In the Arrowverse, Superman has been played really well in all things but the suit. Though in “Crisis on Infinite Earths” Brandon Routh got to wear something much closer to Christopher Reeve’s iconic outfit, main Superman Tyler Hoechlin had something between the New 52 Superman and Mon-El. For the new ongoing CW show Superman & Lois, it’s changed. And it’s almost classic. They still don’t want the trunks, apparently, but at least it’s better.
The CW released a full-body publicity shot this morning, so you can see for yourself. The suit was designed by Laura Jean Shannon and built by her L.A.-based Supersuits team (and I love that there’s something called a Supersuits team) in conjunction with Creative Character Engineering. It’s described as having “…a classic, timeless vibe that both harkens back to the Superman we all grew up with while grounding him and elevating the suit in a modern arena with updated techniques and applications.” They just. Don’t. Like. The. Trunks.
In the press release, Hoechlin commented on the change.
“I find that the new suit is representative of the show. Just as this suit is unique and set apart from the ones that preceded it, the story we’re telling about Clark/Superman at this point in his life is unique and something we’ve never seen before. I appreciate the opportunity to wear the suit and the responsibility that comes with it. But it’s always interesting when I’m asked how I feel about “my new suit,” because I’ve always felt that the suit doesn’t belong to me; it belongs to everyone that finds some kind of meaning in that suit, in the symbol on the chest. I just happen to be the one wearing it. I come from the world of baseball and a line of coaches that always preached that the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the one on the back. Because when you wear that jersey, it represents not only you, but your entire team, and everyone that has ever worn that jersey that came before you. So when I wear the suit, that’s what it means to me. It represents everything that Superman stands for and has stood for, for almost a century now. And I look forward to carrying on that tradition.”
While he may not be as bulked up as Henry Cavill, Hoechlin has one thing that Cavill wasn’t allowed: the pure joy that can sometimes come with being Superman.
Designer Shannon said, “We got Superman into some custom athletic inspired Super-Boots as a ‘jumping off point’ and focused on a new neckline and cape to maximize the billowing and movement we all love to see in the books and films that have defined this character for generations. A streamlined muscle structure and updated paint job combined with some dynamic design lines and a sculpted armored belt all took his established custom fabric into a new direction to solidify the new look for Superman in Superman & Lois.”
And if you’re tired of those muscles painted on, I will direct you to the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon. There’s a suit built for Laurence Olivier for the Scottish play that does exactly the same thing (and looks almost as good). It’s an old theatrical device, and it works for me on TV and film.
I’ll believe a man can fly. I just hope that Routh’s and Hoechlin’s Supermen run… or fly… into each other again.