He might best be known as Superman, but Tom Welling is more than willing to next step into Batman's boots. From 2001 to 2011, Welling became famous playing the lead role of Clark Kent in the origin series Smallville. The show follows Clark as a teenager in the years before he becomes Superman, focusing on his life at high school and the relationships he has with his friends and adoptive parents. Spending a decade in the role has forever made Welling synonymous with Clark, but if given the chance to next bring Bruce Wayne to life in The CW's Arrowverse, the actor suggests he would definitely accept the part.
Speaking with Smallville co-star Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor) on his Inside of You podcast, Tom Welling was directly asked if he would play Batman "in a second" in the Arrowverse if the opportunity arose. "Yeah, I do like Batman, and I think there is some room to grow there," Welling says about the prospect, adding that it would be "different" from the roles he usually takes on. While Superman and Batman do have something in common as members of the Justice League, the characters are drastically different in most other ways. Certainly, Batman is a much darker character, but still seems like something Welling can pull off given his run as the murderer Cain on Lucifer.
Batman will make his return to the big screen in 2021 in The Batman from director Matt Reeves. The Twilight Saga star Robert Pattinson has already been confirmed as the movie's Bruce Wayne, bringing about some mixed opinions from DC fans. Critics are hesitant to accept Pattinson as the Dark Knight when considering his history as Edward Cullen, but supporters of the casting cite the revered dramatic performances seen in many other movies. In any case, Pattinson will be our next big screen Batman regardless of the complaints, though it remains to be seen who will be playing him next when the superhero once again appears on television.
Bruce Wayne was most recently brought to the small screen by David Mazouz on the Fox prequel series Gotham. The show was quite similar to Smallville in that it told the story of Bruce's formative years as a teenager, focusing on how the orphan would come to be the savior of Gotham City. Earlier this year, Gotham concluded its run after five seasons, and Mazouz was finally shown in the Batsuit in the final moments of the show. This mirrors the ending of Smallville which waited to show Welling in the red-and-blue tights until the very end of the series, which lasted twice as long as Gotham with ten seasons.
As for the status of Batman in the Arrowverse, his whereabouts are currently unknown. This October, the new series Batwoman will establish that the Dark Knight as been missing for years, leading to a dark transformation for Gotham City. While he's currently missing in action, it seems likely we'll eventually see Bruce Wayne show up in the Arrowverse, and it's just a matter of time. Welling's words come from Michael Rosenbaum's Inside of You podcast.