SFX Issue 82

September 2001



Smallville creator and producer Al Gough talks about his latest take on the Superman legend…

The success of the pilot for Smallville is a relief to series co-creator and producer Al Gough, who admits that he felt a great deal of trepidation in taking on this particular incarnation of the Superman mythos.

“It was fun to do, but it’s also a little nerve-wracking because, obviously, you have legions of Superman fans out there that you don’t want to disappoint,” he told SFX . “But you also want to be able to reintroduce Superman to the next generation and to people who have never been particular fans and have them go, ‘Oh, wow, this is pretty cool.’”

One thing that should be pointed out about this series is that Tom Welling is playing a teenage Clark Kent who is just discovering his super powers, and as such he will not, in all likelihood, be appearing in the character’s famed red and blue outfit.

“We would say that this show is more like The Trials Of Clark Kent,” says Gough. “Yes, he’s got the powers that are starting to manifest themselves, but it’s all about learning to be Superman. It’s interesting because we sat down with DC Comics when we first started this and Jenette Kahn told us that Superman is the man he is because of his parents. If he had crash-landed in another town, he’d still have the powers but he could have grown up to be a totally different person. He could have been a dictator or something. To be honest with you, that is not something I ever really thought about, but it’s absolutely true. If you think about it, you never spent that much time in Smallville. Smallville represents a wonderful section of Superman: The Movie , but it only lasts 15 minutes. In comics, there really hasn’t been any set mythology in Smallville, which works nicely for us because it’s why we can go into it and be respectful of the Superman mythology without being slavish to it. We know when he gets to Metropolis you have to remain faithful to those elements of the mythology. But it’s how interesting we can make the journey as we go, which is the challenge of doing the show.”