The CW’s Crisis On Infinite Earths superhero crossover event has landed its Kryptonian white whale: According to Entertainment Weekly, producer Marc Guggenheim has confirmed that Smallville’s Tom Welling will be joining the special as its third Clark Kent, alongside Supergirl’s Tyler Hoechlin and Legends Of Tomorrow’s Brand Routh (who normally plays Ray Palmer but will also be suiting up in a nod to Superman Returns). We don’t know how big of a role Welling will play in the event, but EW says that we will find out what Smallville’s Clark has been doing in the eight years since that show ended, so there will presumably be some payoff for longtime fans of The CW’s old superhero show.
In a statement, Guggenheim noted that Arrow “has stood on the shoulders of Smallville” for its whole run, and “there would be no Arrow, and no Arrowverse, without it.” That definitely seems true, so let’s all take a moment to appreciate that the people making Arrow at least took one important lesson from Smallville and put Oliver Queen in a superhero suit in the very first episode instead of the very last episode. Anyway, Guggenheim goes on to say that getting Tom Welling to reprise his role as Smallville Clark Kent was their “first, second, and third priorities,” and to say they were excited to have finally pulled it off “would be a Superman-sized understatement.”
Meanwhile, this announcement also solidifies Crisis On Infinite Earths’ position as a true universe-spanning crossover for the entire history of DC-branded TV shows (if you ignore streaming, at least), with Burt Ward stopping by as a nod to the ‘60s Batman show, Kevin Conroy from Batman: The Animated Series playing a Batman Beyond-style old man Bruce Wayne, the gang from Black Lightning making their Arrowverse debut, and now Welling paying tribute to Arrow’s CW predecessor. That’s on top of tie-ins with all of the existing Arrowverse show, plus a connection to the future of DC television with Ruby Rose’s upcoming Batwoman show.