So now it's possible Smallville's upcoming ninth season may not be its last?

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

The fact that The CW's Smallville is entering its ninth season has surprised its producers, let alone the fans. The show, which began with Clark Kent in high school before he became Superman, has morphed into a series with many other popular DC Comics characters in their younger incarnations. Now, Justin Hartley, who plays Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, said reports that the ninth season will be the last may be premature.

"Look, they're so busy right now, they don't know if they're doing one more season or eight more seasons or two more seasons," Hartley said last week at the Saturn Awards in Burbank, Calif. "They have no idea. So we'll see. I've spoken to them a couple weeks ago and had kind of a vague conversation with them about concept and stuff."

Hartley returns to work in July. As season nine begins, Oliver might be doing more harm than good. "I know I'm in the episode," he said. "I know there's a couple of saves gone awry. I think Oliver might be drinking again, which is always fun to play. So we'll see what happens. I'll leave that up to the brain trust."

The show should pick up where the season finale left off, though considering how long its cast has been playing teenagers/young adults, Hartley can't be sure of the timeline.

"I don't know, but I've been going to the gym, and I've been doing a lot of moisturizing, so hopefully not too long [after], because I think actually in season nine, I'm actually going to play a little younger than I did in season eight," Hartley said. "So we'll see. Maybe we actually go back in time. I'd say I'm playing what, 14 or 15 right now, about, roughly. I don't know, maybe a couple months [have passed]."

Smallville will also introduce General Zod this year (played by Callum Blue), but it is too early for Hartley to know if Green Arrow will encounter the iconic supervillain.

"I don't know, we'll see," Hartley said. "I hope so. I always like to work with new actors. We just got this guy. I guess they hired a gentleman a couple days ago, so hopefully. We'll see what happens."

Smallville returns Sept. 25 on The CW and will move to a new timeslot, Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT.