Brandon Routh’s Superman and Michael Rosenbaum’s Lex Luthor didn’t get to have a face-to-face during The CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths adaptation. Rosenbaum turned down an offer and didn’t show, but the two made up for that and had a sitdown in real life.
Routh talked with Rosenbaum on his Inside of You podcast. The two had an approximately 90-minute conversation about life and, of course, Superman and, in particular, Superman Returns was discussed.
Routh revealed it took years for him to lose hope for a sequel. Despite some good reviews, he said, the box office was not enough and things didn’t work out the way everyone thought it would:
“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. 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.”
A sequel to Superman Returns involving Brainiac was proposed but nothing came of it. Had it been greenlit, it likely would’ve hit theaters in 2009.
Luckily, he didn’t turn to drugs over his doldrums like so many others, but Routh had a familiar addiction he used as a “coping mechanism”: gaming. World of Warcraft specifically was his favorite.
Ironically, the actor who took his place, The Witcher and Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill, admitted gaming is his hobby too and it keeps him occupied for hundreds of hours.
In addition, Routh had his wife – Legends of Tomorrow star Courtney Ford – to help him through it all. He related that to Rosenbaum:
“She knew me best then, she knows me best now and so going through that whole trauma of Superman Returns, the end of Superman Returns was a long drawn out process of me in denial for much of it and thankfully, I guess, I didn’t lean on drugs or alcohol, partying. I played World of Warcraft endlessly … it wasn’t helping me. It was a coping mechanism but it wasn’t teaching me things until I finally came, you know, had several experiences where I had to come to terms with that and she was part of that.”
As we know, Routh’s DC fortunes turned around. He was cast as The Atom in the Arrowverse and his wife got to join him on Legends.
Then Superman came calling again and he closed a chapter of his saga in Crisis. It may continue in an HBO Max miniseries, and hopefully, it does.
Routh also chatted with Rosenbaum about ego, overcoming, and purpose. Read the full synopsis for the episode below:
“Brandon Routh (Superman Returns, Scott Pilgrim vs the World) joins us to share the thoughts and feelings on his role as Superman not living up to the expectations that he had hoped for. He opens up on the idea of one’s ego clouding self judgement and how it’s important to pursue balance in life. We talk about deflecting as a defense mechanism, overcoming things not within our control, and our purpose day to day.”
What do you think of Routh’s revelations? And what are your thoughts on Superman Returns or his portrayal? Leave a comment.