June 21, 2013 by Jason Seligson
Man of Steel may be a new take on the Superman origin, but inevitably, every interpretation borrows elements from the ones that came before it. Smallville, which told the story of a young Clark Kent, was the longest lasting Superman-related show on television (airing on the WB & CW from 2001-2011). It is also the most recent incarnation, and for these reasons alone, it’s clear that Smallville had a strong influence on Man of Steel. Here are some of the fun easter eggs, homages, and similarities between the two franchises:
1) Does the lead actress in Man of Steel look familiar? She should! Before Amy Adams took on the iconic role, she guest-starred in the Season 1 episode “Craving.” Adams played one of the series’ first “meteor freaks,” Jodi Melville.
2) Alessandro Juliani, who played Dr. Emil Hamilton for three seasons on Smallville, appears as a military officer named “Sekowsky” in the film. Perhaps not so accidentally, Juliani first appears on screen less than a minute after Man of Steel’s version of Dr. Emil (Richard Schiff) is introduced.
3) The Smallville water tower is visible in at least two shots, as are “Lexcorp” logos throughout the climactic battle in Metropolis.
4) Pete Ross and Lana Lang appear in Clark’s childhood flashbacks. Both characters originate in the comics and were heavily featured in the early seasons of Smallville, played by Kristen Kruek and Sam Jones III, respectively.
5) “The Fordham” boy is mentioned, which could be a nod to Lana Lang’s first boyfriend, Whitney Fordman (Eric Johnson), who appeared during the first two seasons of the show.
6) Tahmoh Penikett is the first person to share a scene with Amy Adams in the film, but he’s had some prior experience dealing with Lois Lane. In the sixth season of Smallville, Penikett played Lois’ (Erica Durance) childhood friend, Wes Keenan. Keenan was also the prototype model for Lex’s Project Ares, and appeared in the aptly titled episode, “Prototype.”
7) When Perry White refuses to publish Lois’ article, she goes to her friend Glen Woodburn (Chad Krowchuck) to have the story “leaked” online. Krowchuck appeared in Smallville’s fourth season episode “Forever” as Wendell, a kid who was literally stuck in school after a deranged meteor freak tried to keep his classmates in high school forever.
8) In the flashback where a young Clark is bullied near the docks, we see a sign for “Sullivan’s Truck and Tractor Repair,” which could very well be a reference to the beloved Smallville character, Chloe Sullivan, played by the very talented Allison Mack.
9) Mackenzie Gray appears as Kryptonian Jax-Ur in the film, but Smallville fans will recognize the actor from his two roles—a doctor experimenting on Victor Stone in Season 5’s “Cyborg” and as an older Lex Luthor in the Season 10 premiere, “Lazarus.”
10) The scene where Clark and Zod fight while spinning through the air is very similar to the Season 6 premiere, “Zod” where the two face-off.
11) That person who first said Superman? Actor David Paetkau appeared in two Smallville episodes, as a football player in Season 1’s “Hothead,” and more memorably, as Officer Danny Turpin in the excellent Season 8 episode “Bulletproof.”
12) When that twister hits Smallville, it definitely sparked a memory of the Season 1 finale, “Tempest.” It’s still Kansas, after all.