Smallville, The CW’s first foray into superhero shows, ended almost a decade ago in 2011. This was a year before the network would start to craft their own world of interconnected shows that would come to include such series as Arrow, The Flash, and Batwoman. But for The WB and eventually The CW, Smallville was one of these network’s biggest hits, a show that combined a monster-of-the-week format with one of the WB’s biggest characters. For many, Smallville was their first live-action superhero TV show. So it shouldn’t be surprising there are rumors to bring back the Superman-starring show.
According to We Got This Covered – who hear this from an unnamed source, so take this with a grain of salt – Smallville might be returning but in animated form. This isn’t the first time that a Smallville animated series has been floated about. In 2018, TVOvermind mentioned that at an Awesome Con convention, when asked by a fan, Smallville stars Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum said that the idea of an animated series wouldn’t be a bad idea. Of course, this was just speculation at the time, but if We Got This Covered is to be believed, maybe it’s an actual possibility.
Theoretically, if such a show were to exist, odds are such a show wouldn’t land on The CW. Since The CW rarely has primetime animated shows, it would seem more likely that a Smallville animated series would make more sense on HBO Max. The new network already has such DC shows as Doom Patrol, Harley Quinn and the upcoming Zack Snyder cut of Justice League.
Another reason why it seems like Smallville: The Animated Series wouldn’t also come to The CW is that the network is about to air another Superman show. Superman & Lois – a spinoff of Supergirl – is scheduled for release in January 2021. The show will star Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch as Superman and Lois, respectively, as somewhat older versions of these characters. While it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility for The CW to have so many versions of Superman on their network at once, it might be overkill to have this many iterations on an already superhero-packed network.
This also wouldn’t be the first return to the world of Smallville for some of these actors. Welling and Erica Durance, who played Lois Lane, reunited for the Arrowverse crossover event, “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” In the event, it was shown that in the years since Smallville, Clark Kent had taken over the Kent farm, and that Lois and Clark now had two daughters.
The rumor from We Got This Covered states that a possible Smallville animated series would likely be based on the Smallville: Season 11 comic book series, which debuted in 2012. The series took place six months after the conclusion of Smallville but only lasted for nineteen issues. At the very least, if this rumor does turn out to be true, it’ll be interesting to return to this version of Superman once more, especially within the freedom of an animated series.