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How Bruce Wayne (Batman) should've come to Smallville, according to Tom Welling & Michael Rosenbaum

Bruce Wayne never made it to the show Smallville, but here's how Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum wanted to introduce him.

Smallville still
Image credit: Warner Brothers Television

Clark Kent teamed up with many iconic DC heroes during Smallville’s 10 season run. However, there’s a particular DC hero the television drama never got around to. On April 2nd, a Smallville cast reunion was held on the Main Stage during the 2023 C2E2 convention. Michael Rosenbaum, Kristin Kreuk, Erica Durance, and John Glover looked back on the legacy of the Superman prequel series and answered some fan questions.

During the discussion, Rosenbaum spoke about one thing he wished the show had gotten around to. “You know, Tom [Welling] brings up something cool. It would’ve been nice if they had introduced Bruce Wayne into the picture. Have it be that Lex was friends with Bruce back in the day. It could’ve been a really cool storyline, where obviously they go their separate ways. But I always thought that would be cool.”

Rosenbaum and Welling aren’t the only ones who wanted to get Bruce Wayne on Smallville. According to an interview with the website Kryptonsite, Smallville creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar spent years trying to get a young Bruce on their show. At the time the request was blocked by Warner Brothers. Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was in development during the run of Smallville, and the studio feared having a version of Bruce Wane on television at the same time would be too confusing for viewers.

This rule, which was playfully called the Bat-Embargo by fans, has been relaxed over the years. Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton will both reprise their roles as Batman in the film Flash. Meanwhile Matt Reeves is still developing his sequel to The Batman, the 2022 film which starred Robert Pattinson. The year 2019 saw three live-action versions of Bruce Wayne on television, with David Mazouz on Gotham, Iain Glen on Titans, and Kevin Conroy on Batwoman.

Although the producers were never able to include Bruce Wayne on Smallville, the character was referenced during the final season. The character Chloe Sullivan referenced another hero out there, who was a “billionaire with high-tech toys.” Bruce Wayne did appear in Smallville: Season 11, the comic book series which served as a continuation of the show. As Rosenbaum predicted, this version of Bruce had a casual friendship with Lex thanks to their shared social circles.

While Welling and Rosenbaum’s idea never came to fruition on the series itself, it’s fun to imagine what could have been.


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Joshua Lapin-Bertone avatar

Joshua Lapin-Bertone

Contributing writer

Joshua is a pop culture writer specializing in comic book media. His work has appeared on the official DC Comics website, the DC Universe subscription service, HBO Max promotional videos, the Batman Universe fansite, and more. In between traveling around the country to cover various comic conventions, Joshua resides in Florida where he binges superhero television and reads obscure comics from yesteryear.

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