2006's Superman Returns has been relegated to something of a footnote in the history of the comic book blockbuster, as notable these days for the real-world accusations that have been levied against both its director and its lead villain, as for its too-reverent, slightly Jesus-y take on the mythology of the Man Of Tomorrow. None of which is necessarily the fault of star Brandon Routh, who did his best to give his Man Of Steel a human, vulnerable heart, even when asked to spend the entire last act of the film grunting loudly from underneath a CGI mountain.
Certainly, the experience didn’t put Routh off the superhero game: For the last several years, he’s been a key part of The CW’s Arrowverse of shows, where he plays Ray “The Atom” Palmer on series like Arrow, The Flash, and, most recently, Legends Of Tomorrow. Now, though, he’s reportedly about to suit up in a very different—but still very familiar—pair of tights, with news coming out of Comic-Con this weekend that the franchise’s next big crossover will see him take on the role of mild-mannered, phone booth-loving journalist Clark Kent once again.
The Arrowverse took its time in bringing Supes into the fold—holding off until the second season of Supergirl to cast Tyler Hoechlin in the iconic role. Now Hoechlin and Routh’s Supermen will both appear in “Crisis On Infinite Earths,” the mega-series’ latest attempt to smash all of its pieces together in the pursuit of universe-threatening fun. Per Deadline, it’s sounding like Routh and Hoechlin’s Kansas-farmboys-made-good won’t necessarily interact, instead portraying the characters in different points on the timeline. (Although, let’s be honest: This is the Arrowverse, they’re totally going to get into a fight.)
We’ll presumably have more details as the various shows’ panels roll out this weekend; meanwhile. the big crossover—which will also incorporate the brand new Batwoman—will kick off in December.