Worlds Will Collide In “Smallville” Finale

11 05 2011

After a decade in which viewers followed Clark Kent’s pre-Superman adventures, the tenth and final season of The CW’s “Smallville” comes to an explosive end this Friday night.

The longest running comic book-based series in television history, “Smallville” debuted on the then-new WB network in 2001 with the goal of retelling Superman’s origin, from the rocket crash all the way to his decision to don the cape and tights. On Friday, the ten-year-long saga ends with the rise of Darkseid in a two-hour long finale that brings back old friends, older foes and sees Clark finally wearing the iconic red and blue suit.

In preparation for the end, executive producers Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders spoke with CBR News and members of the press about the final episode, beginning with a screening of an unfinished promo for the two-hour finale. Without gong too far into spoiler territory, the promo highlighted the return of Chloe, Oliver Queen punching someone (possibly Clark) through a window, the planet Apokolips rapidly advancing on a collision-course towards Earth and Lois Lane decked out in full bridal gear, running down the aisle — in the wrong direction. The promo also showed Granny Goodness attempting to get Tess to join her side and a very quick shot of what appeared to be Clark’s first flight, sans Superman suit.

Most importantly, the promo featured the return of Lex Luthor, played once again by Michael Rosenbaum, confronting Clark in the ruins of the Luthor mansion and insinuating that without help against Darkseid, Earth is doomed.

”We were thinking about Rosenbaum coming back and what Lex, our Lex, what his purpose was. It was always not quite what you expected and much more human and emotional than I think any of us starting out on ‘Smallville’ would have expected,” said Souders. “We really went back to the pilot and thought, ‘There’s that guy who showed up and was totally personable and super sympathetic and just wanted to thank a guy for saving his life.’ So when we looked at having him back for the finale, it was the same thing, which is, they’re going to go on to be huge enemies. So what is it that’s pivotal at this moment is, that’s our Lex Luthor and our Clark Kent, and how do we wrap up their relationship that has been so complicated and mixed with emotions for ten years?”

Will Lex’s return disrupt Clark and Lois’ wedding plans?
Interestingly, according to Peterson and Souders, this last and biggest reveal almost didn’t happen.

“We only had Michael for one day, so there was only so much we could do with him in the story,” said Peterson. Souders explained they were unsure whether or not Rosenbaum would come back, and thus wrote and prepped a version of the finale without him, just in case.

“There were a couple of things we had planned on planting in the season that we didn’t because we didn’t know that we were going to have him,” Peterson added.

Yet another character reappearing in the finale is Jonathan Kent, who died of a heart attack in season five and has shown up in subsequent episodes as a spirit. Played by actor John Schneider, Jonathan’s part in the finale is unclear, though the executive producers promised not to leave fans hanging.

“I think it will become really clear what role Jonathan plays and why he shows up the way he does in this episode,” said Souders, adding, “Every time I see certain moments with Jonathan I still get a tear in my eye, even after all these weeks of watching the footage.”

Rounding out the returning cast members is Allison Mack who reprises her role as Chloe, a character who has not been seen since “Fortune,” the fifteenth episode of the current season.

“I think there are a lot of different ways people want Chloe[‘s story] to end, and so we, I think, serviced her character in a way that is right for who she was and who she’s becoming. She has one big moment with Clark where we get to see her shine,” said Peterson, commenting on Chloe’s role in the finale.

Familiar faces return for the “Smallville” finale
Added Souders, “I will say that Chloe fans should definitely stay tuned through the whole show — there’s a jewel!”

While “Smallville’s” entire cast has undergone tremendous change throughout the show’s history, the executive producers agree that Clark (played by Tom Welling) has changed the most, both to his benefit and detriment. Peterson and Souders pointed specifically to Clark’s choice to sell the Kent farm against Martha’s wishes as part of his growth process.

“I think that final step of trying to figure out as an adult if you are friends with your parents, or are your parents still your parents — I think he’s really trying to figure out all those last relationships as he takes this step into complete super-manhood. It’s still a complication in his life he needs to make peace with in the finale,” said Souders.

“He’s trying too hard to be a hero and too hard to force his destiny. So some of the problems he’s facing at the top of the finale are about that; trying too hard to decide who he is and not letting it happen as it should,” added Peterson.

Though neither Peterson nor Souders know of plans for a “Smallville” spin-off, they believed there may at least be one more “Smallville” related comic book miniseries in the works, though they said they were not privy to further details.

Overall, when it came to summing up “Smallville’s” legacy, the executive producers admitted they were huge fans of the Superman mythos and that the show represented a spectacular time in their lives, one “never to be duplicated,” stated Souders.

“What I would hope is what ‘Smallville’ did was make one of the most recognizable heroes in the world accessible, made him human to people so that they could relate to him and be inspired by him,” she added.

Clark will finally don the Superman suit
“I think, to me, we got to see the immense struggle it took to get to that point, and to fill in the space to when [Clark] decided to be that inspiration for people,” said Peterson. “We didn’t just want to do an ending, we wanted to do a beginning.”

Ultimately, Peterson and Souders feel that fans and those working on the show would take away from “Smallville” is a simple idea: its OK to have faith in heroes.

“Honestly, I think it’s the theme that emerged this year, which is ‘believe in heroes.’ That has become incredibly important to us that we were able to work on a show that had a positive message,” said Souders. “That’s why [the fans] watch. Not because we have the biggest visual special effects you’ll see on a screen or because of anything else. I think they want to believe in the heroes.”

The two-hour “Smallville” finale airs at 8PM Friday, May 13, on The CW


Supernatural PaleyFest Panel Breaks Down The Fourth Wall

15 03 2011

Once you’ve averted the apocalypse, where do you go next? If you’re Supernatural, there’s still plenty of territory left to explore, from sinister fairies and killer mannequins to virgin-abducting dragons and the sparkling mystique of Twilight.

These seemingly disparate elements and more fit comfortably, if creepily, into the shadowy world of The CW series, which follows the often-frightening, and frequently funny, adventures of demon-hunting brothers Sam and Winchester as they protect humanity from the things that go bump in the night.

The cast and creators of Supernatural, now well into its sixth season, gathered Sunday in Beverly Hills for a PaleyFest tribute moderated by television critic Maureen Ryan.

A Supernatural super-fan, Ryan kicked off the panel by introducing Executive Producer Sera Gamble, who in turn set up a video clip that featured extended footage from this season’s hilarious meta episode “The French Mistake,” in which Sam and Dean (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) are thrust into an alternate world in which they’re the stars of a TV show called … Supernatural.

Gamble also provided an enticing sneak peek at the April 15 episode “Frontierland,” which send the Winchester brothers back in time to the Old West in search of the show’s powerful MacGuffin, the Colt — a supernatural pistol crafted by Samuel Colt himself to kill virtually any entity (save for Lucifer and the Four Horsemen). The episode’s opening sequence tips its Stetson to the classic TV Western Bonanza, and in a rather brilliant wardrobe decision, fans get to see Dean in a poncho and cowboy hat, a la The Man With No Name.

Eric Kripke and Sera Gamble (photo by Keri Luna)

Ryan wasted no time in asking about the rule-breaking, fourth wall-destroying “French Mistake,” and wondered whether the cast and crew worried they were giving fans too much of a peek behind the curtain. Series creator Eric Kripke confirmed there had been a great deal of concern, especially from The CW legal department, which said, “We’re not sure — we’re checking right now, but we’re not sure you’re allowed to depict the ‘behind the scenes’ of a CW show.”

Initially, stars Ackles and Padalecki weren’t too excited about playing themselves. When Ryan pressed Ackles about his initial reaction to the idea, the actor replied, “Wait — What? You want to do what?”

Misha Collins, who plays the gravelly voiced angel Castiel, had just one request for producers: “Can we please make the Misha character a total douche-bag?”

When it comes to how much notice the cast receives about major character arc changes, Jim Beaver, who plays the Winchesters’ crusty father-figure Bobby Singer, explained, “Well, with the wheelchair thing, I showed up on set and they said, ‘Sit down.’ Next season they said, ‘Stand up.’ I’m a pretty good actor, so I did it.”

When Ryan asked whether fan-favorite Castiel would receive help in his brutal war in Heaven against the forces of the archangel Raphael, Gamble revealed that a trusted lieutenant named Rachel will soon be introduced.

Executive Producer Ben Edlund spoke a bit about his first Supernatural directing assignment, and announced that the episode in question would actually be centered on the enigmatic Castiel. In a nod to the infamous “Small Time” episode of Angel that Edlund wrote and directed, Ryan wondered whether there would be any puppets.

“No puppets,” Edlund laughed.

Misha Collins, left, and Jim Beaver

Kripke and Gamble clearly appreciate Edlund’s creative ideas. “He comes in and he says, ‘leprechauns,’ and I think there’s a lot more trust. We say, ‘All right, let’s do it,’ because he delivers every time … until the day he won’t,” Kripke joked.

Speaking of writing, Kripke announced he had just turned in the script for the two-hour season finale, which will begin shooting next week.

When the conversation turned to regrets, it was clear there had been a few. Kripke said he recently cringed through a repeat viewing of the show’s 2005 pilot episode, in which the Winchester brothers spout an inordinate amount of exposition.

“They’re talking about nothing that two human beings would ever talk about,” he said, adding, “It’s six years later and you can tell I’m not over it.”

Collins said he had come to regret his choice to give Castiel such an unnaturally low voice. “I may be running into medical problems,” he joked.

Padalecki and Ackles seized the opportunity to make fun of their co-star, with Ackles joking that his first reaction to Collins was to ask the crew, “Did he audition?”

Since the Winchesters have already faced both Lucifer and the apocalypse at the end of Season 5, one audience member brought the panel to a close by wondering what the series finale might entail. “There’s a very specific coda that we have in mind,” Kripke said, adding, “We didn’t use that [in the Season 5 finale]. We didn’t go near it.”

Supernatural airs Fridays on The CW. New episodes resume on April 15 with “Frontierland.”

Smallville Gets Two-Hour Finale

8 02 2011

The CW will end Smallville‘s 10-season run on May 13 with a two-hour series finale that “will send Clark soaring towards his birthright to secure his place in history as the world’s greatest protector.”

“Paying homage to 10 seasons is no small task, and wrapping up each character and story arc has been extremely important to everyone involved in the show,” executive producers Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders said in a statement released this afternoon. “We’re excited to be able to make the final moments of Smallville a television event, as the character we’ve grown up with makes his legendary transformation.”

Supernatural, which usually follows Smallville at 9 p.m. ET/PT, will be preempted on May 13. However, it will return at 8 p.m. May 20 for a two-hour season finale. (Note that although The CW has yet to greenlight a seventh season for Supernatural, today’s announcement says season finale.)

Smallville airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

CW Delays ‘Supernatural’ and ‘Smallville’ Return, Plus Giveaway Update

29 01 2011

Bad news guys, The CW has delayed the return of ‘Supernatural’ and ‘Smallville.’ Instead of returning Jan. 28, new episodes of the CW dramas will return Feb. 4.

Why? That remains to be seen. The CW will re-air the Jan. 27 episodes of ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and ‘Nikita’ on Friday.

On Wed., Feb. 2 the network will air the ‘Supernatural’ episode ‘Appointment in Samarra’ and the ‘Smallville’ episode ‘Icarus,’ instead of reruns of ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and ‘Nikita.’

Because of the change of schedule, we’ll be extending our CW swag giveaway until Fri., Feb. 11.

Update from Mo Ryan: Why all the scheduling shenanigans? ‘American Idol’ is the culprit, not surprisingly. Read on for more…

A CW spokesperson said Thursday that the network wants to give ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ the CW’s top series, more exposure when the returns from its winter break. Thus the decision to air it both Thursday (when it’ll go up against ‘Idol’) and Friday (when fans who missed ‘TVD’ and ‘Nikita’ will be able to catch up with those shows). Another reason offered for the double airings of those dramas: There are CW pre-emptions Thursday in Chicago and Baltimore.

We know, we know: ‘Supernatural’ and ‘Smallville’ fans were psyched for those shows’ returns, and now they have to wait another week. It’s no fun that these switcheroos were unveiled at the last minute, but sometimes TV’s scheduling gods are capricious.

Smallville Finds Its Blue Beetle And Booster Gold For March Episode

24 01 2011

Smallville has found its Blue Beetle and Booster Gold for an upcoming episode of The CW series written by Geoff Johns.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Days of Our Lives actor Eric Martsolf and relative newcomer Jaren Brandt Bartlett will play Booster Gold and Jaime Reyes, respectively, in the much-anticipated episode. Titled “Booster,” it presumably will air on March 4. Star and executive producer Tom Welling will direct.

Johns told Comic Book Resources last month that he’s always liked the chemistry between Booster and the new Blue Beetle, who debuted in 2006 in DC Comics’ Infinite Crisis. “… So when I was going to do this episode, I wanted to do those two together and I think the story that we came up works really well,” he said. “It’s very Booster 1.0, meaning he’s in the early stages of his career as a hero — and is pretty self-serving. […] You’ll see Beetle’s origin, Booster first meeting Clark and Lois and maybe a cameo by someone from Kord Industries.”

Martsolf, 39, appeared in the daytime soap Passions from 2002 until its cancellation in August 2008, before debuting on Days of Our Lives later that year. Bartlett, who turns 23 in February, has several movie and TV credits on his resume, including Dark Angel, The 4400 and a recurring role on Nickelodeon’s live-action series The Troop.

Smallville‘s 10th and final season airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

Update: The show also has cast Ted Kord.

Smallville Casts Its Ted Kord

24 01 2011

Quick on this heels of this afternoon’s news of the casting of Booster Gold and and Jaime Reyes’ Blue Beetle comes word that Smallville has also landed its Ted Kord.

TV Guide reports that Sebastian Spence, best known for his starring role in First Wave, will play the inventor-turned-superhero in the Geoff Johns-penned episode “Booster.” Tom Welling is set to direct.

“We meet Ted Kord as a captain of industry who has lost a valuable weapon … the scarab,” executive producer Brian Peterson tells TV Guide. “He’ll cross paths with Booster Gold, Jaime Reyes, and, of course, Clark.”

As we reported earlier, Days of Our Lives actor Eric Martsolf will play Booster Gold, who developed a friendship with Kord — the second Blue Beetle — in DC Comics’ late 1980s/early 1990s Justice League series. Relative newcomer Jaren Brandt Bartlett will portray Jaime Reyes, who became the third Blue Beetle in 2006′s Infinite Crisis.

Spence, 41, has also appeared in episodes of Battlestar Galactica — he was pilot Noel “Nacho” Allison — Supernatural and Dawson’s Creek.

Smallville‘s 10th and final season airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.