Justin Hartley On Smallville's 300-Flavored Fight to the Death: Fans Are Gonna Go, 'Whoa!'

This Friday on Smallville (The CW, 8/7c) Clark’s journey toward his destiny takes a detour when a most unexpected reappearance by General Slade necessitates a trip to the Phantom Zone. Clark, though, doesn’t go it alone –- rather, he gets an unsolicited assist from Oliver. But could Green Arrow have missed the mark by deciding to tag along? Especially when a revenge-thirsty Zod (guest star Callum Blue) takes the gents prisoner?

Justin Hartley, who directed the action-packed hour, shared with TVLine how he got several super assists in his debut behind the camera, previews how things will end for Oliver and Chloe, and IDs the choice keepsake he wasn’t able to grab after shooting the series finale.

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TVLINE | So tell me, what brings Oliver to the Phantom Zone?
Basically what happens is Oliver worms his way in – literally, through a wormhole! Clark winds up in the Phantom Zone, looks up, and there’s Oliver: “What, are you kidding me?! You can’t be here!” Their friendship is put on the line, and tested…. I can’t tell you exactly how, but there’s a moment where you’re literally going to drop your drink and go, “What… the… f–?!”

Watch the heroes arrive in the Phantom Zone:

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TVLINE | I guess Oliver and Chloe have an “open” marriage, that he can run off to a cosmic wormhole at a moment’s notice.
[Laughs] “Hey, I’m going into this wormhole, I’ll be back for dinner!” I think she probably is of the understanding that he’s not a typical 9-to-5er.

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TVLINE | What surprised you most about your directing experience?
I don’t know why I was surprised, since I know these people, but I was surprised by how much help everyone was. Tom [Welling], Erica [Durance], Cassidy [Freeman], the DP, my AD, the writers….  [Executive producers] Brian [Peterson] and Kelly [Souders] came to set, and they really don’t have to do that. They can kind of just go, “Here, do your thing,” but they worked hard to make sure that I was successful. Tom was really great in letting me do a couple of things with him, and as a result there are moments where Smallville fans are going to go, “Whoa!” I was like, “Hey, dude, will you wear this? Can I get you to do this?” And he did everything. I owe him a lot. But that’s just how all those people are – the grips, the prop guys making sure the blood was perfect, everyone making sure that I would be seen in the best light I could be seen in. It was touching, really.

TVLINE | The promos suggest a 300-style look to the action sequences. Was that something you had in mind, or did it come from the producers?
I’m glad that you saw that because it is something I had in mind. We had this unbelievable DP with a really great eye, so I knew I was in good hands there, but because of the budget we came up short on the whole weapons thing. I’m sitting there going, “We have a gladiator episode, what are we supposed to do, step into the arena and argue with each other? ” So one of the guys had this brilliant idea. [The 2006 Zack Snyder film] 300 was a Warner Bros. production, and we got a ton of stuff from them to use — the masks, the armor…. And then our wardrobe lady built this other stuff out of, like, hockey gear. It turned into something a lot bigger than it was originally.

TVLINE | Looking ahead, what are Oliver and Kara (Laura Vandervoort) up to in next week’s episode, “Prophecy”?
They are caught up in trying to figure out why each other is looking for the Bow of Orion [which Oliver believes will remove the Omega symbol from his skull]. Then they sort of realize that they should pool their resources and try to find it together.

TVLINE | With Allison Mack back for the series finale (airing May 13), will we get a sense of what Oliver and Chloe have been up to as marrieds… and what destiny awaits them?
Yeah, it’s all wrapped up really, really nicely – and it sort of sets [their romance] apart from what you’ve read in the comics. You’re not going to watch it and go, “Oh, this doesn’t make any sense because of what I’ve read in the comics.” It’s a separate story that allows the comics to breathe kind of their own life. It’s not something that contradicts all the mythology.

TVLINE | What keepsake did you grab before leaving Smallville for good?
You mean, did I steal anything?

TVLINE | “Steal” is a strong word. Thought maybe you’d grab the random bow, arrow….
No, no…. What I wanted was to take the one Green Arrow suit that I wore and auction it off for charity, but I think that’s been put in an archive. I took a bunch of production stills, and I got a really great gift from the producers after directing “Dominion” – it’s like a movie slate in a frame. But no, I didn’t really take much.

TVLINE | And any plans for the summer?
No, I’m just going to chill out, look for something good and play it by ear!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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20 Comments
  1. laz says:

    so i guess all zods scenes are in the zone and no scenes with lois or tess i think i will just skip this eps and watch next week.it’s bad that a eps that marks ed 100 eps and she is sidelined for jh she is the only one they would do that to they would not do that to mr js aot kk or eney one of the cast very sad matter of fact i think i will skip all the eps and see how things turn on the net and see if i want to buy the dvd’s latter if lois and clark don’t get marred i wont buy the dvd set matter of fact i will go disc killing with the ones i have.

    • TW fan says:

      Lois is in the episode so WTH are you talking about? Geez…boohoohoo.

      • Jeremy says:

        No scenes with Lois and Tess so you’ll not watch the show?

        WOW. Go watch Gossip Girl or 90210. Seems those shows are the only ones I deem you worthy of you worthless piece of junk.

    • Carrie says:

      Talk about dramatic. You haven’t even seen the episode and you’re already judging it? I know that Lois is, in fact, in this episode and I believe Tess is as well. A lot of us happen to be excited about Zod’s return and this actually sounds like an awesome episode. If you want to skip it, that’s your loss.

  2. Lucy says:

    Thanks Matt! Great article. Justin is funny. lol

  3. Stephanie says:

    Can I say, I don’t mind at all if “Chlollie” contradicts mythos? As a comics fan, let me say I found that relationship so refreshing and I hope they are each other’s ‘destiny’ on the show. I separate the show from the comics- it’s its own thing, so I hope the writers don’t slap the face of the fans who were thrilled by the union of Chloe and Oliver in Fourtune to just see it ripped away due to “mythos”

    And this comes from a huge Birds of Prey fan (who, admittedly, am happy that Dinah and Ollie divorced in the comics- I didn’t care for them at all. But I love me some Chloe and Oliver, Smallville-style!)

    I hope I won’t be disappointed. I watch this show for all characters, but I loved Chloe for 10 years, and I love her with Oliver so I don’t see why the writers can’t bend the “rules”.

    • CAQ says:

      I agree with you 100%!!!!

    • laz says:

      yes they the the number one relationship on smallville brain and kelly made sure of that you should just make the superman comic to the chole and olviler comic cause you know they are it they just scewed the comics bad last time i looked it was clarks show not the chole and olviler or am i wrong by watching smallville i just can’t tell eneymore who’s show it is looks like the guest stars show to me they get tell how the story is told at the end of the day just go ask JS aka pa the baby kent who will hold clarks hand at the end and take the pampers of him so he can have his suit what a way end the chole and olviler show scew the comics right.

    • Carrie says:

      I wouldn’t really mind it, either, if Oliver and Chloe were still together in the finale. He could end up with Canary eventually, but Oliver and Chloe make a great couple at this point in their lives. I don’t think “Smallville” has to stick to the comics completely because they’ve already done their own thing. The show is separate from the comics.

    • arrowRK says:

      I hope those two get ripped up very NICELY and very strongly too. I hope they slap those chlollie fans on both sides and not once, not twice but lots of times. They deserve it more than any fanatics I know on the internet, they deserve it better than anyone.

      Even if they bent the rules it will always be a LIE, deep down they know it, they just need to stop wasting our time and go ahead with it.

  4. Gavin says:

    Cue “How dare they focus on General Zod, Clark, and Green Arrow when the whole of the rest of the show should be scenes of Clark and Lois kissing. Who cares if Callum Blue is a wonderful actor, and they bring back a memorable villain and wrap up last seasons story arc??? All I want is Lois. What’s wrong with the writers? Can’t they see we are the true fans. I will boycott this until the wedding.”

    I wish I was exaggerating!

    This looks to be an epic episode.

    • Jeremy says:

      Haha agreed. All the fans that just want to see Clark and Lois kissing are watching the wrong show.

      There are such things as soap operas- something they should be watching – NOT SMALLVILLE!

  5. Erica says:

    So want a Green Arrow spin off series!!!!! Who’s with me? Love Justin, love that charater and it would give the Smallville family guest appearance possibilities!

    • Carrie says:

      Oh, I would love it if they did a spin-off. I’m not ready to let go of “Smallville” and I think Justin Hartley is terrific.

  6. Bruce Wayne says:

    I agree with @Gavin 100%.
    most fans that are female only want lois and kal el making out. Forget that theres villians running around pfft. Hope theres tons of fights.

    • Jeremy says:

      “most fans that are female only want lois and kal el making out. Forget that theres villians running around pfft. Hope theres tons of fights.”

      Wow great to see there are sensible people! I thought this comments section would be flooded by annoying Clark/Lois kissy kissy fans – but I have been proved wrong.

      Thank YOU! And please donate some of your common sense to those annoying people!

    • Shalla Bal says:

      Let’s see if I’m following this…so *all* females have the same viewing preferences, and if fans enjoy romance on Smallville, that means they must undervalue the action and mythology? WOW. Just…wow.

  7. Mariah says:

    I have only to say that Chloe & Oliver are perfect together. This couple is puere gold. I love Chlollie !!!

  8. LadyArrow says:

    I hope so much that the writers don’t screw up the CHOLLIE love affair..
    Allison/Chloe and Justin/Oliver are the soul of the show and togheter are the best couple of SV!!If the intention is to match the comic with the series .. the solution can not be a separation between the two ..But rather that Chloe becomes BlackCanarin (replacing the first)or that Oliver is no longer GreenArrow.
    This is the only solution that I can accept!CHOLLIE FOR LIFE

    • Arrowrk says:

      More and more puke inducing theories, first CHLOIS theory now BlackCa….whatever. You chloe fans never seem to amaze me with your BS. Oliver Queen will always be green arrow, Dinah lance and probably any of her female descendents will always be Black canary, chloe sullivan will always be an outsider and a nobody in the comics. That is the whole she bang right there, its hurts but DEAL WITH IT!!.

      You have the right to freak out because this is the last time Chloe sullivan will be of any significance in any incarnation of the comics!, the last time she will ever get to be in the presence of the all awesome Green Arrow and his comic buddies.

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