Smallville Showrunners: We couldn’t do this show today

“We were still very privileged to have had that moment where we were actually free to do whatever we wanted.”

Before James Gunn and Peter Safran decided to focus on a young Clark Kent as part of their DC Studios makeover, we had Smallville.

Created by Al Gough and Miles Millar, the young Superman drama starring Tom Welling premiered in 2001 and ran for 10 seasons. Now, Gough and Millar are the team behind Netflix’s smash hit Wednesday, another series that offers a new look at a beloved pop culture fixture. In an in-depth interview with The Hollywood Reporter about the show, they discussed their time working on Smallville.

When asked if they would ever consider revisiting or rebooting the series, the duo agreed: no.

“I think we told that story, and it always refreshes Superman,” Gough said. “I just read last night that James Gunn is writing a new, younger Superman movie and I was like, ‘Okay.’ I feel like we were very, very lucky to do the show when we did it because we had to do the show that we wanted to do and honestly there wasn’t a committee that sat over us and told us what we could or could not do. I mean, we had Warners features that didn’t want to give us certain characters that we wanted, but we had to do the show that we wanted to do, which today we wouldn’t be allowed to do that show.

Millar pointed out that considering how far Smallville has strayed from established Superman canon, “Today we would categorically not be allowed to do this show and make these changes, which is a real tragedy because I think what’s amazing when you look at the history of the comics and these characters is that they keep evolving.

“We were still very privileged to have had that moment where we were really free to do whatever we wanted,” Millar added, “and it was amazing and very liberating.”

And though they laughingly said they have no advice for Gunn as he begins his own Clark-Kent series, they teased another project they’ve long considered.

“We’ve been trying to get a young Miss Marple for a long time and maybe that influenced us with the crime element [in ‘Wednesday’], but it’s certainly something that was intriguing as a character you always see,” Millar said. “I think that was something, seeing her turn into kind of a nosy old lady in Agatha Christie was something we talked about for a while.”

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Lindsay Lowe

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