Bonkers Smallville Twist Nearly Had One Major Character Becoming Lois Lane

 Erica Durance on Smallville.
Erica Durance on Smallville.
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Smallville, which premiered on The WB in 2001, centered around the adventures of Clark Kent in the eponymous town, years before he would take to the skies as Superman. Series creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar told a number of stories on the show that fell in line with what was established within DC Comics lore. However, the pair did switch up elements here and there. Apparently, at one point, they even considered a bonkers twist involving Lois Lane. Interestingly, the pair once discussed one of the young adult drama’s major characters gradually becoming Lane herself.

Those who watched the series likely know that Erica Durance was introduced as Lois Lane at the beginning of Season 4. It was established early on that this incarnation of the future Daily Planet reporter was the cousin of Clark’s longtime friend and aspiring journalist, Allison Mack’s Chloe Sullivan. However, it seems there was a point early on when the creators considered having Chloe herself become Lois. Some may remember that fan speculation about such a development erupted due to the Season 3 episode, “Delete,” which saw Sullivan use Lane’s moniker as a byline.

Allison Mack on Smallville
Allison Mack on Smallville

Both Al Gough and Miles Millar recently appeared on Smallville cast members Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling’s rewatch podcast, Talkville. It was during the installment that the longtime writing duo addressed the speculation. Millar explained during the chat that they did “talk about” having Chloe become a “proto-Lois” and eventually being forced to change her identity. As Gough went on to discuss, that idea mostly stemmed from their initial inability to use Kal-El’s famous love interest on the show:

The issue, again, was we wanted to get Lois Lane, and they wouldn’t give her to us. Then when she came in in Season 4, there was this huge thing about ‘you can have her for two episodes,’ and then ‘you can have her for three,’ and then ‘you can have her for half the season’ and [Warner Bros. TV head] Peter Roth, to his credit, was like ‘Fuck it. She’s in the show now and she’s just not leaving.’

It’s interesting to hear that the two producers (who currently serve as the EPs of Wednesday) once considered going down the “Chlois” route. However, Alfred Gough did provide some additional context on the matter. Sometime after the Talkville interview, he shared a statement with KryptonSite, clarifying exactly when the idea was discussed:

Chloe Sullivan might be Lois Lane” was considered, and we have an answer: “We discussed it when we were developing the show in mid 2000, but even in the series pitch document Lois was her cousin.

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Tom Welling as Clark Kent in Smallville
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So despite that brief moment in “Delete,” it sounds like by that point, the producers had already decided that “Chlois” was out. It might’ve been interesting to see such a development but, as a fan of the series, I’m glad everything played out as it did. Erica Durance ultimately proved to be an incredible Lois and a great foil to Tom Welling’s “perfect” Clark Kent. The two had strong chemistry, which made the slow-burn romance between their characters feel organic and satisfying. They also reprised their roles in 2020 for the Arrowverse’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, which gave Kent a very surprising ending. Ahead of the episode’s debut, Durance shared a sweet photo from their reunion.

It should also be mentioned that Chloe Sullivan ended up becoming an impactful figure in her own right. And thanks to the work of Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Allison Mack and the writers, Chloe was able to leave her own mark on DC Comics lore. It may ultimately be best that the wild proposed twist didn’t come to be, as fans wouldn't have gotten one less badass woman on the show.

All 10 seasons of Smallville are available to stream with a Hulu subscription, and check out the 2023 TV schedule for information on currently airing shows.