Superman Returns actor Brandon Routh returned to the role of the Man of Steel for the first in over a decade as part of CW's "Crisis On Infinite Earths". Despite the closure Routh says came with the performance - his last go-round, as far as he's concerned - the actor says he hestitated when considering putting on the cape again.
"Well, [Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim] said that they were doing the 'Crisis' storyline and...that there was a potential if I was interested for me to show up in a different suit as well," Routh explained in an interview with Den of Geek. "That's the way he kind of pitched it. And so I said, "Look, I'm really honored that you would ask and it sounds like a really great thing, but I just want to take a moment to sit with it to make sure that it's the right decision for me to revisit the character.' I obviously said yes later."
"I wanted to make sure that it was the same character, the same version of Superman or at least similar enough," Routh continued. "I wanted to make sure that ideally it was the same character from Superman Returns. And if not, that it was still that 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."
But once Routh made the decision to play Superman again, he came to terms with the idea that this would be his last time in the role.
"I approached it as if it was the final time. It was important for me. That's one of the things I had to get off the phone with Marc and consider and think about," Routh said. "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 this opportunity and I'm going to be okay with whatever this is."
As for what that ending has turned out to be, Routh says he sees value in his Kal-El's story ending in a version of Kingdom Come, despite its tragic nature.
"I mean, yeah it would have been nice for him to ride off into the sunset and be happy. But that's not how life is for any of us, really. Even when we think we're at the top of the mountain, there are challenges that come our way and that's kind of the story of life," Routh explained. "No matter who we are, there are ups and downs along the way."
"So to live a true human experience I guess, it's fitting for Kal-El to have that experience. It certainly makes for a great story and a great character journey for him and I think the way that the two were kind of blended together in this works really well and makes that version of the character fitting to come in and help out during the Crisis. I think he's been through a wealth of experience that he can lend help in a different way, maybe."
The final two parts of CW's "Crisis On Infinite Earths" will air with the January 14 episodes of Arrow and DC's Legends of Tomorrow, on which Routh also portrays Ray Palmer/the Atom.