After the disappointment of 2006's Superman Returns, Brandon Routh assumed he would never get to play the Man of Steel again. That opportunity arose in The CW's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" event, where Routh played an iteration of his character whose background had taken a dark turn. Influenced by the hit 1997 comic Kingdom Come, the story revealed that The Joker had murdered almost everyone at the Daily Planet in a gas attack, including Lois Lane, and Superman had been forced to live with that tragedy. Unlike in the comics, he didn't retire, and rather than its black background field being a symbol of mourning, in this version Superman explains that the Kingdom Come Superman logo represents that "Even in the darkest times, hope cuts through. Hope is the light that leads us out of darkness."
His take on an older, more haunted Superman who nevertheless remained identifiably Superman rather than disappearing into grief and rage (think Injustice, or season one of Superman & Lois, or the Knightmare scenes in the Zack Snyder movies, connected to many fans. After "Crisis," one of the big questions was whether there was any chance of getting more of Routh's take on the character.
Routh told ComicBook that he would "absolutely" reprise the role as Superman, "given the story is the right story and Superman portrayed in the way that I see Superman. I was absolutely always interested in that. I have made my own investigations about the possibility of something like that. Right now, the truth is that we're flush with Superman stuff, with the success of Superman & Lois -- and Tyler's doing an awesome job on that -- and then there's a couple scripts and stuff going around for features, I think, in different iterations at Warner Bros."
Even if it looks unlikely to happen right now, Routh doesn't rule out the possibility of doing it a few -- or a bunch -- of years down the road. After all, to make him look significantly older for "Crisis," they had to fake the grey hair. It's not like he doesn't have a little margin for error when returning to that version of the character.
"I don't know [what all of the plans are], but Ido know that Flashpoint is coming out and that is opening up that world," Routh said, referring to 2022's film iteration of The Flash, which will bring back Michael Keaton as Batman. "When that happens and with, I suppose, the success of that, that opens up other opportunities. Just like Marc Guggenheim did with 'Crisis on Infinite Earths,' you can have multiple Supermen, and it works. That experiment is actively in process, and hasn't been tested yet on the feature film side, but I think that's what maybe they're gearing up for. It's hard to say what the next few years will bring, but where I used to say, I didn't think I'd ever play Superman again, having been able to play him again in 'Crisis,' now I say, the sky's the limit. Who knows?"
Routh is appearing in the five-part "Armageddon" storyline on The Flash, reprising his role as scientist, superhero, and former Legend ray Palmer. Episodes air on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.