With the final season of the popular CW series Smallville, based on the iconic DC Comics character, already begun, fans can't wait to see how the producers plan to end the long running show. While most assume that we will see Clark embrace his destiny by seasons end, he will have many obstacles to overcome before he gets there. In the season opener we saw Lois give him the classic red and blue suit, actually it's the one from Superman Returns, only to have it taken from him by Jor-El, who didn't have any complementary to say to his son, and locked away in the Fortress of Solitude. We've also seen the introduction of the villain Darkseid this season as well as Rick Flag and the Suicide Squad. So Clark definitely has a lot to deal with before the series ends in May.
On tonight's episode, Supergirl, Clark's cousin Kara returns with some special lessons to teach the man of steel. Then next week's episode, Homecoming, will mark the 200th episode for the series and promises to feature many surprises that fans of the show and the character have been waiting a long time to see. Today we were among the honored few to be invited to screen next week's special episode as well as speak with the series' executive producers, Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders, about it and what fans can expect from the rest of this season. While we will bring you more from our conversation with them next week, specifically about the 200th episode, we wanted to let you know now what they had to say about creating the final season, introducing the classic costume, upcoming guest stars and if a eleventh season is out of the question. Here is what they had to say:
To begin with, is this really the final season or is it possible that there could be an eleventh?
Kelly Souders: I can't say that it is the first time that the idea of an eleventh season has creped up this year. We've been pushing this as the final season of Smallville, so I think it's the final season of Smallville? We don't have plans but we never bet against our selves with this show.
If you were to start thinking about another season, when would those discussions begin?
Brian Peterson: I'm not aware of any plans for that to be honest. As much as we all don't want it to end, and we love working with Tom and Erica and want to continue working with them, but you need the show to go out when the time is right and it feels like the time is probably right for that. As much as we will all be sad. That said ... you never know? We could be as surprised as everyone else.
What about a "Green Arrow" or "Justice League" Spin-off?
Kelly Souders: We don't know of any plans or of anything being discussed.
If this is the final season, you've already introduced Darkseid, the New Gods and the Suicide Squad so do you know where those arcs are leading this season and what the final moment will be for the series end?
Brian Peterson: As of Tuesday we pretty much know the rest of this season ... or series.
Kelly Souders: Yes. We know every episode and that was pretty daunting. We were sitting in the writer's room, we looked up at the board and we had it all mapped out. We thought, wow that's it. Every episode is now mapped out.
Brian Peterson: Instead of end of episode or end of season it said end of series.
When will Darkseid finally show himself?
Its been announced that Granny Goodness will be appearing on the series this season. Was Ed Asner, who voiced her on the "Justice League" cartoon, ever considered for the role?
Brian Peterson: It's been talked about many times. Edward Asner in drag came up once but I think that might not pan out very well. But I think eventually it had to be somebody who could play the role because we were not just voicing them over. But that definitely came up.
Have you had any concerns about introducing so many new DC characters in this final season? Are you worried that with tying up the season you may not have time to give proper justice to all of these arcs?
Kelly Souders: No, I think that over the last few years obviously we have been introducing more and more of the characters from DC and acknowledging that world on a greater level. For us anyways it's a lot of fun and our crews do an incredible job of looking at the characters from the comic books and then trying to figure out, what is the Smallville version and what can we actually do cause we are all just human? But I think it's actually been a fun challenge and we enjoy it.
Brian Peterson: We really promised that this wouldn't be a whole season of reflection that we would be pushing forward. So that is why in addition to Supergirl and Aquaman, who we are bringing from the past, we wanted to bring in new characters like Deadshot, who we introduced last week. We have Booster Gold coming up and probably a few other people that we want to introduce so there is still a push off and it feels fresh.
You mentioned that Booster Gold will be introduced this season. Since he is a character from the future with ties to the Legion of Super-Heroes, is there any chance we may see members of the Legion again before the finale?
Brian Peterson: At this point we don't have any plans for the Legion because Booster is the one character that we want to focus on who is coming from the future.
What can you tell us about that upcoming episode, which features Booster Gold and Blue Beetle and is written by DC Comics writer Geoff Johns?
Brian Peterson: That is pending lunch with Geoff Johns. Geoff has his own ideas and we all need to come together with our ideas because we've only come up with the concept together. I think that will probably be in the next week or two.
Will we see more members of the Justice League or Justice Society appear this season? Will Impulse and Black Canary be returning?
Kelly Souders: We are definitely in quite a few contract conversations right now but you will see a big league presence in the middle of the season, you wont have to wait till the end.
Will there be another team episode this season like last year's "Absolute Justice?"
Kelly Souders: You'll see more than one team assembled and soon.
Will Lana or Lex be back before the finale?
Brian Peterson: We would love for them to be back and the door is wide open.
Kelly Souders: We loved writing for both of them because they were great characters so we would love the chance to write for them again.
If Michael Rosenbaum or Kristin Kreuk do agree to came back, do you have stories in your head ready to go for their characters?
Kelly Souders: Oh yeah, I could write that script in about two days. Yes we do. Obviously all these characters sit in our heads year round so we have story ideas and places where we would like to take them. They are always sitting right there in case something is to happen.
Is there a contingency plan in place to bring closure to the arcs of those characters if you can't get the actors to return before the series ends?
Brian Peterson: Yes, absolutely.
It's also been announced that actress Teri Hatcher, who played Lois Lane on "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman," will be appearing on an up coming episode as Lois's mom. Can you talk about how you will introduce that character and how you were able to cast Hatcher?
Brian Peterson: Well we have our dream list and she was right up at the top. Honestly, what's funny is that we talked in the writer's room about this video, which just so you know actually came from a personal story. This actually happened. Someone in the room has a best friend who found out she has a very significant illness, so she sat down and made all these videos for her child. So what we did was just pull that into the show because it was so heart wrenching to hear about that. Then we said, "Who do you get to play Lois's mom?" Everyone just looked at each other and it was beat ... beat ... "Teri Hatcher!" She's been fantastic.
Kelly Souders: She was wonderful. It was really about coordinating and orchestrating it with Teri's busy schedule, and us needing to get footage to put the show together. I mean it was tough trying to get everybody in the same place at the same time but it came together beautifully. What we can say is that we got to watch that footage yesterday and all I will tell you is that I watched three takes and then I had to stop for awhile because it was so heart wrenching. She just had an incredible performance. It was beautiful and I think people will enjoy it.
Do you think Dean Cain will return to the show before the series is over?
Kelly Souders: We would love to have him back.
Brian Peterson: I think that is on our wish list as much as it is on his so we'll see what happens but if it does that would be fantastic. Hopefully we'll end up on the same page.
Can you talk about the decision to introduce the classic suit in the premiere of the final season rather than waiting until the end?
Brian Peterson: We really wanted this season to be a positive one and a season of growth and forward movement. So it felt that if that happened at the end of the season you were just getting it right before he moves into being Superman. So we wanted to start the season with it and not just cap it off.
Since Jor-El has locked the costume in the Fortress Of Solitude for the time being, it seems like it is now something that Clark has to earn in order to wear, so will he be earning that privilege sooner rather than later?
Brian Peterson: I don't know if we are at liberty to discuss that?
Kelly Souders: He still has a lot to go through and we will see that the world around him also puts up some major stumbling blocks for him. So as much as he is progressing, the things in his life and in the environment around him will shift after Homecoming to a place where he will still have some major battles to overcome here but he is earning his stripes along the way.
Will Jor-El ever stop being a dick to Clark?
Brian Peterson: It's tough love.
Kelly Souders: Yes, actually. I think we'll start to see a little bit more of the different sides of him this year.
Did you ever consider creating your own "Smallville" style costume rather than using one of the previous ones?
Brian Peterson: We did.
Kelly Souders: We work really closely with DC and Warner Bros. so it very quickly came up if we would like to link up with the feature and we just thought it would be really fun.
Can you please tell us when we might finally see Tom Welling wearing it?
Brian Peterson: You'll just have to tune in to find out.
Last week we saw Clark adopt a new costume, it's not the classic suit but it does incorporate the red and blue. Will we be seeing him go through other costumes this season before he finally puts on the iconic red and blue tights and cape?
Brian Peterson: Well last season was very agnsty and he had the big struggle about staying in. We wanted him to stand up and make a choice to do what he believes in and be patriotic with the red and blue. Even though his suit is taken away to the fortress it doesn't mean that he can't create his own. So that is how that happened.
Kelly Souders: Also, we wanted to say goodbye to the darkness that he was leaving behind with the darker suit from last year.
Based on fans reactions to the finales of "Lost" and "The Sopranos" do you feel the pressure to end the series in a positive way?
Kelly Souders: Yes, we've aged like five years in the last six months. I think not only for the fans but we are also aware that it is a decade of people watching us and that is a long time. So not only is there the pressure of wanting to make everybody happy, which is impossible but we keep trying, but also for ourselves. We all want it to end with the best episode of Smallville ever. We all want to make sure that it is the best thing that any of us can put together so there is some pressure that we are putting on our selves.
Brian Peterson: With any show, you want it to end the way you want to end as a viewer, but then you also want a little surprise so that it is a tight-wire but we think we have a plan.
Finally, when the last episode is finished and the series comes to an end, what do you think your reaction to it will be?
Brian Peterson: Therapy.
Kelly Souders: It's going to be very difficult. We've all been together for a long time. It is an incredible group of people and we would be very lucky to get half of what we got on this show in any other experience that we have. The people are great and not a day goes by that we are not aware of how much people enjoy the show and that we would not be here if it were not for their passion. It's going to be hard to say goodbye.