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Long before Zack Snyder assembled the Justice League, and put Henry Cavill in spandex, DC fans were treated to a look at Clark Kent’s early years in the long-running TV series Smallville. First airing over 20 years ago in 2001, the series introduced Supa-Stars Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor and Tom Welling as a young Man of Steel who was still yet to emerge as the world’s greatest superhero. Running for 10 seasons, not only would it give audiences a better look at Superman’s origins, but it would also come to introduce audiences to the first live-action iterations of other famous DC characters such as Oliver Queen (AKA The Green Arrow), Victor Stone (AKA Cyborg) and Arthur Curry (AKA Aquaman).
With its final episode airing over 11 years ago, in May 2011, one could be forgiven for thinking that would be the last fans would see of the beloved series. Things would not end so easily however, and not only would the show go on to inspire a series of spin-off novels, but it would also result in the creation of a Smallville season 11 comic book which would run until 2015. Most excitingly, it would seem that Welling and Rosenbaum have been working to organise an animated series revival intended to pick up after the events of the season 10 finale.
In June last year, the internet was sent into a spin when Welling first spilled the beans on the project to a fan he recorded a Cameo clip for. “Michael Rosenbaum and I are actually working on an animated series to bring those characters back to life and use as many of the original cast members as possible,” Welling said, jokingly adding, “Don’t tell anybody, though. It’s a secret, we’re still working on it.”
A few months later, in October last year, Rosenbaum himself got to weigh in on the project in an interview he and Welling had with IGN. After giving Welling a well-deserved ribbing for sharing the duo’s secret project “with a complete stranger” on the internet, he went on to express his own excitement for the planned revival. “It’s something that we’re passionate about,” he revealed. “Something that we love. And we’re going to obviously share it with Warner Bros. when the time is right, and hopefully, we’ll be able to work with them. That’s about all we can say right now.”
While that may sound like it is still early days, in February this year Welling appeared at Fan Expo Vancouver and intimated that more of the original cast seemed interested in reprising their respective roles, and that they were waiting for original series creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar to finish their own current projects. “Sam Jones III [who played Pete Ross] and Lionel Luthor is going to be a big part of that,” Welling said. “John Glover wants to do it, we’ve already been into this. We’ve already gotten animation, we just don’t have the stories yet because Al and Miles are busy doing Tim Burton-like movies.”
Even Erica Durance, who played Lois Lane in the original series, has revealed that she’s willing to return as the intrepid Daily Planet reporter. Whilst speaking with the Agents of Fandom podcast last month, she stated the following: “I know that it’s still in the process, the guys will let me know when I’m to step in, and in what capacity. So right now I think they’re still in production or pre-production, brainstorming ideas and what have you.”
So it definitely sounds like work on the series revival is heating up, and hopefully, fans won’t have to wait too much longer the see what happened to Clark and his friends after the season 10 finale. Meanwhile, Welling and Rosenbaum are both lined up to appear at Supanova in Perth (June 25-26) following an epic time at Sydnova this past weekend. They’ll also treat WA fans to separately ticketed event Smallville Nights on Saturday night, June 25. Tickets and more information available here.