Depending on who you ask, Smallville is either one of the greatest and most inventive explorations of the Superman mythos ever to hit the screen, or a frustratingly mixed bag that sometimes seemed ashamed of its main character’s superheroic roots. The balance is likely to fall firmly with the former, though, and the series was an unquestionable success, becoming not only the longest running Superman TV series ever, but the longest running superhero TV series of all time, with a remarkable 10 season run between 2001-2011. And now, a decade after it finished, the show’s Clark Kent is teasing that an animated sequel is in the works from him and co-star Michael Rosenbaum, who played Clark’s friend-turned-enemy Lex Luthor on the series.
“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 told a fan on Cameo (in a video that comes to us via Twitter). “Don’t tell anybody, though. It’s a secret. We’re still working on it.”
For much of its 10 seasons, Smallville stayed away from the wider DC Universe, and didn’t even give us a glimpse of Welling in the red-and-blue Superman costume until the final moments of its series finale. But, especially in its later seasons, Smallville built up a remarkable version of the DC Universe, one filled with recognizable characters from Green Arrow (Justin Hartley), Aquaman (Alan Ritchson, who can now be seen on Titans as Hawk), the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Justice Society of America, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, and more. It’s easy to see how a Smallville animated series could build on the origin stories for all these characters and just focus on a fully formed DCU, with Welling’s Superman as the central character.
Of course, this isn’t the only time the Smallville mythos have been expanded upon, though. DC Comics published a Smallville Season 11 comic book series, which picked up in the early days of Clark’s career as Superman after that final shot from the show. The comics introduced even more DC mythology to the Smallville continuity, including Eclipso, the Green Lantern Corps, and much more. It’s not clear if these comics will still be considered part of the canon if this Smallville animated series becomes a reality.
What’s also unclear at this time is whether this will pick up Clark Kent’s story before or after the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the multiverse-spanning 2019 TV crossover which revealed that Clark and Lois Lane (Erica Durance) had married, returned to the Kent family farm, and were raising twin daughters…with Clark having given up his Superman identity and his powers (which were often portrayed as a burden to the character in the original series). Would this potential Smallville animated series be set in the days before this happened? Or will it tell of a Clark who is once again forced to respond to the needs of the world and regain his powers?
There’s no additional information available yet, only what Welling has said in that video. We’ll look into this in the coming days and see if we can dig anything else up.
What would you like to see in a Smallville animated series? Let us know in the comments below!