Voice of Jor-El: Gough talks about 'Smallville' finale

Tue, May 6th, 2003 at 12:00am PDT

TV/Film
Rob Worley, Columnist

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Comics2Film/CBR News chatted with "Smallville" producer/writer

Alfred Gough yesterday about the wind-down to the second season of the show.

Gough and partner Miles Millar reinvented Superman for modern audiences and made

it The WB Network's best performing series.

C2F asked Gough if fans should look for a cliffhanger that will rival last

season's tornado-powered blowout.

"I think they can because I think what will happen this year is really going

to send the characters spinning into different directions that really set the

table for season three," Gough said. "Certain questions will be answered but bigger

questions will arise out of the season finale.

In that respect I think you'll

get a much bigger bang for your buck. But it won't be like season one to season

two where season two picked up three minutes after season one, this will be

three months will have passed but there are definite cliffhangers and you're not

sure what's going to happen as you go into season three."

Fans who tune in for the season finale will hear a Kryptonian voice, other

than Clark's, for the first time in the series run.

"We're going to hear Jor-El's voice, and

it's going to be an actor who's meaningful to Superman fans," Gough said.

"I won't tell you

who it is, but any self-respecting Superman fan should be able to name that

actor once they hear the voice."

In the previous movie franchise, Jor-El (played by Marlon Brando) appeared

and spoke to Clark via a kind of Kryptonian crystal. Gough reports that the

"Smallville" team will put its own spin on the communication.

"I

think the wonderful thing about that movie is that you definitely felt a

connection between those two characters, between Jor-El and Kal-El," Gough

said. "I think it's

trying to find that emotional connection. It's the father and son story again."

Gough said that the challenge with the how remains the same: how to focus on

the emotional development of the characters and still be true to the larger,

more sci-fi elements of the comic book roots.

"When you're dealing with superheroes and space ships, you're always in

the realm of the fantastic but we always try to emotionally ground the

stories," Gough told C2F. "That's certainly been a challenge this

season, but to us, it's always about making the sci fi elements more spiritual

than sort of technical or mechanical.

"It's hard. It's a definite balancing act. When you really sort of delve

into...we call it the mythology crack pipe. They're always fun to do but you

always have to make sure you don't go too far."

So what can fans look forward to in season three of "Smallville?"

"If the question of season one is, 'Who am I' and the question of

season two is, 'Where am I from,' I think the question of season three

is 'Where am I going,'" Gough told us. "Now that you have all this information, what do

you do with it? Which quite frankly brings us back to Earth, because Krypton's

gone."

Gough said that the creative minds behind the show hope to pull in additional

characters from the comics, including one much-rumored guest star.

"We're certainly going to make a concerted effort to get Bruce Wayne on the

show. I know I've been saying that for two years but we really are," Gough

said. As with Clark, this would be a young, pre-Batman Wayne. "We'd also love to see Jimmy Olsen and Perry White and sort of expand the

Superman universe a bit as well."

However, most of the major villains from the comics are earmarked for the

feature film franchise. For now, the mandate is that Clark be the only

Kryptonian character in the skein. "You won't see General Zod or anyone like that, or

even the Eradicator."

Some fans may hope that "Smallville" dove

tails into the feature film world itself, but Gough said that he and Millar have

had no real conversation about that with the studio.

In the coming weeks, fans

who have access to AOL will get an additional dose of "Smallville" in

the form of "The Chloe Chronicles," a series of shorts featuring

series co-star Allison Mack. . The video shorts were written by online producer Mark

Warshaw.

"We thought it would be an interesting way to expand not only the mythology of

the show, but for fans to see what Chloe does," Gough said. Chloe is an

original character created for the series as a sort of guide through the

mysterious of Superman's home town. "We thought it would be fun to expand on that in a

way, nowhere near as technically well, but the way that the 'Animatrix' movies

enhanced what I'm sure will be in 'The Matrix' sequels. A fun way to take the

mythology and explore it a little further."

"We love Allison and Chloe's such a terrific character and all of these

Kryptonite mutations and what role does Luthor Corp have in this."

In the feature film world, Gough and Millar are best knows for the

"Shanghai Noon" movie and sequel. However, they've also had a hand in

big-screen superheroes, having worked on "Spider-Man 2." They were

also recently hired to write a script for Marvel's "Iron Man." We

asked Gough to share some details about that project.

"I can't or Avi Arad will send the X-Men out to kill me. But it's going very

well. Miles and I are writing the script now," Gough said. "We're

certainly having a good time doing it."

He also added, jokingly, "We certainly hope Marvel, one of these

days, will have a hit. I hope one of these days one of these superhero movies

works."

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