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Brandon Routh Thought He’d Play Superman for Years, Then ‘Superman Returns’ Bombed

The actor will get to put on the Superman costume one more time in an upcoming Arrowverse crossover on The CW.

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Warner Bros/Dc Comics/Kobal/Shutterstock (5886169by)Brandon RouthSuperman Returns - 2006Director: Bryan SingerWarner Bros/DC ComicsUSAScene StillAction/Adventure

“Superman Returns”

Warner Bros/Dc Comics/Kobal/Shutterstock

One of the biggest news bits out of Comic-Con 2019 day two is Deadline’s scoop that Brandon Routh will be playing Superman once again in an upcoming Arrowverse crossover on The CW. Routh currently stars on The CW comic book series “Legends of Tomorrow,” but he’ll be donning the Superman costume for a five-night event in December titled “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” Just how Routh’s Superman factors into the story remains a mystery, but the opportunity to step back into the role is not lost on Routh after playing the character only once in “Superman Returns.”

“It’s an opportunity for me to kind of say hello and goodbye to the character in a way I didn’t get to the first time,” Routh told Entertainment Weekly at Cinema-Con. “Being a young individual of 24, 25, I thought, ‘Oh, I’m going to do this for years and make multiple movies.’ And that of course didn’t happen. I’m just very honored to be able to do this one last time.”

Bryan Singer cast Routh as Superman for the 2006 comic book tentpole “Superman Returns.” The cast also included Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor. James Marsden, Frank Langella, Parker Posey, and Kal Penn also starred. Warner Bros. had hoped the film would launch a new Superman film series after decades spent trying to develop one (ideas from Tim Burton and more all got shelved).

Unfortunately, “Superman Returns” suffered at the box office and couldn’t crack $400 million worldwide. The movie tapped out at $200 million at the domestic box office, far below its reported $270 million production budget. While reviews weren’t terrible, many critics dinged Singer and screenwriters Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris for rehashing a lot of the same territory explored in Richard Donner’s 1978 “Superman.”

Warner Bros. had dated a “Superman Returns” sequel for 2009 before the film even opened. Routh had signed up for a multi-picture deal, while Singer was expected to return to helm the sequel. The studio canceled the sequel after being underwhelmed by the box office for “Superman Returns” and decided to instead reboot the Superman character for another movie, Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel.”

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