A new report suggests that The CW is considering launching a new Superman TV series. It’s claimed that this year’s Arrowverse crossover event, Elseworlds, will essentially serve as a backdoor pilot to the show. Its ultimate fate will depend on how viewers respond to the characters in the event.
Tyler Hoechlin was introduced as The CW’s Superman back in 2016, when he first appeared as a guest star in Supergirl season 2. The actor was universally praised for his portrayal of the Man of Steel, which seemed to channel the classic Christopher Reeve like no other version seen before. He’s set to return in this year’s Elseworlds crossover, and will be accompanied by Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane.
According to FandomWire, The CW is treating Elseworlds as a backdoor pilot for a Superman TV series. The CW will be carefully watching how fans and critics alike respond to Hoechlin and Tulloch, assessing whether or not there’s sufficient interest in a spinoff. It’s a similar approach to the one The CW is believed to be taking with Batwoman, who will be introduced in Elseworlds and is intended to launch her own series.
It’s important to note that FandomWire’s report is as yet unconfirmed, so at this stage this should only be treated as a rumor. The site’s most recent DC TV scoop, the idea of a Batgirl TV series, was essentially debunked. What’s more, the outlet does stress that this project is early on in development, and that they’re not confident it will come to fruition. At the same time, though, this particular report is a believable one. The CW is clearly interested in expanding its slate of superhero shows, launching Black Lightning last year and considering a Batwoman series. Hoechlin’s performance as Superman was tremendously well-received. What’s more, the decision to cast Lois Lane expands Superman’s world perfectly.
The timing of all this is particularly interesting. Back in 2016, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg was delighted when Warner Bros. gave the green light for Superman to be in just a couple of episodes. That’s probably because the studio has traditionally been wary of diluting their brands by running the same characters in films as well as TV shows; Warner’s plans for Suicide Squad led to Harley Quinn and her team being pulled from Arrow, for example. However, there have been recent reports that Warner Bros. is pivoting away from Ben Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman. So that may well have freed Superman up for the small screen again. Right now, this is just a rumor. If it’s correct, then there’s a lot riding on the success of the Elseworlds crossover. It will be fascinating to see if The CW can pull it off, considering that their previous Superman show, Smallville, ended only a few years ago.