Superman won't have Lex Luthor to kick around anymore.
Michael Rosenbaum, who has played Clark Kent's antagonist on "Smallville" for the past seven seasons, is leaving the show at the end of the season. In a statement, the actor says he want so "start the next chapter of my life and career."
"I hope that I gave you some enjoyment over the years, and that you found my portrayal of Lex Luthor to be satisfying," the statement says.
Buzz about Rosenbaum's possible departure from The CW's show has been circulating for a while now. The parting appears to be amicable, however, and there's a chance he could return as a guest star next season.
"It has been an honor and pleasure to work with Michael," The CW and the show's producers say. "He is one of the best actors on television and has never failed to bring a new layer to the character of Lex Luthor. While Michael won't be a series regular and we won't have the pleasure of working with him on a weekly basis this fall, we like to think that we haven't seen the last of Lex Luthor."
In the wake of Rosenbaum's departure, "Smallville" will introduce a pair of new villains for Clark (Tom Welling) to battle next season. One will be Doomsday, who in the DC Comics universe (from which the show remains mostly separate) killed Superman. The other will be a "dangerously sinister" woman whom Clark finds irresistible.