'Superman Returns' star Brandon Routh talks about how his Man of Steel sequel didn't pan out

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·3-min read
Brandon Routh as Superman in Superman Returns. (Warner Bros.)
Brandon Routh as Superman in Superman Returns. (Warner Bros.)

Brandon Routh has spoken about how his brief tenure as Superman 'fizzled out', along with plans for a sequel.

Routh played Clark Kent in Bryan Singer's 2006 movie Superman Returns, at the time the first since Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Christopher Reeves' last appearance as the Man of Steel.

But as a comeback, it failed to take off, despite a cast including Kate Bosworth, James Marsden, Frank Langella and Kevin Spacey, appearing bald-headed as Lex Luthor.

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Directed by Bryan Singer, and made on a sturdy $200 million-plus budget, it made only $391 million back, which after expenses would have not landed it firmly in profit.

Routh appeared on the latest Michael Rosenbaum podcast (Rosenbaum himself being a former Superman alum, playing Lex Luthor in Smallville), he explained his experience in the cape.

“I would say that the end of my run as Superman in Superman Returns that did not pan out the way I thought it was going to, the way everyone around me thought it was going to,” he said.

Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel in <i>Superman Returns</i>(Warner Bros.)
Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel in Superman Returns(Warner Bros.)

“I had to really come to terms with a lot of that. There was no sequel, the movie was widely well-reviewed, people liked the movie, but it, you know, made almost $400 million worldwide but that wasn’t enough.

“And it was a very slow fizzle out of the possibility of a sequel over the next two, three years and I did everything that I could do, that I thought, in my world to help make it happen.”

Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel in <i>Superman Returns</i>(Warner Bros.)
Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel in Superman Returns(Warner Bros.)

The role wasn't reprised again until 2013, when it was rebooted by Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, with Henry Cavill playing the alien being from the planet Krypton.

Routh went on to guardedly discuss working with Bryan Singer too.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 10: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Brandon Routh visit SiriusXM Studios on December 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
Brandon Routh visit SiriusXM Studios on December 10, 2019. (Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Singer has been accused of sexual abuse and sexual assault by a number of men, and was famously dismissed from working on Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody in 2017.

He has long denied the allegations.

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Routh described him as 'a film genius, but 'not always easy to work with', adding: “We're talking about mental health. Everyone should be seeing a therapist. Everyone has trauma in their life.

Brandon Routh, Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer on the set of <i>Superman Returns</i> (Warner Bros.)
Brandon Routh, Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer on the set of Superman Returns (Warner Bros.)

“He had things in his life which would come up, and he wasn't always the kindest person to everyone. He always put on his best face to me.”

Asked if he witnessed other instances with other people on the movie, Routh replied 'yes'.

Routh has since played Superman, however, in the CW's Arrowverse, as part of the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline.