Sad news for fans of Smallville—Michael Rosenbaum will not be reprising his Lex Luthor role in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Earlier, it was confirmed that both Tom Welling and Erica Durance would be joining the Arrowverse crossover event as their Smallville characters, Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Fans were hoping that meant our favorite Luthor, Rosenbaum, would also be reprising his role. He took to his Twitter to update his fans:
Here ya go. 🙂 pic.twitter.com/8PFT6wsPMo
— Michael Rosenbaum (@michaelrosenbum) September 24, 2019
Disappointing? Yes, but understandable. If you’ve ever listened to his podcast, Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum, he’s briefly talked about why he takes or passes on roles. You’d know that his grandfather, which he’s called his best friend, is not doing well. To receive a last minute offer with no details is borderline insulting. It’s not entirely clear from his tweet, but it doesn’t appear that Rosenbaum holds any ill feelings towards the studio.
If you’re not familiar with Smallville, you may not realize what a loss this is for the crossover. Simply put, Michael Rosenbaum is one of the best, if not best, actors to portray the role of Lex Luthor. Smallville, which ran for 10 seasons (7 of which Rosenbaum was part of the main cast, with a special guest spot in the series finale), follows a young Clark Kent as he struggles to find his place in the world; learning to harness his alien powers for good—and dealing with the typical troubles of teenage life. Rosenbaum’s Lex Luthor is saved by Clark and the two become friends. Previous iterations of the characters often (almost always) portray the two as enemies, and while their friendship in Smallville eventually crumbles, it’s that friendship that makes Rosenbaum’s Lex Luthor one of the best ever seen in TV/film.
A LUTHOR OF MANY FACES
Several actors have portrayed Lex Luthor: Gene Hackman (Superman I – IV), Kevin Spacey (Superman Returns), and Jesse Eisenberg (BvS, Justice League) in film. In TV, Scott James Wells and Sherman Howard (Superboy), John Shea (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman), and Jon Cryer (Supergirl) all have had time with the character too. While each of these performance are great in their own right, none of them have performed Lex Luthor as much as Rosenbaum (a whopping 156 episodes). Smallville‘s time to allow the character to grow, along with Rosenbaum’s charm and talent, gave us the definitive Lex Luthor. From his friendship with Clark to his complicated relationship with his father, Smallville‘s Lex Luthor not only gave us the best version of the character, but one of the best villains of all time.
So, yes, it’s disappointing that we won’t see that character again. But, there’s still plenty of Michael Rosenbaum to keep us entertained. He has TWO podcasts, the above mentioned Inside of You and In Love… with Michael Rosenbaum & Chris Sullivan, and his band, Left on Laurel, will have their debut album available on 10/4. And, if you’re craving some Rosey Luthor, all 10 seasons of Smallville are available on DVD.