Fans of the Superman mythos are undoubtedly thrilled by the recent announcement by the CW that Smallville has been renewed for an eighth season. However, according to Mike Ausiello at TV Guide, the drama about Clark Kent before he becomes Superman will be returning without Michael Rosenbaum or Kristen Kreuk.

Rosenbaum, who plays Lex Luthor on the show, and Kreuk, who plays the love of Clark Kent's young life, Lana, are both interested in pursuing their film careers, and as such have decided that they don't wish to be regulars during the show's eighth (and possibly final) season. However, both are open to doing limited engagements on the show, and details are currently being worked out to arrange that.

Ausiello also revealed the news that when the show airs it's first post-strike episode on April 17, a "long running character - a series regular - takes his final breath." Just in case there was any ambiguity, he clarifies "As in dies. For real. No cloning crap this time around."

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While Ausiello doesn't provide specifics, our best guess is that he is referring to Lionel Luthor, played by John Glover. He's the only long-running male character on the show who isn't required to survive into Clark's adulthood.

Smallville airs Thursday nights on the CW. The drama about the early days of Clark Kent stars Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Kristen Kreuk, John Glover, Erica Durance, Allison Mack, Aaron Ashmore and Laura Vandervoot.