In a quirk of Arrowverse magic, Brandon Routh will once again play Superman.
Deadline reports both the Legends of Tomorrow star and Supergirl‘s Earth-38 Superman Tyler Hoechlin will both appear as the Man of Steel in December’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover.
Routh played the part in 2006’s Superman Returns with a certain Christopher Reeve-esque charm. He was expected to reprise his role in Man of Steel, but Superman Returns‘s modest box office put the kibosh on the film being a continuation of Bryan Singer’s vision; itself a love-letter to the Richard Donner era Superman films. Routh, for his part, remained in Superman shape for the duration of his holding contract. When we visited him on the set of Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, he still looked like Superman. It made dinner an odd experience.
But eventually he became another DC Comics hero: Ray Palmer. The character was a key part of Arrow’s third season and wound up a member of the Legends of Tomorrow cast when the spinoff debuted. The show has made a few sly references to Routh’s Kryptonian past, but this will be the first time he will be seen in a Superman suit since 2006.
Presumably, both Supermen are from different Earths and unite when the Crisis threatens their worlds. The 1985 maxiseries upon which the TV crossover is based saw two Superman and a Superboy working together in the face of annihilation. It did not go well for them, in the end. Hopefully, the TV version will allow Routh’s Superman — a continuation of the Reeve version — a chance at a heroic ending.
“Crisis on Infinite Earths” airs in December.