Michael Rosenbaum Won’t Reprise ‘Smallville’ Lex Luthor Role in Arrowverse Crossover ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ — Here’s Why

Michael Rosenbaum, the actor who played Lex Luthor opposite Tom Welling’s Clark Kent aka Superman (these other actors came very close to playing the iconic superhero) in Smallville — a series that ran for an astounding 10 years from 2001 to 2011 — recently announced he wouldn’t be reprising his role in The CW’s newest crossover, Crisis on Infinite Earths. Learn why he chose not to revisit the character ahead.

What is ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’?

Based on comic books of the same name, Crisis on Infinite Earths features multiple DC characters including those from Smallville and Supergirl who will all have their stories connected across a number of timelines and “Earths.”  

Welling and his Smallville co-star, Erica Durance, who played Lois Lane in The CW’s longest-running superhero program to date, have already been linked to the five-part TV event. 

Why Michael Rosenbaum won’t play Lex Luther again

Fans were hoping they’d get to see Rosenbaum, who played Martinex in 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 according to his IMDb profile, play the iconic character of Luther once again. They wanted Rosenbaum to join Durance and Welling in a Smallville reunion courtesy of the Arroverse crossover. 

But that’s not going to happen. 

Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling in 2003.
Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling of Smallville in 2003 | Kevin Winter/ImageDirect

In a recent tweet, the 47-year-old actor explained why he decided to opt-out of the project, according to Entertainment Weekly

“Friends, many of you have tweeted and asked me about joining the [sic] Infinite Crossover,” Rosenbaum wrote before explaining “straight up” what happened. 

“I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I’ll just be straight up about this. WB called my agents Friday afternoon when I was in Florida visiting my grandfather in a nursing home,” he continued before providing details about the offer he received to play Luther again.

“Their offer: No Script. No idea what I’m doing. No idea when I’m shooting. Basically no money. And the real kick in the a** ‘We have to know now.’ My simple answer was ‘Pass.’ I think you can understand why,” he said. 

When Entertainment Weekly reached out to representatives at WB Television about Rosenbaum’s “offer,” they had no comment. 

Other Lex Luthor actor will appear in crossover event

Just because Rosenbaum won’t play his Smallville version of Luther in Crisis on Infinite Earths, that doesn’t mean the villain won’t appear in the crossover event at all. 

Michael Rosenbaum
Michael Rosenbaum | J. Merritt/FilmMagic

According to Entertainment Weekly, 54-year-old actor, John Cryer, who played the villain in Supergirl, has agreed to reprise the role of Luther in Crisis on Infinite Earths

Versions of other characters will appear in the crossover event too. Tyler Hoechlin and Brandon Routh of Legends of Tomorrow will play their own versions of Superman in the program. 

When will ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ air? 

The Arroverse crossover is set to begin on The CW Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, with Supergirl. Batwoman will follow a day later on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, with The Flash airing on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. After a break for the holiday season, Crisis on Infinite Earths will pick up again with Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.

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