Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum are candid about their upcoming animated Smallville project, yet aren’t.
The costars and good friends are collaborating to bring their iconic portrayals of Clark Kent and Lex Luthor, respectively, back to the small screen via animated format. However, in a recent interview, Rosenbaum confirms it’s in the preliminary stage although he is sworn to secrecy on the details.
Tom Welling and Michael – What To Expect and Why Couldn’t Smallville Last?
“[We’re] not allowed really to talk about it now,” Rosenbaum says, “because it’s in the early stages. So we’re developing it. We’re trying to see what happens with it, but that’s about all I can say right now. ”
Tom Welling, who was with Michael at the interview, concurred and added that they are in collaboration with Smallville cocreators Al Gough and Miles Millar. As to why the sudden desire to revisit his version of Superman, Tom admits the fans have a role.
“[One] of the things I hear from the fans is like ”Why did you guys stop?’ Well, I can give you a million reasons why we stopped, but I understand why a fan would want it to go on. I feel the same way about other projects I’m a fan of, like ‘Keep going! Keep going!’ And just there are limitations at [some point. We] ran out of story for Clark. Clark had to become Superman, and Smallville could not be a Superman series. It just wasn’t built that way. So what we’re trying to do is sort of jumping into this other arena where we can maybe service that idea and have fun doing so.”
The original series debuted on October 16, 2001, thus making this past weekend its twentieth anniversary. To commemorate that anniversary, Warners Media has released the complete series for the first time on Blu-ray in a boxed set.
Developed by Gough and Millar, the series followed Clark Kent’s journey from superpowered high school junior to a man embracing his destiny. The show established a strong following with its grounded approach via its mantra “no tights, no flights,” choosing to focus on Clark Kent, not The Man of Steel he would become. The manifestation of his powers became something likened to that of puberty, thus limiting his powers at first to invulnerability, strength and speed. The older he got, a new power would emerge. That angle made the younger viewers able to relate to Clark’s story.
Then-newcomer Tom Welling chose the method actor’s approach and only focused on the development of his character without any prior knowledge to the also created an engaging journey for Lex and how his brotherly friendship with Clark would completely deteriorate into an intense rivalry as destiny pried them apart by their destinies and the choices they made in response to them. Rosenbaum’s performance as Lex injected the character with pathos and engendered empathy from the audience. He departed in the seventh season, but returned for the series finale as Lex’s clone, the original having died but set up Cadmus as a contingency should that happen. The finale also saw his entire memory erased via a neural virus, including both his friendship/rivalry with Clark, as well as Clark’s secret.
DC later produced a comic entitled Smallville: Season Eleven, which picked up where the finale left off, showing Clark establish himself as Superman. As to whether Welling and Rosenbaum will use that comic for reference for this upcoming project remains to be seen.
There is also the question of who will be returning to lend their voices to their characters. Since Smallville ended, numerous alums like Welling, Erica Durance, and Laura Vandervoort have found new life in the Arrowverse on shows such as Lucifer and Supergirl. Justin Hartley, the first live-action Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, is currently starring on the CBS hit This is Us. The only cast member, however, who will not be involved is Allison Mack, who portrayed Chloe Sullivan, currently serving a prison sentence for her role in the cult NXVM.