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

Comics2Film/CBR News chatted with "Smallville" producer/writerAlfred Gough yesterday about the wind-down to the second season of the show.Gough and partner Miles Millar reinvented Superman for modern audiences and madeit The WB Network's best performing series.

C2F asked Gough if fans should look for a cliffhanger that will rival lastseason's tornado-powered blowout.

"I think they can because I think what will happen this year is really goingto send the characters spinning into different directions that really set thetable for season three," Gough said. "Certain questions will be answered but biggerquestions will arise out of the season finale.

In that respect I think you'llget a much bigger bang for your buck. But it won't be like season one to seasontwo where season two picked up three minutes after season one, this will bethree months will have passed but there are definite cliffhangers and you're notsure what's going to happen as you go into season three."

Fans who tune in for the season finale will hear a Kryptonian voice, otherthan Clark's, for the first time in the series run.

"We're going to hear Jor-El's voice, andit's going to be an actor who's meaningful to Superman fans," Gough said."I won't tell youwho it is, but any self-respecting Superman fan should be able to name thatactor once they hear the voice."

In the previous movie franchise, Jor-El (played by Marlon Brando) appearedand spoke to Clark via a kind of Kryptonian crystal. Gough reports that the"Smallville" team will put its own spin on the communication.

"Ithink the wonderful thing about that movie is that you definitely felt aconnection between those two characters, between Jor-El and Kal-El," Goughsaid. "I think it'strying 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 onthe 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 inthe realm of the fantastic but we always try to emotionally ground thestories," Gough told C2F. "That's certainly been a challenge thisseason, but to us, it's always about making the sci fi elements more spiritualthan sort of technical or mechanical.

"It's hard. It's a definite balancing act. When you really sort of delveinto...we call it the mythology crack pipe. They're always fun to do but youalways 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 ofseason two is, 'Where am I from,' I think the question of season threeis 'Where am I going,'" Gough told us. "Now that you have all this information, what doyou do with it? Which quite frankly brings us back to Earth, because Krypton'sgone."

Gough said that the creative minds behind the show hope to pull in additionalcharacters from the comics, including one much-rumored guest star.

"We're certainly going to make a concerted effort to get Bruce Wayne on theshow. I know I've been saying that for two years but we really are," Goughsaid. 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 theSuperman universe a bit as well."

However, most of the major villains from the comics are earmarked for thefeature film franchise. For now, the mandate is that Clark be the onlyKryptonian character in the skein. "You won't see General Zod or anyone like that, oreven the Eradicator."

Some fans may hope that "Smallville" dovetails into the feature film world itself, but Gough said that he and Millar havehad no real conversation about that with the studio.

In the coming weeks, fanswho have access to AOL will get an additional dose of "Smallville" inthe form of "The Chloe Chronicles," a series of shorts featuringseries co-star Allison Mack. . The video shorts were written by online producer MarkWarshaw.

"We thought it would be an interesting way to expand not only the mythology ofthe show, but for fans to see what Chloe does," Gough said. Chloe is anoriginal character created for the series as a sort of guide through themysterious of Superman's home town. "We thought it would be fun to expand on that in away, nowhere near as technically well, but the way that the 'Animatrix' moviesenhanced what I'm sure will be in 'The Matrix' sequels. A fun way to take themythology and explore it a little further."

"We love Allison and Chloe's such a terrific character and all of theseKryptonite 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 inbig-screen superheroes, having worked on "Spider-Man 2." They werealso recently hired to write a script for Marvel's "Iron Man." Weasked 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 verywell. Miles and I are writing the script now," Gough said. "We'recertainly having a good time doing it."

He also added, jokingly, "We certainly hope Marvel, one of thesedays, will have a hit. I hope one of these days one of these superhero moviesworks."

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