Although he turned down an opportunity to appear in Crisis On Infinite Earths, Michael Rosenbaum’s Lex Luthor as seen in Smallville still has a surprising offscreen role in the crossover.
During Batwoman’s episode Crisis On Infinite Earths: Part Two, Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin), Lois Lane (Bitsie Tulloch) and Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton) travel to Earth-167, which is revealed to be Smallville. Here, we see Smallville’s Clark Kent (Tom Welling) chopping some wood outside his home. The trio warn him that Lex Luthor is traveling throughout the multiverse to kill him. It is here where Clark mentions that he “didn’t know that the President was in town,” referencing Michael Rosenbaum’s Lex Luthor.
So as it turns out, in the years following Smallville’s series finale, Michael Rosenbaum’s Lex Luthor became President of the United States. This follows some comic book stories in which Superman’s mortal enemy becomes President. This storyline in the comics is often brought up in recent years due to some finding parallels between Lex Luthor and Donald Trump.
In Smallville’s series finale that aired in 2011, it is revealed that Michael Rosenbaum’s Lex Luthor was elected in 2018. It’s funny to see how certain story decisions are revisited after all these years, even if it’s paralleling real-life events in such sheer irony.
Michael Rosenbaum portrayed Lex Luthor in the first seven seasons of Smallville, returning for the series finale in 2011.
It’s official: Michael Rosenbaum won’t be joining fellow Smallville co-stars Tom Welling and Erica Durance in this year’s upcoming Arrowverse crossover. The actor broke the unfortunate news himself via Twitter on Tuesday, explaining that he was made an offer he absolutely could — and did — refuse.
“Friends, many of you have tweeted and asked me about joining the Infinite crossover,” he tweeted. “I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I’ll just be straight up about this. WB called my agents Friday afternoon when I was in Florida visiting my grandfather in a nursing home. Their offer: No script. No idea what I’m doing. No idea when I’m shooting. Basically no money. And the real kick in the ass: ‘We have to know now.’ My simple answer was ‘Pass.’ I think you can understand why. I hope this answers all of your questions.”
This year’s massive crossover, “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” will be a five-part event divided between Supergirl (Dec. 8 at 8 pm), Batwoman (Dec. 9 at 8 pm), The Flash (Dec. 10 at 8 pm), Arrow (Jan. 14 at 8 pm) and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (Jan. 14 at 9 pm). Characters from The CW’s Black Lightning — which was not previously considered part of the Arrowverse — will also show up.
The event will feature previously announced appearances from a slew of beloved DC actors, including Kevin Conroy, the longtime voice of the animated Batman; Burt Ward, who portrayed Robin on the classic Batman TV series; and, of course, Smallville‘s Welling and Durance, who portrayed Clark Kent and Lois Lane, respectively.
The time has come for a Smallville reboot. Why now? Well, there are a myriad of reasons. Would this be a Superman television show featuring his origin story? No, this would be a straight-up reboot/revival of the original, and this is how and why it should happen.
First things first — why is now the right time to revive Smallville? DC Comics are going strong on The CW, and the network is not planning to slow down on its superhero slate any time soon.
A Smallville reboot would mean existing outside of the Arrow-verse. Black Lightninghas proven that existing in a solo universe can be done successfully. The rebooted Smallville would take place in the same world as the original and therefore function as more of a revival than a reboot. How and why?
Well, this Smallville reboot would take things back in time a little, and it would not focus on the characters you may expect. Instead of focusing on Clark Kent/Superman, this series would focus on the Luthors — specifically, Lex and his dad, Lionel Luthor.
Yes, The Luthors would be the name of this proposed reboot. No, I am not getting ahead of myself (okay maybe just a little).
Why the Luthors? Because they were two of the best parts of an overall fantastic show, which honestly had no bad ones. Lex and Lionel Luthor’s relationship brought a rich dynamic to the original series. They were the exact opposite of Clark and his father, Jonathan Kent. Lex felt unloved by his father, while Lionel felt like he loved his son in a way that made him “stronger.”
Neither character was an out-and-out villain; rather, the epitome of complicated. Where the Kents were the heart of Smallville, the Luthors were its conflicted soul. When the series lost them, it lost a vast portion of itself and nothing ever filled that void.
If Smallville were to come back, the dream scenario would be for it to focus on the Luthors. You may be wondering: didn’t we already see their story? Yes, but not from their perspective. This revival would not be about the Luthors in the context of their juxtaposition with the Kents. It would be about them independent of the shadow cast by Superman and his family.
Do not get me wrong. I loved that angle of Smallville. However, you cannot rehash past magic; you have to rediscover new aspects to it. So many of the complaints surrounding retreads of any sort is that they are an unnecessary continuation of something that has already been done. In the case of a Smallville revival approached this way, it would be different. The blend of something familiar with a twist of something new.
The CW has told a lot of its stories from the perspective of its heroes, which makes total sense. Telling one from its “villains” would set this project apart. Of course, going this route, the Luthors would not be portrayed as villains. It would keep them close to the moral fiber they demonstrated earlier in the series’ run.
There would be no time table necessary to make that happen on this proposed Smallville revival. By not having Superman present, there is no pressure for Lex’s identity to be dictated, and him to become Clark’s enemy in a certain period.
Given how Smallville left Lex and Lionel’s stories, you may wonder how any of this would be possible. After all, Smallville ended its run with a clone of Lex becoming President of the United States.
To explain all of this, the revival could take things back in time. How far back? Way back, as in Lex being institutionalized far back. Explaining this shift could be done via alternate timeliness or some other plot device. There is a specific event that could serve as the jumping off point for the revival.
The Smallville arc where Lex is committed to Belle Reve and given the electro-shock treatment that wipes his memory would be ideal. Those episodes of Season 3 (Episode 8 and 9) were two of the series’ absolute best. They contained defining moments for all involved, especially Lex and his father.
There was also no going back after those episodes. Lex was on a collision course to becoming Clark’s enemy. In the mythos for this proposed Smallville reboot, let’s imagine a world where Lex did not return to Smallville following his release. Rather, he went to Metropolis and made a life for himself there. The show could pick up an indeterminate time after the events of that episode.
The show could go full-tilt into Lex’s life as a businessman replete with boardroom showdowns and potential takeovers. There would be no shortage of stories to tell in that vein. Let Lex live his lavish life the way he did in the original, devoid of Bruce Wayne and Oliver Queen’s broody approach. Let Lex be more of the anti-hero than the villain.
Lex being haunted by what he can and cannot remember could weigh on him. Such a twist could provide the underlying drama that is revisited time and again. That is not entirely necessary though.
The dream would be for the original cast to return and for Michael Rosenbaum and John Glover to reprise their roles as the Luthors. Both of these extraordinary actors brought so much to Smallville.
Personally, Michael Rosenbaum’s performance as Lex Luthor is the gold standard. No one else has brought what he did to portraying the character in any medium. He found the complexity so inherent in Lex, and no matter the storyline, always played it with profound sincerity.
Likewise, John Glover brought a gravitas to Lex’s father that was always multi-layered. It was hard to ever agree with Lionel. However, Glover’s performance always made you willing to hear Lionel out. Glover and Michael Rosenbaum’s portrayals of Lionel and Lex were the exceptional epicenters that drove a great deal of Smallville.
If Tom Welling or anyone else were willing to come back for a Smallville revival that could work too, and it would be amazing. One of the great parts of bringing the show back to this point in its history is that it would allow for fan favorites to return. John Schneider’s Jonathan Kent is among the many that could make an appearance. In this timeline, he and others could still be alive.
Smallville was such a special show and to have it revisited in any form would be exciting. Even if it is as a limited series or (hopefully) something longer-term, it would be marvelous. If it were to ever happen, this or something along these lines is how this fan would like it to see it come to fruition.
For years, fans got to enjoy Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor, butting heads with Clark Kent on The WB’s classic series Smallville. And seven years after the show has gone off the air, it seems like he’s ready to return to the diabolical genius.
Responding to the reports of Henry Cavill potentially leaving the role of Superman in future cinematic appearances, Rosenbaum made a humorously tongue-in-cheek comment.
Rosenbaum took a shot at the current actor with the mantle of Lex, as Jesse Eisenberg has already played the character in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. But after the poor reception and box office performances of those movies, it remains to be seen if there are plans for Eisenberg to reprise the role.
There might be an opening for Rosenbaum, especially with the launch of the new streaming service DC Universe. That platform will be home to original content as well as past shows and films, and many fans are requesting Smallville to be added to the service.
There’s also the possibility that Smallville could be revived as an animated series with the original cast, picking up where the show left off as Clark Kent embraced his destiny as Superman. Without the limits of a TV budget, the animated series could do what the original series could not in terms of full scale superhero battles fitting for the Man of Steel.
“I mean, animated could be fun,” Welling said.
“I said to Al [Gough, Smalville co-creator], we should do an animated Smallville,” Rosenbaum replied. “That would be huge! I mean, Smallville: The Animated Series, with all the real voices? And I wouldn’t have to shave my head! We’ve got to do that. Can you imagine us on mics doing the same dialogue?”
“Yeah, absolutely,” Kreuk said. “I’ve never thought about it, but that sounds like it could be a lot of fun… Michael wouldn’t want to shave his head again, I’m fairly certain. But yeah, that would be a lot of fun. I haven’t seen those guys in a long time.”
It’s just a matter of time until someone starts a petition for a Smallville animated series, so be on the lookout…
Earlier this week, Smallville alum Kristin Kreuk was asked if she would be up for a reunion project, to which she answered with an earnest, “Yeah, absolutely. I’ve never thought about it, but that sounds like it could be a lot of fun.”
Of course, Kreuk isn’t the first former cast member of the young Superman series to express their interest in such an endeavor. Both Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum, who played Clark Kent and Lex Luthor respectively on the series, have entertained the idea of coming back together to tell more Smallville stories in animated form.
Even Justin Hartley, who played Oliver Queen/Green Arrow on the long-running show, said he’d be up for a guest stint on Arrow if the role was right. On top of all that, Erica Durance, who played Smallville’s Lois Lane, is already guest starring on Supergirl, which means she is obviously willing to continue to be a part of the DC television family.
So far, everyone one of Smallville‘s main actors who have been asked have indicate they’re willing to revisit the roles they famously played. But why stop at an animated series when we could have a full blown crossover with the rest of the Arrowverse?
How could such a crossover come about? Well, that’s relatively easy. The Arrowverse, and more specifically the Grant Gustin-starring Flash television series, has established the DC Multiverse as a basic part aspect of its heroes’ mythology. Many characters from other alternate Earths have popped up over the years, and some of the main heroes have even visited alternate Earths, like Supergirl’s universe or the nazi-led Earth-X. There is nothing stopping the Smallville universe from simply being re-introduced as one of the 52 Earths that constitutes this Multiverse.
With the Flash, Vibe and the Legends of Tomorrow all able to access alternate realities and timelines, any one of them could be what serves as the bridge between the two shows’ realities, allowing the casts of both universes to freely interact. Stephen Amell’s Arrow could meet with an alternate, older version of himself that just so happens to look like Justin Hartley, Supergirl could meet different versions of not only herself, but her cousin and Lois Lane, and Rosenberg’s Lex Luthor could be the villain everyone has to stop together.
Of course, such a project wouldn’t be without its complications. For example, both Welling and Rosembaum are more eager to return for an animated project, given that the Lex Luthor actor isn’t exactly itching to shave his head. However, a return appearance could easily explain such things as Luthor’s hair, or the aging of the characters. In fact, the Smallville universe could be painted as some sort of Kingdom Come-esque reality where the heroes are older, more experienced, and perhaps even being phased out. This would allow Welling’s Superman to be a more grizzled Man of Steel, with a costume that would prevent Welling from having to don the classic Superman suit he was never really keen on wearing. In fact, a more practical costume for his older Superman would be just one more layer to ensuring this venture would stand out in fans’ eyes.
A crossover between Smallville and the Arrowverse cast seems like a no-brainer, one that really should have happened by now. There is immense possibility for fun interactions, and it would also be a nice way to acknowledge the success of Smallville, and the universe of superheroes it led to. But even more than that, it’s something that most fans would love to see. It could easily become a highly-anticipated event, and a milestone of modern television. With most of the main cast members of Smallville willing to return for a reunion of some sort, what better way then to rope the series up into the Arrowverse, and show us a possible future for a dearly departed series.
That’s right! Celebrating it’s 15th Anniversary, Hulu has announced that the entire series of Smallville will be available to stream starting on October 1st!
Smallville ended in 2011, having reached 10 seasons. The series starred Tom Welling as Clark Kent, Allison Mack, Kristin Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum and John Schneider.
Make sure to check it out on Hulu on October 1st!
The Kentucky Museum will now have villainous ties to the comic book world as Lex Luthor’s suit is prepared to go on display.
Michael Rosenbaum, a WKU alumnus, played Luthor, arch nemesis of Superman, on the TV series “Smallville.” Rosenbaum is donating one of Luthor’s suits to the museum’s Instruments of American Excellence exhibit.
“It’s the white suit that Lex Luthor wears… when he becomes president in the future and we see glimpses of that throughout the ‘Smallville’ series,” he said.
The exhibit, which opened in the fall of 2012, showcases many artifacts from American history and pop culture, ranging from heels worn by actress Liza Minnelli to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s first telescope. Regional items, such as Louisville Slugger bats, are also on display.
“The thrust of this exhibit is having ordinary things that people used to do extraordinary things,” John Perkins, director of development and special projects, said.
All items in the collection were received as donations, including Rosenbaum’s latest addition.
“It was a joint effort by our chair Dan Murph and a number of board members to tell people about this grand idea (for the exhibit) and really get them to be behind it,” Brent Bjorkman, interim director of the museum, said.
Rosenbaum said it was Perkins who reached out to inquire if he would be interested in contributing to the permanent exhibit.
“I got this email out of the blue… and he told me a lot about (the museum) and I thought it was pretty fascinating,” Rosenbaum said. “At first I thought ‘I don’t belong there.’ I mean, this is John Wayne and Liza Minnelli’s shoes.”
He was reminded by Perkins that “Smallville” was an extremely popular show in American pop culture during it’s stint on air.
“I always think about, you know I was just an actor on that show, but then you bump into people, soldiers who were in Iraq and they say, ‘Hey, it got me through the war’…so it’s humbling,” he said. “So I thought, you know, why not? It was kind of an iconic show and it lasted 10 years, it was pretty popular, so I said how about the white Lex Luthor suit that he wears when he becomes president.”
Rosenbaum had kept one of the two white suits used on the show. It’s this suit that he will send down to go on display.
After the museum acquires the suit from Rosenbaum, it will go through a screening and cleaning process by the museum curator and her team.
Donna Parker, exhibits curator, said the donation is exciting.
“The first thing we’ll do is take it and evaluate it… and if it needed any kind of cleaning, we would clean it,” Parker said.
Following this and several other cleaning steps, the team would check to be sure no repairs need to be made to the seams of the suit and begin building a form or mannequin to display the suit.
“You either want to purchase or make a form that will fit the piece,” she said. “A lot of times what we do is take a form and pad it out… to fill the form (of the clothing).”
There is not a set date yet on when the white suit will be on display, but Parker and others on the curation team ensure it will be up once they’re able to go through normal preservation and display procedures.
Having played a young Lex in 154 episodes of the ‘Superman’ prequel series, Rosenbaum is to date the most prolific live action actor in the role of Superman’s industrialist nemesis; John Shea, who took the role in ‘Lois and Clark’ AKA ‘The New Adventures of Superman,’ shot only 25 episodes.
Nor does Rosenbaum’s association with the DC universe end there, as he also voiced The Flash in 54 episodes of the ‘Justice League’ animated series.
Whilst discussing his feature directorial debut ‘Back in the Day’ with Cinekatz, the subject of Luthor and DC inevitably came up, and Rosenbaum clearly counts himself lucky to be part of that realm, having been the subject of fan campaigns to reprise the role in ‘Batman vs. Superman’ (as we’ll keep informally referring to the film until Warner Bros tell us different).
“I think the most loyal fans are the DC fans… It was amazing to see all of the fans reaching out on Twitter and all of the kind words to get me to be Lex Luthor again. I didn’t do anything, I just sat back and thought it was really sweet. I’m very lucky.”
Asked on his feelings about the divisive casting of Eiesenberg, and whether he had any advice for the new Lex, Rosenbaum’s response was similarly humble.
“First off, I think he’s a really good actor. I don’t think he needs any advice from me, he’ll do his homework. Do it your way. I’m sure Zack [Snyder] has an idea. He cast you for reason.
“Jesse’s a good actor. He’ll do it his own way and that’s the best way. If you can do it your way, if you succeed or fail, you succeed because you are being original. If you’re trying to emulate someone, you’ll always be compared.
“That’s why I didn’t want to be compared during ‘Smallville.’ I didn’t watch any of Gene Hackman as Lex. He’ll be fantastic. Great actor, no problem with it.”
Interestingly, though Rosenbaum remains most popularly associated with Luthor, that isn’t the DC role the actor feels the greatest personal affinity with.
“I would lean toward The Flash kind of guy. The guy who wants to take light of the situation, when everyone is so upset and the world is dying he’s like, “Hey everything’s going to be alright! Let’s go bowling!”… I have some evil in me but I’d be positive for the most part.”
Asked whether he’d been keen to play any other DC character, Rosenbaum clearly doesn’t aim low, replying, “I think I’d be a fantastic Joker. I think I could crush The Joker.”
By now I am sure you have all heard about Jesse Eisenberg getting the role of Lex Luthor in the new Superman vs Batman movie and if you are anything like me you are shocked and angry. Why would anyone choose Jesse, who is a very good actor but over Michael who has proven on Smallville that he can make a villian have more than one side. His portrayal of Lex amazed me and whenever I have a Smallville rewatch I am more and more amazed at how incredible Lex is on there and it is down to Michael taking a well known character and transforming him into more than just the bad guy.
Now we as a fandom need to stand up and make our presence known some of my friends have taken a stand and started a petition and made a facebook page. I ask you all to please sign it and hit the like button and spread the word throughout the fandom. We need to come together to show them the following that Michael has and how much we want to see him as Lex on the big screen.
Sign the petition HERE
Like the facebook page HERE