'Smallville' to lose Lex Luthor, gain two new villains

Michael Rosenbaum, who has played Lex Luthor for seven seasons on Smallville, is leaving the series, according to a statement released by the CW and Warner Bros. TV today. Luthor’s departure will make way for two new, yet-to-be-cast villains for next season: Doomsday, the character best known in the D.C. Comics world for killing Superman, and an antagonist female whose sole purpose seems to be challenging Clark (Tom Welling). “While Michael won’t be a series regular, and we won’t have the pleasure of working with him on a weekly basis this fall, we like to think that we haven’t seen the last of Lex Luthor,” the show’s executive producers said in a statement. “Stay tuned.”

Rosenbaum thanked fans for their loyalty and for making Smallville a success. “It is time for me to start the next chapter of my life and career,” the actor said in the statement. “I hope that I gave you some enjoyment over the years, and that you found my portrayal of Lex Luthor to be satisfying. I sincerely hope that you will continue to follow my career through my hair growth period.”

This isn’t the first major departure from Smallville this season. Just last month, creators/executive producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar announced they were leaving the young-Superman show. Smallville is the CW’s longest-running drama. —Lynette Rice


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  • LauraT

    So it’s finally official … Just a note, as of the end of this season, he’s been on the show for seven seasons, not six.
    Michael’s portrayal of Lex is the ONLY reason I ever professed love for Smallville … As they brought in the ridiculous “he goes evil because Lana’s SUCH a catch” storyline, I promptly lost interest as my favourite character fell for a mincing, whiny girl. I really don’t think all major character development for the Superman mythos needs to tie into Ms. Lang, thankyouverramuch.
    But I digress … I absolutely loved Michael’s version of Lex–psychologically complex, darkness surrounding a rock-hard nugget of good that slowly eroded from external and internal pressures. And sexy as hell … The young teens may have swooned for Welling, but the women knew where the real hotness lay.

    • ME

      First, it says 7 seasons. Second, your an idiot

  • nama

    I’m so done with Smallville…
    remember season one??

  • shelley

    I have always loved smallville for its serial approach to the story over the years. I just hope they can keep it interesting even after they lose one of their central characters.

  • RJ

    OK now we can really end this series with a bang!
    Michael’s Lex was iconic and there is really no other reason to watch this show anymore. Can we get to the tights and flight and end the series while it has something of a pulse left?

  • sean

    I’ve watched smallville since sea 1 & I’m sad to see the char. of Lex, & Michael’s performance go from the show. The show has really gone downhill due to the writer’s obsession w/ the char. of Lana Lang. I heard the actress, Kristen Kruek is leaving the show. If this is true, the char. of Clark can really fly (figuratively & metaphorically) & the series can end w/ a bang. Again, I wish Mr. Rosenbaum look in his future projects as I think him & Alison Mack are two of the best actors on the show.

  • Snarf

    First Bo, then Mama Kent, then Lana (catatonic – is there a difference?)then Papa Luthor, now this?

  • RedRidingHood

    So sad! This is breaking my heart, seriously. MR/Lex is one of the best parts of the show! Without him we’re left with the Soap opera of Clark Kent’s love life. Michael is fantastic, and I hope if nothing else he at least returns for the series finale. He will be missed very much by this Smallville fan.

  • darrin

    although he will be missed dearly – it seems like a necessary step at this point in the show considering the storyline of season seven and how we have seen the full transformation of evil lex.

  • darrin

    although he will be missed dearly – it seems like a necessary step at this point in the show considering the storyline of season seven and how we have seen the full transformation of evil lex.

  • Judith

    I knew it was coming but I was hoping for a last minute reprieve. Say it ain’t so, no Lex means no reason to watch.

  • Nate

    Doomsday? Seriously? that is just stupid. How is Clark going to even come close to hanging with Doomsday before his full power potential as Superman?

  • mike

    Wow… you know what? whatever!! I am so frustrated with this show.. the only reason i have stuck with it is to catch some glimmer of clark actually becoming superman. In the comic line, by this time in his life he could already fly and had all his powers. Im sick of hanging on to watch him finally develop. I stuck through the “natie american” caves.. and the horrible general zod story line… etc.. this is the last straw. im done.

  • lilian

    Laura T, I’ll second that. I’ve been smitten with Michael Rosenbaum ever since I caught sight of him wearing one of those dark suits, oh so elegantly. He was terrific as Lex, and the only reason I got hooked with the show (that doesn’t mean that it’s not a good show, but no Lex, no reason to care). His evolution as a character was wonderful and I never understood what Lana saw in Clark in the first place – she was meant to be with Lex, and an idiot for not seeing that! But I respect his decision and I’m eager to see what he’ll be up to next!

  • whatever

    A sad day for the show. They should try and end the series next year and bring Michael back for a few episodes to close out the series. This is horrible. How many shows have lost so many characters and can still be good. ER does not count because that show has sucked for years now.

  • Winona

    Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even though he’s turned very, very bad (like I didn’t know it was coming), I will miss him every week. Throughout the series, the Luthor family has had the most consistently interesting characters and stories.

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