In The CW's Beauty and the Beast remake, from Jennifer Levin and Sherri Cooper, Jay Ryan stars as Vincent Keller, a doctor-turned-soldier who was transformed into a beast after a faulty military medical experiment. Smallville alum Kristin Kreuk plays his beauty, Catherine Chandler, a cop who's driven by revenge after the her mother's death, which was possibly connected to the shady company behind Vincent's accident.
While Clark Kent (Tom Welling) was the consummate outsider — he was an alien, after all — the producers say Vincent's journey is the polar opposite. "Vincent never started as an outsider," Peterson says. "He was in the military, he was a doctor, he was on a very different track and never experienced what it was like to be an outsider, to feel like an alien, all the things that Clark, from the very second he was born, had started to feel. It's created a very different person and a very different approach to being a hero for Vincent."
Superman has also always been the epitome of truth, justice and the American way, but Vincent is not necessarily a hero. In fact, during the recent Television Critics Association fall TV previews, he was likened to more of a serial killer walking a fine moral line. "Clark was very guided by the morality of his parents," Peterson says. "Vincent is a beast. There are times when he's out of control and there's times where he may not do the right thing. Catherine is going to have to deal with that as somebody who works within the system."
"What we learned after a decade is that there are rules to heroes and there are expectations," Souders adds. "The complication is it's a superhero who doesn't necessarily have total control over himself."
Fans of Smallville will find some similarities between the two super men and their powers. While Clark Kent was guided through the emergence of new powers, Vincent's journey will not be as easy. "[Clark's heat vision] was so nicely handled in one episode with his dad and a burnt scarecrow and he'd gotten it under control," Peterson says. "Whereas, Vincent is learning that his powers are more and more out of control as the season progresses, which is the opposite problem Clark had."
Will you still be rooting for this super man?
Beauty and the Beast premieres Thursday, Oct. 11 at 9/8c on The CW.