OG: Are Tom Welling and Allison Mack already signed on for a Season Nine?
BP: Allison is. And we are very hopeful for Tom.
OG: He'd be the one person that...
BP: Yeah, he's pretty pivotal. The other person I haven't mentioned is obviously Green Arrow and Justin (Hartley). We were sad that some of his other projects didn't work out, but we were so excited to have him. We've been wanting to have him as a season regular for a while. That's a really nice change this year.
OG: I liked him in Aquaman. I was really surprised that didn't become a show.
BP: Yeah, that was in that transition from WB to CW. There was a lot that happened. He was amazing in it, and he brings so much to the character of Green Arrow. He's a great character for us because he has such a different take on everything than Clark. So he can really push Clark in ways that I think a lot of the other characters can't.
OG: Is Aaron Ashmore also signed on for Season Nine?
BP: Yes, I believe so. I believe we have most of the cast.
OG: Last season ended with Lex and Clark's confrontation in the Fortress of Solitude. It seems like by the end of the season, every single cast member had been there. Could you still call it "The Fortress of Solitude?"
BP: There's not much solitude there anymore.
OG: More like, "The Fortress of Dramatic Confrontation"?
BP: Yes, exactly. A lot of people know it, though a lot of those people are no longer with us, or saw it some kind of a dream or while they were possessed. Other people that are still around -- Martha's in Washington and Chloe is another person who still knows it exists.
OG: Is it gone for good, then?
BP: Oh... ahhh... I don't want to give too much away, but it will definitely play a role this season.
OG: Obviously, Lex and Clark's confrontation was a cause of the collapse, but could global warming have also played a part?
BP: I would say it's probably based much more in Jor-El and his plans for Clark. As much as we'd like to be green, we didn't go that green, unfortunately.
OG: I don't keep up with spoilers, generally, but I did read that at the beginning of the season, other cast members would be looking for Clark and that he'd be missing for some period of time. Are people going to think to search in the gay bars of Metropolis?