Smallville Series Is Being Rebooted?

The creators of Smallville discuss why the show would not work today, admitting it can't be rebooted, but hope the spirit lives on in the new young Superman movie.

By Jennifer Asencio | Published

Miles Millar and Al Gough are the creative team behind the popular Netflix series Wednesday, but the pair have been working together developing shows for over 20 years. Among their previous credits is the CW show Smallville, which captured the life of a young Clark Kent in high school and well before he became Superman. The long-time collaborators sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to compare their experiences with the two hit shows, and they also explained why they could never reboot Smallville today.

In Superman canon, Clark Kent crash lands in the fictional Kansas town of Smallville when his parents send him from a dying Krypton to a solar system with a yellow sun. The typical non-comic media then jumps right to Superman as an adult in Metropolis, alluding to Smallville and characters like Lana Lang in guest pieces and exposition. The show Smallville was the first to fully take on Clark Kent’s teenage years in almost 70 years of movies and television shows.

Smallville also featured some major differences to established canon. In the series, Clark’s ship is part of a meteor shower that lands in the town and affects many people, bestowing upon them superpowers that lead to crime, calamity, or the emergence of an ally for the future Superman. Lex Luthor and his father are also major characters, young Lex having lost his hair in the meteor shower, and also occasionally a friend of Clark’s.

Miles Millar and Al Gough developed the show to explore Superman’s past, as well as to apply the story to real-life social issues that were prevalent when the series had its 10-season run. They acknowledge that Smallville has some dated flaws, such as the on-again-off-again romance between Clark and Lana that, for modern audiences, drags on with Lana as a bystander in her own life. However, they were very grateful for the breadth given to them when they developed the series based on the DC comic.

tom welling smallville reboot
Childhood friends Clark Kent (Tom Welling) and Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) in Smallville

Another reason they say they could never get away with rebooting the show is that even during the height of its popularity, purists within the fandom didn’t like some of the changes made, such as the meteors and the inclusion of Lex Luthor. Now that the property is the purview of DC Studios, they don’t believe they would be given the chance to deviate from canon as much as they did writing the original Smallville. Without these deviations, it just wouldn’t be the same show.

Among the movies proposed now that James Gunn is in charge of DC Studios is a movie about Superman as a youth, so the creative pair behind Smallville also think a reboot would be redundant with that in mind. They expressed that James Gunn is so capable of handling the DC property that they didn’t have any advice from their experience making a Superman show. Gunn has been making a lot of changes to DC Studios, including announcing that Henry Cavill will not be returning as Superman in the DC Universe films.

It is probably a good thing for Wednesday fans that its creators don’t want to reboot Smallville, though. Their attention will be on the titular heroine of the spooky series, and that means that we can expect the same quality of writing on the Netflix show when it returns for season two.