate, immediately nixing the idea because it violated his contract. He concluded by saying that the show wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did if Clark had simply put on the suit at the start.
Co-star Kristin Kreuk supported Welling’s position, noting that he had the right idea to put that clause in his contract, saying that “it’s so tempting to jump to that at any moment,” and Welling barring them from doing that kept the show’s focus on the characters, where it was meant to be.