When Brandon Routh didn’t reprise his role as Superman following his initial turn as the character it looked like that would be the end of the line for the actor taking on the comic book icon. But this is a new world order when it comes to characters, actors, timelines, and universes. This is why it wasn’t all that surprising he got back into the Superman action in a totally different world. And now, it looks like that is going to continue with insider Daniel Richtman reporting that Routh will be returning to the CW as Superman going forward.
The CW has significantly expanded its Arrowverse franchise over the years, growing it to more than a few successful shows with even some movie plans in the mix. And in that world, they originally brought Brandon Routh into the mix but as a different character, The Atom. This was part of the initial plan for the actor to take on a new comic book persona with a totally different background and set of powers. But the ulterior (or intended) motive was to also have him step back into the blue suit and red cape as well. That happened with the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” storyline that has been threaded throughout the Arrowverse over the last couple of years.
Whether the CW wants to bring back Brandon Routh to the Superman role permanently isn’t totally clear. Of course, to do so they would have to establish another, or continuing alternate timeline because the franchise currently has Tyler Hoechlin in the Clark Kent role on Superman & Lois. Bringing Routh more permanently into different plot arcs would involve some parallel universe heavy lifting in an ongoing way. In this vein, it remains to be seen just how they plan to incorporate the actor in the role moving forward.
If all of this character swapping, doubling and movement is confusing, it’s not just you. In the current world of comic book movies and series literally, everything is on the table when it comes to past and current iterations of the *same* character. Bringing on Brandon Routh to play two different characters, The Atom and Superman, in the same set of shows while there were actually other Superman(s) present (Hoechlin as well as Tom Welling reprising his role from Smallville) would have seemed like confusing folly years ago. Now, this stuff is just standard practice and something that nearly every franchise uses to bring more characters (past and present) into the fold.
Brandon Routh originally played the character in Superman Returns which marked a breakout for the actor. But the franchise never continued on past that movie and Routh’s career did plateau some. But having him get back into the comic book mix and ultimately back to his Kryptonian roots is such a cool turn of events. And it’s exciting to think about it continuing into the future on the CW. While there are no firm plans for when we will see Routh as The Atom or Superman, it’s clear he has a major role in this franchise moving forward.