A few years ago, it would have been very hard to believe that Smallville could have survived without its creators (Alfred Gough and Miles Millar) and regulars like resident bad boy Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum); his father, Lionel (John Glover); and Clark’s longtime crush, Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk). They all left the show last season, and surprisingly the CW drama has continued on quite nicely thanks to Tom Welling, Allison Mack, Erica Durance, Aaron Ashmore, Justin Hartley, Cassidy Freeman, and Samuel Witwer.
Kreuk will guest in a total of five episodes this season and is likely open to returning to do more in the future. Conversely, Glover has said that he won’t be back. His character was murdered by Lex and, though he could be brought back in a flashback or fantasy sequence, the actor says that he wouldn’t do it.
Rosenbaum has been asked to return a couple of times this season has declined, feeling that the role had run its course. Whenever the show does come to a close however, Rosenbaum says that he’s agreed to return — with one condition. “I told the producers that I would only come back for the last episode or two if they let me wear a bald cap,” he told The Windy City Times.
The actors says that shaving his head “wore out its welcome. Seven years everyday, filming in Vancouver, freezing my ass off. I couldn’t even wear a hat because my makeup would get ruined. I had to be there two hours before the crew got there to shave my head.”
If Rosenbaum sticks to his guns, it doesn’t look like Lex will be back for quite awhile. The CW execs want to keep Smallville going for at least one more season. The network is reportedly in talks with Tom Welling to return for a ninth year and it’s pretty safe to say that he’s in a great spot for negotiating. The show’s audience has been growing this season and often garners the ratings-challenged network’s best numbers.
Still, network prez Dawn Ostroff it playing it cool. At the TCA press event she said, “We’re starting to talk about [season nine]. Obviously we’re prepared either way. If the show doesn’t go on, we have a series finale that the writers have been thinking about, but I think we’d all love to see the show come back creatively again. We’ve got a new team of writers who are running the show, and they’ve done a great job with the series this year. We’ve gotten great feedback from the fans. It’s interesting because they’ve used more female characters this year, which I think helped it blend in with the theme of the network, so we’d love to see it back.”