Reinventing Smallvile with Soulder & Peterson

Source: CBR
For the past seven seasons, the team of Al Gough and Miles Millar has been the guiding force behind “Smallville,” the show they created, based on the Superman characters of DC Comics. At the end of last season they, along with actors Michael Rosenbaum and Kristin Kreuk, left the show to pursue other endeavors. Stepping into the role of showrunners for the latest and possibly final season of “Smallville” will be four familiar faces to fans of the show: Kelly Souder, Todd Slavkin, Darren Swimmer, and Brian Peterson. Between the foursome, they’ve written over one hundred episodes and have been part of the “Smallville” family since season two. CBR News caught up with the entire team to talk about life in Metropolis and what the future holds for mild mannered Clark Kent, starting with h Kelly Souder and Brian Peterson. Tomorrow we will be concluding our weeklong focus on “Smallville” with producers Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer.

Having the creators and two major cast members the show might leave some fans depressed, but the “Smallville” staff have turned the loss into a new opportunity. “Obviously, we've took some massive hits this year,” Soulder said. “But in a strange way it kind of forced everybody to look at the show differently, which you don't often have an opportunity like that after seven seasons. So it allowed the writers to walk in kind of with a blank slate in some ways and look at how to really reinvent and reinvigorate the show, the characters, the situations, and the relationships. So we're actually all very energized. I haven't seen the writer’s room this energized in a little while, not that they weren't really passionate before, but I think it's just forced everyone to dig deep.”

One of those options is the ability to add new villains like Doomsday. But just because the producers are introducing a new heavy doesn’t mean he’s meant to fill the space that Michael Rosenbaum’s Lex Luthor left behind. “I think the way we approach it is nobody could ever step into Michael Rosenbaum and Lex Luthor's shoes,” Soulder said. “So I think that was the first [thing] when we sat down to really think about the season, about the villains, and who Clark was eventually going to be fighting that was our number one thing: don't try to replace Lex Luthor. There's just no point to it, we can't do it and we would never want to. We honor the character, we honor the actor so much but that said we looked around at who was going to be the biggest villain we could possibly bring in.”

That villain was Doomsday, who comics fans know is the monster that actually killed Superman. But many have already noticed is that the “Smallville” version isn’t exactly the character they remember him to be. “What ‘Smallville’ always tries to do whenever they reinvent something is also try to link up eventually with what happens [in the traditional mythology],” Soulder explained. “You get the sense that is where the character’s going so that everything kind of matches up. Just because he comes onto the scene as like this really great, fun loving, charming paramedic doesn't mean we aren't also trying to figure out how to make sure that he lines up down the road.”

Fans might be worried when they hear words like “reinvigorating” or “reinventing” a classic show or a character, but Peterson and Soulder want to assure the “Smallville” audience that season eight will faithfully continue the series they know and love. “Well, the great thing for the four of us is that since we've been on the show as long as we have, these characters -- it sounds kind of cliché -- but the characters and the world and the show have a life of its own,” Soulder said. “So you can't ever come in and change some things you can't come in and do a ninety degree turn even if that's your intent because the characters are so true to themselves. I think our cast does such an amazing job of embodying the characters that they really live as real people, so when we talk about all the changes its probably more of an evolution than change.”

Read the rest at CBR

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