'Smallville' scoop: Michael Rosenbaum turned down finale appearance as Lex Luthor -- EXCLUSIVE

Smallville-Lex-RosenbaumImage Credit: Image Credit: David Gray/The CWLex Luthor’s latest scheme is perhaps his most villainous yet: Refusing to appear in the Smallville series finale.

EW has learned that actor Michael Rosenbaum has repeatedly rebuffed attempts by producers this season to get him back on The CW’s show to reprise his role as Luthor in the finale.

“He has put the show behind him and moved on,” says a knowledgeable source. “He’s pursuing his other creative outlet [writing]. By all indications, he is not going to be involved.”

The door still remains open for Rosenbaum to come on board, but it’s closing fast. Smallville wraps series production late next month, with only three episodes — including the two-hour finale — left to shoot.

Apart from seeing the Man of Steel finally put on the spandex suit and fly like he means it, a re-appearance by Rosenbaum is the top request by fans looking for creative closure in Smallville‘s final season. (Forget Waiting for Superman — for Smallville fans, it’s all about Waiting for Lex.)

Rosenbaum played Superman’s arch rival for seven seasons on the show and Smallville ends its epic 10-year run in May. Producers have publicly taken a “you’ll have to tune in to find out” stance when asked whether Rosenbaum will show up, all the while naturally hoping the actor will change his mind.

Smallville will air its final hours on Friday, May 13. The CW had no comment.

What do you think? Seems to me a quick haircut and a couple hours on the set is more than worth it to make Smallville fans everywhere happy…

Comments (458 total) Add your comment
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  • Joe

    Lame. The show helped his career for sure, one episode shouldn’t take much :\

    • Lex Express

      WHY MICHAEL, WHY!?!?!?

      • whereisit

        He discovered he likes not having a job.

      • Donknottz

        So he can make more high qulaity D list movies like kicking it old school. What a Richard this guy is.

      • Joe

        What a joke, clearly he doesn’t give a rats arse about the fans that built his career. Hope he disappears into Hollywood oblivion…

      • Ames

        Has anyone considered this might be a red herring?

      • Matt

        I have Ames, but I think it’s more wishful thinking than anything. Someone there clearly did something to tick him off, and he vowed not to return. If he wont even come back for one episode, someone really did something

      • Red Herring

        Deadline just reported that he IS coming back despite reports to the contrary!

    • attia

      I wonder if there’s some bad blood between Michael and the show. Even Julianne Moore returned to the soap opera “As The World Turns”, that she starred in back in the 80s for it’s final episode.

      • whereisit

        I guess he thinks he is bigger then George Clooney, who took scale to show up for one final scene in ER. George did it to thank the show and fans who made him a star, class move. Not like big time writer rosenbomb.

      • Carla in Houston

        Ditto Nathan Fillion, who paid his respects by returning to One Life to Live a couple of years ago. Rosenbaum, you disappoint me so!

      • Matt

        Yes, but you guys assume that Rosenbaum has no reason to be upset. Clooney and Fillion moved on from their shows.. Rosenbaum might have left Smallville in anger. If someone did something to you, and you vowed never to work for them again, what good would it do to break that promise for one show?

    • Jason

      He’s about to find out what it’s like to “have no FANS,” either. This ranks among the most classless things I’ve ever seen an actor do. I thought MR was better than that, but he’s obviously just as big of a jerk as he’s about to be labeled–permanently.

    • Donknottz

      I will boycott everything he ever does for this slap in the face. I can’t stand these pompous douche clowns. You would have no career if it was not for Smallville and its fans. So sad he doesn’t get it.

      • mel

        I AGREE

      • Hazel

        I also agree with DonI really dont think he will make it has an actor now any way.He has turned his back on his fans!!!!

      • Pat

        I agree also. I won’t watch anything he ever does in the future.

      • Matt

        So you’re so disappointed he won’t come back because you like him so much, that you hate him?

        Why wouldn’t you give him the benefit of the doubt? He was the best part of the show, and they probably tried to kick him around while rolling out the red carpet and golden throne for Welling

      • Darrow

        Now you have to support everything he does, due to him RETURNING!!!!!!!

        Plus he asked his fans for the favor of supporting everything he does for the favor of returning for the 2 hour finale.

        To make sure I am clear….MICHAEL ROSENBAUM IS RETURNING TO SMALLVILLE!!!!!!

      • greg

        I agree with Matt, I have been
        a fan of the show since day 1,
        and I every favorite episode of mine had Lex in it. “Lexmus” is
        on of my favorites. He was the best
        actor on the show besides his father Lionel. They producers probably treated him unfairly and
        overly praised and “PAID” Welling.
        Although I think money had something to do with it, I think creative differences also had a role in his decision to never return.

    • scarletfox

      After this terrible disappointment he better show up for the “Zoe, Duncan, Jack, and Jane” reunion special or I will be seriously miffed.

    • Jeff M.

      what a sorry sack of crap.

    • andy

      it’s easy for gods sake – after the big fight resolve, we see a figure get out of a limo and walk slowly down the street reverse, cut to clark flying he sees something – hero shot clark flies down lands in front of him, smiling but looking very serious – reveal rosenbaum
      LL: Hi. Who the hell are you?
      CK: A friend.
      cut to Rosenbaum, impossibly complex emotions playing accross his face.
      cut to CK:
      CK: I’ll see you around.
      Superman launches into the air, cut to arial rverse rosenbaum looking up with a thoughtful expression
      CUT to final hero shot tom welling arcing into the atmosphere.

      • sublime

        wtf did you just write? I couldn’t make any sense of it.

      • layla

        No need for a conversation … final scene Ck flying off into the distance after doing something heroic like saving a kitten, who knows …camera pans down to black limo pulling up to the daily planet, the chaufer opens the door to Lex he steps out looks at the sky and removes his sunglasses w/ a smirk. Show over and leaves it open for another tv movie

    • Alex

      Not only should he do it to show appreciation for the fans and the producers for his success, but he should do it for himself, to reinforce his own part of the success of the show. If he isn’t there at the end, it will be like he wasn’t part of what made the show a hit, which isn’t true at all. I hope Michael Rosenbaum changes his mind on this or the producers offer him more $$$

  • Will


    • Lex Express

      You have to go back Rosenbaum, YOU HAVE TO GO BAAAAAAACK!!!!

      • Fanatic

        Um, wrong show. This isn’t Lost

      • Stephen


      • Just sayin

        Well played. Fanatic .. it’s called a sense of humor.

  • Bruce

    It’s good to see as his career continues to not soar, he will not return for a single episode to the fans who dedicated so much to him.

    • Jen E.

      Exactly. David Boreanaz he is not.

      • LAJackie

        Or George Clooney he is not.

    • Bob

      Help you I can, yes.
      — Yoda

    • Jason

      Not to mention…think of the total disrespect Michael is showing to all of his former castmates and crew. What a selfish, insensitive tool. In showbiz, it never pays to burn a bridge…and MR is showing you up-close exactly why that is. The fan backlash will be brutal and never-ending.

      • Lisa

        I wholeheartedly concur.

    • Matt

      Maybe one of the producers told him that they’d kill him off if he didn’t perform oral sex on them?

      Would YOU return?

  • tara

    he just needs to put on a skin cap and appear for like the last ten seconds, just arriving in metropolis at the very end then the screen goes black, i mean that doesn’t seem to hard

    • whereisit

      That would mean he cares about the Show and Fans, which he does not.

      • exactly


      • Matt

        I think it’s more like his fans don’t care about him enough to respect him beyond one role on a dying show

  • Idviceroy

    We want Lex! We want Lex!

  • Jack Tor s

    Nice move Michael. Even Brenda came back to visit 90210. There’s always “Sorority Girls 2″… oh wait, there isn’t.

    • Elle

      It’s Sorority Boys…just saying.

    • jordan


  • Jodi

    I’m liking Michael Rosenbaum less and less for letting his fans not to mention the show that got his career (what there is of it now) off the ground, down this way.

    • whereisit

      Maybe he thinks since he doen’t have a career anymore, he doesn’t owe Smallville anything?

      • rayna

        Oh snap.

  • David

    SMALLVILLE made his (somewhat)career, and this is how he thanks the fans who have supported him?! forget Michael Rosenbaum!!!

  • Quinten

    This really pisses me off seeing as how the only reason I started watching this show was because of him

  • Josh

    Aww…That sucks. Kristen Kreuk came back and she’s arguably more in demand than he is and had more to lose(it wasn’t like like people loved Lana like they do Lex).

    Talk about biting the hand that feeds.

    • Large Marge

      That hand stopped feeding him years ago. It’s not his fault that Smallville dragged on for 10 years. Just go read some fanfiction or something.

      • Mike

        True….but coming back for one episode? Come on!

    • Whatever

      Kristen Kreuk came back because she was contractually obligated, dear.

    • Carrie

      Kristin had a contract to fill, but she always said if asked she would probably come back for the finale. But we’ll never know because they wanted to secure Lex for the finale before they got Lana, so Michael kind of made sure she couldn’t do her “where are they now” Lana shot at the end in addition to not giving us Lex’s.

    • Pat

      I did like Lana and would like to see what she is up to these days. Since CK and Lois are finally on the right track, it would be ok. There have been so many mean-spirited comments made about Lana that the powers that be and KK herself probably figure that it’s better to leave it be. But Lex is another story and needs to be there one way or another, preferably played by MR (boo) – not the back of some bald guy’s head or some other cheesy thing. Damn you Michael, damn you!

  • M

    So what…who cares? Let it go..’Smallville’ does not need him

    • whereisit

      agreed, they have proven that by having some of thier Best seasons since he left.

      • Justin

        definitely, I just finished season 9 and it was bloody brilliant

      • Justin

        that being said, I miss his extra long sport jackets

  • darklady65

    bleh good riddance this particular fan has not missed him at all what so ever. he doesn’t want to come back then good we don’t need his arrogant ass. if it wasn’t for the show he wouldn’t be where his at now.

    but meh again i can careless about him so no loss for my part. cassidy freeman has done more than a good job replacing him so whatever. besides i tune in for Clark Kent/Superman since it is his show after all. and i don’t need to see lex in order to know that he will be there in superman’s future so yeah whatever.

    • Lola

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t miss Lex. I got pretty tired of the character in later seasons. I can understand why Rosenbaum has chosen not to come back.

  • ani

    agree with all above posts. this is a very lame move on rosenbaum’s part. what exactly is the harm in another paycheck and a bit of closure for the series that got him recognized?

    • Melissa

      Agreed. I had NO clue who Rosenbaum was before Smallville.

  • Kalie

    I’m starting to think this guy is a jerk. No one would even know who he is if it weren’t for “Smallville”. Why can’t he put on a bald cap and film a short scene for the finale? That’s not asking much. Doesn’t he have any appreciation for the fans or the people who employed him for 7 years? I, personally, don’t even care if he appears in the final episode or not. I think they’ve already come up with a very clever way to include Lex and Lionel in the final season.

    • Carrie

      He doesn’t even have to wear a bald cap! The producers want him to have hair.

  • Kristin

    I can only hope this is something to throw us off track so when we see him in the final we lose our minds.

    • Jor_El

      Offer him BIG $$$$ and he’ll return!

    • Carly

      That’s what I was thinking. A big ol PSYCHE moment.

    • Jenny

      Oh how I wish you were right, but I just don’t think that’s what is happening.

    • RaWeezy

      i hope your right Kristin

    • Melissa

      Well, Michael always was a prankster, maybe this is all a big joke.

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