Tom Welling, who played Clark Kent for a decade on Smallville and returned to the role in 2019 for Crisis on Infinite Earths, took to the stage in Vancouver this weekend to share an update as to the progress of an animated take on the property that he and co-star Michael Rosenbaum have been developing with Smallville co-creators Al Gough and Miles Millar. The series, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, marked the start of a beautiful friendship between DC and The CW, and while Birds of Prey failed to take flight on the network, it wasn't long after Smallville ended that fans got Arrow and the many series that spun out of it.
News of an animated series has been floating out there in fan circles for a while, and while nothing has been officially greenlit yet, the latest updates sound as promising as anything we've heard. By the sound of things, both the cast and animation style are already starting to take shape, and the only thing holding up scripts is the involvement of the series' creators, who are working on feature films.
"We're working on animated series that picks up right after our Smallville [finale] and...telling our own story," Welling said. "Our vision is that we get Erica. It might be tough to get Allison. But even Sam Jones III [who played Pete Ross] and Lionel Luthor is going to be a big part of that. 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. As soon as they are done with that, we're going to do this. I want to be Clark's voice, I want Erica to be Lois's voice. That's going to be the fun of it. I think there's a story that Al and Miles are going to tell that's individual and new and call it a multiverse thing. But let's see where it goes, and it'll be fun, so yeah."
You can see the panel below.
During Crisis on Infinite Earths, fans were excited to meet Clark and Lois again, but some took issue with the idea that Superman had given up his powers to live a normal life on the farm with his wife. While Smallville had a comic that ran for a few years, this would be the first TV or film continuation of the story that would feature Welling's version of Clark taking on the name and costume of Superman.
In October of 2021, Welling was on a Zoom call with ComicBook when he said, "Kristin [Kreuk], you'll be getting a call from us, but we're working on the animated series with Al and Miles, where we're going to continue Smallville on and be the voice."
Rosenbaum jumped in at that point to say, "Yes, we have a pitch, but we can't really talk about it. We can't talk about it, but we're working on it."
Of course, Rosenbaum himself has been prone to oversharing about secret projects on his Inside of You podcast, where the informal and long-form conversations lend themselves to little slip-ups.
If the series takes off, it is not yet clear whether they would try to air it on the CW, or go to HBO Max or somewhere else. HBO Max seems the most likely scenario, since they have a number of adult-oriented animation projects in the works, including a Batman cartoon from The Batman filmmaker Matt Reeves.
Are you excited to see the next chapter in the Smallville story? Sound off in the comments, or hit up @russburlingame on Twitter to talk all things Superman.