After spending ten seasons making comic book fans wonder whether or not we’d ever see him in the iconic suit of Superman, Tom Welling hasn’t been keeping up a very high profile. With “Smallville” having gone off the air in May of 2011, Welling has only appeared in two films: in Parkland he played real-life Secret Service agent Roy Kellerman who worked at the side of President Kennedy on the day of his assassination, and in Draft Day he played a character named Brian, an injured quarterback for a football team. While Welling also got to try his hand at directing and producing on “Smallville,” he only has one producer credit besides the show that made him famous: a short-lived CW cheerleader comedy called “Hellcats.” Whether this lack of work is due to typecasting, dropped auditions, or simply his own choice, it looks like his luck may be turning around.
As reported by Variety, Welling, Taken star Maggie Grace, and actress Alexandria Daddario (“True Detective”) have recently been cast in The Choice, an adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, to be written by Bryan Sipe (2015’s Demolition) and directed by Ross Katz (Adult Beginners). The official synopsis of the book reads:
Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life–boating, swimming, and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies–he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Despite his attempts to be neighborly, the appealing redhead seems to have a chip on her shoulder about him . . . and the presence of her longtime boyfriend doesn’t help. Despite himself, Travis can’t stop trying to ingratiate himself with his new neighbor, and his persistent efforts lead them both to the doorstep of a journey that neither could have foreseen. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, THE CHOICE ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?
Although erroneously reported elsewhere, Welling will not be the lead in this film. Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) will play Travis opposite Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies) as Gabby, and Variety says that Welling will play Gabby’s husband, Ryan.
This should be an interesting test for Welling, and certainly his highest profile starring role since his turn as Clark Kent. While “Smallville” certainly had its fair share of issues (like its overall length), Welling quite clearly developed as an actor over the course of all 10 seasons, and largely made the role of Clark his own even without some of the essential elements that people associate specifically with Superman. Whether this is enough to make him a strong supporting player in an adaptation of a highly popular and acclaimed romance novel should be an interesting test, though, but all of those kisses with Kristin Kreuk for eight years had to count for something…right?
The Choice is currently in pre-production, and will likely bow sometime in either late 2015 or early-to-mid 2016.
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