Brandon Routh on Why the Superman Returns Sequel Didn’t Happen

We may never know how close we came to a Superman Returns sequel, or if we came close at all.

Superman Returns - Brandon Routh as Superman

We’re approaching the 10th anniversary of Superman Returns, and that came nearly 20 years after the character’s previous big screen appearance. Superman Returns failed to ignite the kind of fire at the box office that would have launched a franchise, and despite Bryan Singer making a number of comments that hinted at a more action-oriented sequel (likely featuring Brainiac as the villain) it never materialized, and 2013’s Man of Steel reboot was the result.

While speaking to Brandon Routh by phone about his involvement with Legends of Tomorrow and DC Universe Online, we asked him about how close he came to playing Superman again, and if Warner Bros. ever shared any details about what shape it might have taken.

Watch Superman Returns on Amazon

“It was a long process, the separation from the Superman Returns world and what became Man of Steel,” Mr. Routh said. “There were several conversations with me over the years, but I was never that involved. I heard rumors of what might be, but there was a lot of change happening over at Warner Bros. at that time, so things didn’t fully evolve and escalate and I think that was one of the challenges that potential sequel met with, there was just a lot of shifting going on there.”

So while the actual shape Superman Returns 2 was going to take is likely to remain a mystery, I reminded Mr. Routh that there were lots of fans who would have been glad to see him step into the role again has it worked out. There’s certainly no bitterness on his part. “I thank you for your support,” he said. “Playing Superman meant a great deal to me and so it’s really awesome to still be in that world in a different way, and to be promoting all the greatness of Superman and now Ray Palmer and the Atom through shows like Legends of Tomorrow and being a part of another type of entity that lets people live out their dreams and brings awareness to these characters.”

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