Crisis on Infinite Earth's Kingdom Come Superman Had a Major Impact on the Set

The CW's upcoming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" is a crossover that fans of the network's Arrowverse has been waiting for for years. First teased during The Flash's series premiere back in 2014, the event will see the Multiverse's very existence threatened, but it will also see the appearances of many DC favorites as they reprise old roles or take up new ones for moments in the epic five-night event. Among those is DC's Legends of Tomorrow star Brandon Routh who will suit up as Superman again after having played the iconic character in 2006's Superman Returns, this time as the Kingdom Come version of the character. It was thrilling news when it was first announced earlier this year, but it turns out that the reality of Routh's Superman on set was even bigger and better than even the stars of the Arrowverse expected.

Speaking with TV Guide, Arrow's David Ramsey as well as The Flash's Carlos Valdes and Hartley Sawyer all recently revealed just how impressive and awe-inspiring Routh's transformation back into Superman was. All three actors had nothing but praise for seeing Routh's Superman come to life, but they also noted that it wasn't just a matter of Routh looking the part and playing the part. They all said that in a real way, Routh was Superman and had a unique understanding of the iconic character.

"Seeing him in the Superman outfit was just -- everybody just gasped," Ramsey, who plays Arrow's John Diggle, said. "Brandon looked like a Greek God. He looked like 6'6" or 6'7", muscles everywhere, a little grey in his hair. It was just perfect. And he just had this thing about him. His hands were always on his hips. He was golden era Superman... You think about Superman and if you say the words super man -- he looked like a super man... Your eyes just couldn't get off of Brandon."

Valdes, who plays The Flash's Cisco, echoed Ramsey's thoughts about Routh fully embodying the character and becoming "super" himself.

"It was really fun watching Brandon Routh just like flip over and change over from Ray Palmer to being essentially Super-Brandon -- that's we've been calling him," Valdes said. "It's super weird but also really gratifying to watch him play these two characters, you know? It means a lot, not just for the fans and the writers, but also for Brandon himself. I think that's part of what fascinates me about him playing these two characters is that I have to imagine there's a personal component as well. I'm just sort of caught in all the different imaginings of what this must mean for him to revisit that character while also playing out the rest of this character."

For Sawyer, who plays The Flash's Ralph Dibny, it went beyond that. The actor praised Routh's deep understanding of Superman, saying that the actor completely got it.

"That was one of the coolest things that I've ever gotten to do in my life, just seeing [Brandon Routh] walk out in the costume. Like, 'Holy Toledo! That's my guy, that's him,'" Sawyer said. "Brandon has a deep, deep understanding of what Superman really represents and what that character is really about, and to see somebody who plays that character so well and then to learn the understanding that he has and the thought that he's put into it That was really cool. I kind of just bowed down before him because it was like, 'Man, not only are you so good at this, but you get it. You completely get it!'"

Routh first played Superman in Bryan Singer's 2006 film Superman Returns. The version of the character that Routh is playing for "Crisis" comes from Kingdom Come. The iconic Mark Waid and Alex Ross miniseries imagined an older, darker take on the Man of Steel, whose faith in humanity and their reliance on superheroes ultimately gets destroyed. He ultimately retreats to the Fortress of Solitude, returning to reform the Justice League many years later. They construct a prison to gather up the newer, more violent superheroes that have popped up in his absence, which creates a war between the two factions of heroes.

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Kingdom Come Superman has popped up throughout the canon several times in the years since, ultimately last being seen in a 2015 issue of Convergence. In the years since Kingdom Come first debuted in 1996, that take on Superman has become a favorite amongst DC fans, with many eager to see the character adapted to the screen in some way. Fans will finally have that chance with "Crisis."

“Crisis on Infinite Earths” kicks off on Sunday, December 8 on Supergirl, runs through a Monday episode of Batwoman and that Tuesday’s episode of The Flash. That will be the midseason cliffhanger, as the shows go on hiatus for the holidays and return on January 14 to finish out the event with the midseason premiere of Arrow and a "special episode" of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, which launches as a midseason series this year and so will not have an episode on the air before the Crisis.