The OG TV superhero team of the modern era has spoken, marking the impact of their work on the current Arrowverse. Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling were attending Canada's FAN EXPO, where the duo who once played archenemies on screen, but are actually best friends in real life, were asked about their possible involvement with the epic crossover being teased between CW's Supergirl, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash.
Weighing in on the success these shows enjoy in their current time, Rosenbaum credited Smallville for paving the way for the DC television shows currently in vogue. The 2001 show featured an origin story for Superman, played by Tom Welling, growing up in Smallville and learning to use his powers while befriending a young Lex Luthor, played by Rosenbaum. The show enjoyed huge popularity and is still fondly remembered by fans, a fact which, according to Rosenbaum, helped give a boost to future DC television action-dramas.
"A lot of fans loved Lois & Clark, but this was cinematic. This was the first time a TV show that was comic book related was cinematic. It was a movie every week, and the effects were something that people hadn't seen before...It was extraordinary. And they put so much money into this, and the characters were really developed, and it was an interesting story, and I just felt like it was unique. Now Arrow, and Flash, and all these other shows, they've kind of come up, but Smallville was the original. It just was. I'm not saying that because we were on it. It was the first, it launched everything else. It was the reason why the other shows were successful. It's just true."
There is plenty of truth to these claims. Smallville was the show that featured many of the original tropes which feature abundantly in today's Arrowverse, such as having a villain of the week, spending more time with the hero outside of his costume, and giving greater focus to the emotional cost of having powers and having to keep them a secret. Even the superhero crossover event were first done on Smallville with their early version of The Justice League.
Michael Rosenbaum himself is considered by many to be the finest live-action Lex Luthor ever, combining a dry sense of humor with an underpinning of menace and pathos that viewers fell in love with. But despite the success of Smallville, it's cast has chosen to move on to non-superhero projects in their later careers. Having largely avoided making an appearance on the Arrowverse so far, they do not appear to be ready to break the tradition anytime soon, as Welling and Rosenbaum further elaborated, Welling said, "Whatever this Crisis thing you guys are talking about, it's not happening."
Added Rosenbaum, "Sorry to disappoint you guys. No one has even talked to us" about Crisis on Infinite Earths, admitting the two stars "don't know anything about this stuff." This was reported by ComicBook.com.