It was officially announced this week that Smallville star Tom Welling will be returning to TV in the CBS drama, Section 13. It’s been over four years since Smallville ended in May of 2011, and in that time away from TV, Welling landed a few minor roles in films such as Parkland, Draft Day, and The Choice. Welling also has a production company and has produced several TV shows such as Hellcats, the cheerleading drama on the CW. Former Bones and Zoo writer, Carla Kettner, is set to pen the drama, and she and Welling will also executive produce Section 13.
Section 13 is about an ex-CIA black ops agent who has turned to private contracting. After personal tragedy strikes, Welling’s character has nothing left to live for and joins a super secret organization that only signs up for the the most dangerous and life-threatening assignments. You know, the good stuff. In Smallville, we saw Welling as Clark Kent do things that would have been life-threatening to us mere mortals like jumping in front of a lot of speeding things like a speeding bullet, speeding car, and even a speeding missile. But this time as he risks everything, he won’t have his Kryptonian lineage to protect him.
I can make all the Superman puns, jokes, and references I want, but there is something to be said for seeing Welling in a role very different from what we’re used to. We saw Welling play an awkward but adorably charming young Clark Kent for ten years. Sure, he experienced tragedy and death (some of which did not follow traditional Superman mythology and I’m still bitter about it) and he even went crazy a couple times. But at the end of the day, he was still Superman. And because Smallville was such an iconic show, fans are still going to associate Welling with his iconic role. It sounds like Section 13 will be darker than Smallville and will show Welling as a completely different character and give him a chance to reinvent himself.
Before Section 13 was announced with Welling as the star, there were rumors he might return to TV in a more familiar role. As the CW has exploded into all corners of the DC Comics universe, there was speculation that Welling might return to the network as Clark Kent/Superman in The Flash. But it looks like Welling has other plans and the rumors were just wishful thinking.
No other cast members have been announced, but we are, of course, hoping to see a Smallville reunion somewhere along the way.