While Brandon Routh spent the last six years leaving his stamp on DC Comics lore playing Ray Palmer, a.k.a. The Atom, in Legends of Tomorrow and the rest of The CW’s Arrowverse, the actor’s first time venturing through the DC landscape was playing the Man of Steel himself in Superman Returns. Routh recently reprised his version of Superman in “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” and much like that TV crossover, the upcoming Flash movie will also be engaging in multiverse shenanigans.
So is there a chance we could see Brandon Routh play Superman again in The Flash? The actor is certainly game for this to happen, as he said recently said the following to Geek House Show:
Can we? I mean yeah I think that's always a possibility. Of course, they're bringing in Michael Keaton, which I'm excited about. And some other people from the past DC projects. I think it's very exciting. It worked really well in "Crisis On Infinite Earths," and I was extremely proud and honored to be a part of it and to reprise my Superman. So it's absolutely a possibility - you can do anything! Everybody lives and dies all the time in those things.
We’ve known for years now that The Flash would be adapting Flashpoint, the 2011 storyline that saw Barry Allen drastically changing the main DC timeline when he traveled back in time to save his mother from being murdered. However, since it was announced that Michael Keaton is expected to reprise the Batman we last saw in 1992’s Batman Returns, and following the news Ben Affleck will also be back to play his version of Batman, it seems that rather than exploring one changed timeline, The Flash might see the Scarlet Speedster actually exploring other realities.
Should that be the case, there’s definitely room for Brandon Routh’s Superman to return… again. It was established in “Crisis on Infinite Earths” that Routh’s Superman lives on Earth-96, and it was lucky enough to be one of the Earths re-established following the formation of the new multiverse. So while it’s unclear if Routh’s Superman remembers his time teaming up with the CW heroes (including Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman), one could easily create a scenario where Flash crosses paths with that incarnation of the Kryptonian hero.
Back when Superman Returns came out, the plan was for Brandon Routh to reprise Superman in a sequel. Unfortunately for him, Superman Returns did not make as much money as Warner Bros hoped, so the prospect of Superman Returns 2 come to fruition slowly died. WB eventually decided to reboot the Superman property with 2013’s Man of Steel, which saw Henry Cavill taking over the role.
13 years after Superman Returns’ release, Brandon Routh finally got to don the cape again for “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” which saw the hero now wearing a Kingdom Come-inspired costume and still struggling with the deaths of many friends and loved ones, including Lois Lane, following an attack on The Daily Planet. The end of “Crisis on Infinite Earths” subtly indicated this Superman is now in a more hopeful state of mind, and Routh is clearly ready to bring the character back to the big screen.
For now, outside of featuring two different types of Batman, it’s unclear what other DC heroes will be featured alongside The Flash’s eponymous protagonist, whether it’s other DCEU mainstays, familiar faces from DC film past or even brand-new incarnations. Along with Ezra Miller of course reprising Barry Allen, The Flash is also reportedly looking to have Billy Crudup reprise Barry’s father, Henry Allen.
The Flash will race into theaters on November 4, 2022. Don’t forget to look through our comprehensive guide detailing what other DC movies are in development.