The CW's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" Arrowverse crossover event has only aired three of its five parts, but it's already done a lot of things that audiences never expected. The very idea of "Crisis" itself is one that many thought if not impossible then unlikely in a live-action format, but beyond that the event has been full of twists, turns, and incredible cameo appearances unifying the world of DC movies and television in a completely unexpected way. One of the most exciting of those appearances has been the return of Brandon Routh's Superman. Thirteen years ago, the DC's Legends of Tomorrow actor brought the hero to life in Superman Returns only for the film to, unfortunately, not get a sequel. "Crisis" gave Routh a chance to suit up once again as the character and it sounds like the actor would be open to being Superman again if the -- but he's also at peace if it's not meant to be.
In an interview with Den of Geek, Routh explained that his approach to his "Crisis" return as Superman was that this would be the final time he'd play the role. According to Routh, it was important to him to consider that because, for him, it also represented a form of closure.
"I approached it as if it was the final time. It was important for me," Routh explained. "That's one of the things I had to get off the phone with Marc [Guggenheim] and consider and think about. Because if I continued to leave the door open and keep wanting more, then I was never going to be fulfilled, and that wasn't a place where I wanted to leave things. So I approached this as, no matter how much screen time I had or whatever story this ends up being, I'm grateful to have had this opportunity and I'm going to be okay with whatever this is."
"That's how I approached it," Routh continued. "Just being grateful for the opportunity. Putting it all out there and being okay with hanging up the cape after that. And I'm grateful for that because that's how I feel about it. I feel that the door that was open, the unresolved stuff after Superman Returns, is resolved and the door is closed, but.... if the door opened again, I'm open to it. I'm good, I'm at peace with it, but I am still excited to play the character if another opportunity that is right presents itself."
His comments largely go hand-in-hand with why he agreed to suit up again for "Crisis." In 2006, Routh portrayed the character in Superman Returns, a film that was an extension of the original Superman film series which starred Christopher Reeve -- it's technically the sixth and final film in the series, though it, story-wise, disregards Superman III, Supergirl, and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. While the film was generally well-received and did well at the box office, Warner Bros. ultimately cancelled plans for a sequel. For Routh, when Arrow co-creator Marc Guggenheim came to him and asked if he would play a version of Superman for "Crisis", it was important this version be the same character from Superman Returns -- or at least the same idea of who that character was.
"I wanted to make sure that it was the same character, the same version of Superman or at least similar enough," Routh explained. "As we know now with different films and comic book storylines that have come out in all these years, there are different ways to approach the character. I want to make sure that ideally it was the same character from Superman Returns. And if not, that it was still the same idea of who Superman is, at his core. That was important to me. Because I wasn't necessarily interested in playing a different version."
The "Crisis" event brings together the heroes from multiple Earths to battle against the Anti-Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), a godlike villain who threatens to destroy all reality. In the comics, the story ended with the deaths of The Flash and Supergirl, and the destruction of DC's multiverse, leading to a single Earth with a complex history packed with hundreds of heroes. The battle brings together characters from all six of the current DC Comics adaptations on The CW (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Black Lightning), along with characters and actors from Titans, the 1990 version of The Flash, the short-lived Birds of Prey, Smallville, Superman Returns, Tim Burton's Batman, and the iconic 1966 Batman series.
The first three episodes are available now, for free, on The CW app and CW Seed. "Crisis on Infinite Earths" will conclude on January 14.