'Smallville' star quits after seven years


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Michael Rosenbaum is leaving CW's Smallville after seven seasons.

The actor, who has played Superman's archenemy Lex Luthor since 2001, said he wanted to start a "new chapter" in his career.

Two new villains are currently being cast for season eight of the show.

Rosenbaum said: "It is time for me to 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 35-year-old revealed last year that he intended to leave at the end of the current run, but executive producers hinted that he may still make the occasional appearance in what is rumoured to be the final season.

They said in a statement: "He is one of the best actors on television and has never failed to bring a new layer to the character of Lex Luthor in every episode. 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."

One of the new villains is Doomsday, who is notorious for being the only character in the DC Comics universe to have killed Superman. The other is an "intelligent, brilliantly manipulative, and dangerously sinister" female villain who is already known to fans and whose mutual attraction to Clark "may prove to be as deadly as kryptonite for him".