Let’s just say “Smallville” has beaten many people’s expectations. After all, getting any show on the air is tough, but to keep enough fans interested so you get renewed for a ninth season, that’s next to impossible. But with the move to Friday’s this season, “Smallville” is doing just that. So to thank the fans, the cast and showrunners came to Comic-Con this morning to talk to the fans and show some footage. Shortly after their panel, I participated in a small roudnatble interview with showrunners Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson and what they said is after the jump. If you’re curious what is coming up in season nine, you’re going to want to read this interview:
Since there is so much Comic-Con news to get through, here are some of the highlights:
- Clark is going to be wearing a costume this year but it’s not the red and blue outfit…it’s something else that’s a precursor to that.
- It’s Major Zod. Not General Zod. And he comes to Earth with a legion of Kryptonians from Kandor
- Kelly and Brian don’t think this is going to be the last season
- Regarding actor’s contracts, they say they are covered if the show comes back for a 10th season
- The budget is the same even though they moved to Friday
- We won’t see Clark fly till he embraces being Superman. Meaning the very end of the show whenever that is
- Lex is not coming back anytime soon
- They are writing episodes 8 and 9 right now
- Metallo and Roulette are making appearances this season
- Geoff Johns is writing a Justice Society of America episode for this season
Here’s the full transcript:
I was just reading on Twitter, because none of us could get into the panel, that there are some very big changes coming to Smallville this upcoming season, with its move to Friday night. For example, maybe someone will be wearing a costume of some kind.
Kelly Souders: There’s a little bit of a wardrobe change this season, that’s fair to say, yes.
Brian Peterson: We’re trying to explore, maybe the last stage this next couple of years. What Clark Kent goes through in his decision to put on the cape and tights. It’s kind of based on a couple of pieces of mythology from when he died, and his Doomsday fight in the comics, and the costume he wore after that, and that’s kind of the basis of what we’re doing with his look this year.
Someone tweeted that, I want to say, the Eradicator, I think that’s what they were saying?
Kelly: Well, Twitter never lies!
I’m just repeating what someone wrote. Is there any truth to this Eradicator thing?
Brian: I’m not familiar with the Eradicator, I don’t think either of us are, I’m sorry. So that would probably be a no, but I’m not familiar with what they may have taken that from…
Eradicator was a Kryptonian character who kind of jumpstarted him back to life.
Brian: That’s not what we’re, no.
Kelly: Thanks for the idea, Twitter.
So what are you going to be doing now that you have another season?
Kelly: We had an amazing last year, literally we had what we called the ‘next season stories’ a list of ‘Oh, that’s a great idea, it doesn’t fit with our characters right now, but that’s a great episode for next year,’ so we literally came into this season with like a hundred ideas already, and just since we’ve been going, we’ve been getting more and more, so the list just keeps growing. So strangely, you’d think in a season nine and looking at a season ten, you’d be going ‘Oh my gosh, what the hell are we going to talk about this year?’ but it’s not felt like that at all. It’s felt like a pilot season.
Brian: And the thrust of the year is twofold. One is Clark training with Jor-El and for the first time really embracing what that means to be a hero, trying to give up his human identity but finding how hard that is when you’re in love with somebody. So that’s kind of the thread, between Lois and Clark and the Blur, and his training with Jor-El, that’s kind of the thread.
Is this the last season?
Brian: We’re not breaking it down as the last season.
Kelly: We’re not, because I think, last year, most people thought, ‘That’s it,’ and then the fans were so amazing and embraced what we were trying to do.
So you’re not worried about the network pulling the plug?
Kelly: I don’t think so because the network, the WB and Warner Bros., and they want the show to satisfy fans. They know it’s not a show that you can get to episode 21 and you can decide, ‘Oh let’s just end it next episode and it’ll work,’ they know that. They’ve been really great.
I’m curious about contracts, though. With Tom Welling and other cast members, are people signed on if there were to be another season, or are there season-to-season contracts?
Brian: We pretty much are covered.
Kelly: I think we’re covered, and anything we’re not covered, we’re talking to people because the cast is so great, so we want everyone to stay involved until the end. So we’re working on that.
How does Zod fit into this?
Brian: But we’re bringing him in as Major Zod, and we have a whole back-story that’s going to unfold as to why he’s here. He comes with pretty much a legion of Kryptonians from Kandor, and so it dovetails and touches on what they’re doing in the comic world right now. But we’re making it fit with our world.
How does the move to Friday night affect your budget for the show?
Kelly: You know what, it didn’t affect our budget at all. And I think that’s one of the things that made us feel… excited about the possibility of a season ten. Because they didn’t, they really want us to launch a Friday night. We’re excited to do it, we know our fans are the best fans, they follow us to pretty much any night, we’ve been pretty much on every night, and they keep showing up.
Brian: We’ve moved Tuesday to Wednesday, Wednesday to Thursday, Thursday to Friday, and we’re still here.
The history of Friday night is pretty much a minefield. If you guys survive a Friday night move, I’d like to think that the network would be excited.
Kelly: The thing is, it used to be kind of the death move, but now Dollhouse is on Friday night, and Ghost Whisperer… It’s kind of a night where people are tuning in to watch television.
Brian: And historically, you’ve got the X-Files, one of the biggest sci-fi hits, was a Friday night lynchpin, Battlestar was a Friday, so I think… I don’t think we’re actually very worried about it.
Any chance of Lex Luthor this season?
Kelly: You know, we love Rosenbaum. We had dinner with him a couple of weeks ago. We would over the moon to have time work out for his schedule, have him back and visit the show and nothing, I think, would make the cast happier, too. But right now, there’s nothing that’s panning out, but we’re always looking at it.
The show’s mantra has always been ‘No tights, no flights’. Now that we’re seeing a costume, will we see Clark flying?
Brian: We actually deal with that in the premiere… Why he doesn’t fly, and why he’s wearing the costume he has right now.
Kelly: It’s a different side of Superman. It’s very exciting. The film, the footage that’s coming in, it looks like a motion film.
Will we see him flying?
Brian: I don’t think we’ll see him flying until he embraces bring Superman, that’s what Al and Miles started with, and what we’re trying to carry that. And that will be the final stage – him deciding who he wants to be.
Kelly: And the show is really the journey to that moment.
Are there any other taboos for the show?
Brian: Not really. It’s not really a taboo, but a licensing issue: Batman and Wonder Woman.
Where are you as far as the writing process? Where have you written up to already?
Kelly: We are breaking…
Brian: …eight and nine.
Kelly: Eight and nine. So the energy this year of the show…we’re way ahead this year and it’s been fantastic.
So let’s talk about November sweeps. What do you guys have planned?
Brian: It’ll be great. Lois is having visions of the future, and in sweeps you’ll get to see what that day in the future is.
What other DC characters are we going to see?
Brian: Metallo and Roulette, we’re going to bring in Roulette, we have two that we can’t announce yet. We’re casting now.
What about Geoff Johns and JSA?
Brian: Yes, Geoff Johns is writing Justice Society of America for one of our episodes.