Smallville star Michael Rosenbaum brought a singular genius to the screen in his decade-long tenure as Lex Luthor, but the actor said he isn’t having any second thoughts about declining a Warner Bros. TV overture to revive the character this fall.
On Twitter, Rosenbaum explained that his decision to leave the Smallville reunion as part of the Arrowverse crossover to his former castmates (namely Tom Welling and Erica Durance, aka Clark Kent and Lois Lane from the WB series) was a no-brainer for reasons both personal and professional.
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Rosenbaum explained that Warner Bros reached him while he was in Florida visiting his grandfather in a nursing home. The pitch wasn’t the most enticing offer, as Rosenbaum recounts: “Their offer: No script. No idea what I’m doing. No idea when I’m shooting. Basically no money. And the real kick in the ass: “We have to know right now.” My simple answer was: “Pass.”
A call to Warner Bros was not immediately answered. The five-part crossover event that begins airing in December is called “Crisis on Infinite Earths” — based on a namesake epic that made history in the pages of DC Comics in the 1980s — and it unites all of The CW’s active superhero shows that are based on DC Comics characters: Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Black Lightning, Batwoman and DC Legends of Tomorrow.
The crossover, which skips around the multiverse and shows alternate realities, will feature some famous actors from DC adaptations from past decades. It includes for instance, Brandon Routh of Superman Returns as an older, somewhat compromised version of the hero (as first introduced in the Kingdon Come comics saga) and Lynda Carter (who portrayed an alien disguised as an American politician on two seasons of Supergirl) also might return as some version of Wonder Woman, the character that that gave Carter an iconic career success in the 1970s.
Smallville star Rosenbaum portrayed Lex Luthor longer than any other screen actor, and many fans consider his 10-season tenure as the young-adult version of the villain as the best live-action take to date. Rosenbaum’s Luthor is the rare live-action interpretation that managed to bundle charisma in with the rogue’s more megalomaniacal traits. A roster of eclectic actors have played the role — they include Gene Hackman, Jesse Eisenberg, Kevin Spacey and, now, Jon Cryer — but their Luthors usually have veered into less-likable traits (glib, haughty, aloof, and/or boorish).