Smallville Animated Series In The Works, Says Star Tom Welling

The CW/WB's Smallville may find new life as an animated series.


Every generation has its Superman, and for many kids who grew up in the early 2000s, that's Tom Welling's Clark Kent of Smallville. Now, Welling and co-star Michael Rosenbaum are looking to revive the characters for an animated series, the actor says.

"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 in a video message to a fan via Cameo. "Don't tell anybody, though. It's a secret--we're still working on it."

On the one hand, this is coming straight from the mouth of the actor who played the character for many years on the original show. On the other, it's far from a confirmation. Importantly, Welling says that he and Michael Rosenbaum are developing the show--no mention of the show's original creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, nor of the likely rights holders, the CW television network.

Michael Rosenbaum has been talking about the idea for a few years now, and has addressed the idea as recently as this spring in an Instagram Q&A. There, Rosenbaum was very non-committal, stating that "Tom Welling and I had the idea of Smallville returning as an animated series, so we'll see if that ever happens, but we'll try to get that going."

Smallville ran on the WB, and then on its replacement network, the CW, for 10 seasons with a strict "no tights, no flight" rule to keep the show, which focused on Clark Kent's early years as a superhero, grounded. Since then, Welling has had a couple brushes with the DC universe, playing Marcus Pierce on NBC/Netflix's Lucifer, and reprising the Clark Kent role in a cameo on the CW's Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover last year. Rosenbaum did not appear in that crossover, but has voiced a number of DC characters including The Flash and Kid Flash in several projects, as well as Scarecrow, Deadman, and others.

Smallville itself, meanwhile, found new life in comic book form. Smallville: Season 11 ran from 2012 through 2013 and indeed brought in both tights and flight.

It seems like the pair has been trying to get the project going for a while now. So while this is the first time Welling has said explicitly on camera that they're working on this project, we shouldn't hold our collective breath for the time being. If you want to get your Superman television fix right now, the CW's Superman and Lois stands out from the rest of the Arrowverse. Further out, Warner Bros. is developing a Superman film with a Black Superman character, and game developer Rocksteady is working on Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.

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