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TV Superman Playing Movie Superman

What a concept: TV Superman (search) playing movie Superman.

Word is the search for a new movie Man of Steel has turned to Tom Welling (search), star of The WB's "Smallville (search)," according to several published reports.

The pairing of Welling — an immensely popular young TV star who came to fame playing a conflicted, teenaged Superman in the series — with the grown-up version is very appealing to fans.

Fan sites and web polls have been filled with Welling devotees calling for movie producers to give him the role.

Now, according to Superman-V.com (search), "the offer is on the table, and we believe it is a two picture deal."

There was no official word over the weekend from the star or the producer confirming that report.

The search for a new star for what would be "Superman V" has been a small-scale obsession in Hollywood for several years.

There hasn't been a Superman film made since 1987, when Christopher Reeve revived his role for the fourth time in a film called "The Quest for Peace."

Reeve's crippling accident in 1995 made Hollywood reluctant until now to make another in the series — for fear it would be compared unfavorably with Reeve's portrayal.