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Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 2 Reveals the Future of Smallville's Clark Kent

Jon Cryer says he did not attempt to fill Michael Rosenbaum's shoes

Lindsay MacDonald

The moment we've been waiting for all year (and some people have been waiting eight years for) finally arrived in Monday's episode of this year's Arrowverse crossover, Crisis on Infinite Earths. While some members of the team journeyed to the Lazarus Pit to attempt to resurrect Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), who died in the first hour, and others sought out a very dark version of the Batman, Clark (Tyler Hoechlin), Lois (Bitsie Tulloch), and Iris (Candice Patton) ventured to Smallville's Earth to save Tom Welling's Clark Kent from becoming Lex Luthor's (Jon Cryer) latest victim.

In what executive producer Marc Guggenheim dubs one of his favorite scenes from Crisis on Infinite Earths,Supergirl's Lex goes up against a powerless Superman. That's right, you didn't misread that: Clark revealed that since we last saw him on Smallville he gave up his powers and retired the supersuit to spend his days on the Kent farm with Lois (Erica Durance) and their daughters. Though we only saw him for a short time on the farm, Batwomanexecutive producer Caroline Dries says a lot of thought went into how and where to catch up with Welling's iconic iteration of Superman.

"We had conversations about how to best see Tom again, and we knew that we really wanted Brandon Routh as Clark Kent in The Daily Planet," Dries told reporters at a press screening of Crisis on Infinite Earths. "So I think the Tom Welling Clark Kent that we all kind of picture, when we think of him, is Clark on the farm. So it made sense, and the farm is still there, and Tom was joking when he was there like, 'Oh, that cow recognizes me!' So it all felt very, you know, 10 years ago in a great way. To us it just felt natural. That's kind of his natural environment where we see him."

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As for how Welling reacted to learning how this Arrowverse crossover would portray Clark, he was in full support of showing Clark as a family man without his powers.

"Honestly, he was terrific," said Guggenheim of his reaction. "You know, we got on the phone with him and basically pitched him everything and actually, the scene that Don [Whitehead] and Holly [Henderson] wrote was already done. So we just emailed it to him and he's like, 'I love this... You guys have basically written the one scene that I can't say no to,' which was really, really nice."

​Tom Welling, Crisis on Infinite Earths

Tom Welling, Crisis on Infinite Earths


The one thing missing from this pit stop in Smallville was, of course, Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor. The actor announced earlier this year that he declined an offer to take part in Crisis, leaving Supergirl's Jon Cryer to take up the mantle of Lex Luthor again -- a responsibility he said he approached with great care.

"I really wanted to tread lightly because I loved Smallville, and I thought it was beautifully done and really changed how you could treat superhero characters on television," Cryer told TV Guide. "And Michael Rosenbaum's an amazing Lex Luthor. Those are shoes I cannot fill, so I do not attempt to fill them. This is a very different Lex that Tom Welling is meeting. We even say so in the scene! He's like, 'You're not Lex.' [...] He and I were dying [laughing] during it. There's actually an even funnier version on the cutting room floor. But no, we had a great time, and I could tell that he was enjoying being back."

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But if you're worried this is the last you'll see of Lex, think again. Cryer said he'll be back, and although he wouldn't reveal exactly why the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) brought the character back to life, he did hint that the true reason for it has yet to be revealed.

"What's crazy is... he still doesn't become important for the reason you think he's going to become important. It's for an entirely different thing," Cryer teased. "I can tell you there is more of him to come, and it gets worse. As annoyed as you are with him so far, it gets even worse."

That certainly sounds ominous! At this point, we're going to keep an eye on Lex Luthor, since he could end up being a bigger threat than the Anti-Monitor with the ways things have been going.

Crisis on Infinite Earths continues The Flash on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 8/7c. The event will then return after the winter hiatus for its conclusion with back-to-back episodes of Arrow and DC's Legends of Tomorrow on Tuesday, Jan. 14 starting at 8/7c.

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)

​Tyler Hoechlin, Candice Patton, and Elizabeth Tulloch, Crisis on Infinite Earths

Tyler Hoechlin, Candice Patton, and Elizabeth Tulloch, Crisis on Infinite Earths