TV Guide – Fasten your geekbelts—it’s gonna be a big night in Smallville!
“All those rumors about a Smallville movie are finally true,” exclaims exec producer Kelly Souders of the nine-year-old show’s first-ever two-hour event, Absolute Justice. And to guarantee fans a full dose of awesome, the powers that be have come up with a story sure to send fans into a DC Comics–induced frenzy.
“It’s the arrival of the Justice Society of America,” Souders says of the wow-filled flick, which brings Hawkman (Michael Shanks), Stargirl (Britt Irvin), Doctor Fate (Brent Stait) and some hush-hush cameos to Metropolis. But even though we’re talking about legends with a 70-year history, these do-gooders won’t be making the best first impression. Especially after Chloe (Allison Mack) has a tragic run-in with a former JSA member and madman Icicle (Wesley MacInnes), which clues Clark (Tom Welling) and his fledgling Justice League in to the fact that they aren’t the only ones out to save the world. “None of our characters knew that a society [of heroes] had existed before them,” explains Souders’ fellow exec producer Brian Peterson. “They thought they were the pioneers.”
While Peterson promises the new icons in town will ultimately “galvanize” Clark’s fractured band of besties, don’t expect everyone to make nice at first. As DC diehards know, there’s no love lost between Hawkman and Green Arrow. “These two guys do not get along,” says Justin Hartley, confirming that his Emerald Archer and the Winged Warrior will throw down early on. “Hawkman kind of has his way with him, and Oliver is not going to let that go too easily,” he says with a laugh. “But throughout the show, they sort of develop an understanding of each other…there’s like a bromance, you know?”
Well, hug it out fast, fellas, because there’s more than just egos and outlandish costumes at stake here. “The JSA has been disbanded for quite some time, for various reasons that are uncovered in the episode,” explains Geoff Johns, the comic-book wunderkind who penned the TV-movie. “Now someone is targeting them, so Clark and his team of heroes [have to] get involved.” That involvement, which will feature some patented meddling by Lois (Erica Durance) and the return of Phil Morris’ John Jones/Martian Manhunter, eventually leads the teams to the season’s newest baddies—the alien-hunting agency Checkmate and its ferocious leader, Amanda Waller (played by The L Word’s Pam Grier, making her first appearance in this new recurring role).
Along the way, Johns promises moments that, “if you’re a JSA fan, will be things you never thought you’d see on TV,” and a second-hour showdown that sounds like a comic-book battle royale. “At one point, you get to see all of us doing the things we do,” Hartley says. “Clark’s superspeeding, Hawkman’s doing his thing with the mace, Stargirl is doing flips and stuff, Oliver is shooting his arrows…it all takes place at once. It’s a firefight with superheroes!”
Off camera, things were just as explosive, as the entire Smallville crew took action to make the movie happen, including Tom Welling, who directed the second half. “He is extremely gifted,” says Hartley of his costar’s helming chops. “He has vision, knows what he wants…and at the same time, he’ll ask for help if he needs it. He’s a pleasure to work for.” Adds Johns, “To have Tom come in and do the second hour was great. He’s been on the show the whole time, so it’s cool to see how he approaches the material.”
But what may be the coolest is hearing that Justice has been an absolute labor of love. “The fans have invigorated everyone who has anything to do with this show on such an intense level,” says Souders. “We all wanted to try and see what we could do.”
Smallville: Absolute Justice airs Friday, February 5, 8/7c, The CW.