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Why Jonathan Kent Was Recast in ‘Superman & Lois’

Jordan Elsass as Jonathan Kent in a football uniform in Superman & Lois

Superman & Lois season 3 premiered on The CW on March 14, bringing the Kent family back to the small screen just in time for viewers to see Superman (Tyler Hoechlin)’s sons celebrate their sweet 16. One of the aspects that viewers have loved most about Hoechlin’s Clark Kent (a.k.a. Superman) is that he is, first and foremost, a father. Hence, Jordan Elsass and Alex Garfin, who portray Clark’s sons Jonathan and Jordan, respectively, have been vital to the series since it premiered in 2021.

While Jordan has often stolen the spotlight due to inheriting his father’s powers and being dubbed Superboy, Jonathan has been instrumental in helping Jordan control and hone his powers. Jonathan is usually the voice of reason and emotional support that Jordan needs. At times, Jonathan is even more effective than Clark in understanding Jordan due to their connection as brothers. Fans have enjoyed watching the Kent boys grow up and navigate both the world of superheroes and adolescence.

However, viewers likely noticed that Jonathan looked a little different in the season 3 premiere of Superman & Lois, “Closer.” This is because Jonathan was recast after season 2, with Michael Bishop replacing Elsass in the role.

Why was Jonathan Kent recast in Superman & Lois?

Michael Bishop as Jonathan Kent and Alex Garfin as Jordan Kent in Superman & Lois season 3
(The CW)

Elsass’ surprising departure was first announced in August of last year when Warner Bros. TV shared a brief statement confirming that Elsass had notified the crew he wasn’t returning for season 3 after failing to reconvene with the cast in Vancouver by the studio’s deadline. Several days after the statement, Elsass opened up on Cameo about why he was not returning for season 3 of Superman & Lois. In a short video, he revealed that it had been “a tough few weeks” following his decision to leave the show. He went on to explain that, although he was very excited about season 3, he had to prioritize his mental health. Elsass stated:

It’s sad, it’s a real shame. I know that I was pumped for season 3, for sure, but what are you going to do? Anyway, mental health is definitely 100-percent priority. It’s pinnacle. It’s got to take precedence. And mine has been … the last couple of years … it’s been rough.

Elsass also suggested he might leave acting behind altogether. Naturally, fans questioned what might be next for the young star, and Elsass explained he just needed some time to himself, and that he was interested in starting over and “trying something new.” After all, he has been acting since he was 12 years old and has never really had the chance to do anything else. It makes sense that moving in an entirely new direction might be beneficial.

While some may have been disappointed by Elsass’ departure, it was an understandable choice for him to make and shows how vital it is to prioritize mental health. Meanwhile, Bishop has received nothing but praise from his Superman & Lois cast for fitting right into the show despite a rather fast-tracked and unexpected entrance.

(featured image: The CW)

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Rachel Ulatowski is a Freelance Writer, blogger, and aspiring author. As a Freelancer Writer she hopes to give readers the same comfort and enjoyment that she finds in all things nerdy and noteworthy, as a blogger she enjoys snarking on YouTubers and reality stars, and as a future novelist she hopes to raise awareness for child abuse through literature.