Yes, Brandon Routh Will Play Superman Again For Arrow-verse's 'Crisis' Crossover

superman returns brandon routh in costume

Every year, The CW's mega-crossover events are able to all the more weird and wild, and the upcoming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" has the potential to be the biggest TV crossover ever. Helping that distinction out is the news that Legends of Tomorrow star Brandon Routh will FINALLY get to honor his previous superhero work from Superman Returns with a second spin at playing the Man of Steel. Yeah, we're getting not just one, but two different versions of TV Superman on The CW this fall.

How in the world(s) is this going to happen? To be expected, the creative powers that be aren't giving up the ghost when it comes to specific details. It's being reported, though, that both Tyler Hoechlin and Brandon Routh will be suiting up as Superman across two different time frames. Naturally, we don't know which time frames.

Considering Tyler Hoechlin's Superman is already established during the current timeline on Supergirl, it would make a lot of sense for Brandon Routh's hero to be the one showing up in the past or the future. Not to mention the fact that Routh plays a time-traveling hero on Legends of Tomorrow, which regularly dips back to memorable moments in history.

Will the Legends' mission in "Crisis on Infinite Earths" take the team back in time to a point when...Superman was around? That wouldn't necessarily make much sense, unless of course Brandon Routh will be confirmed as Earth-1's version of Superman. That would be huge, both for the show's narrative and for eager viewers.

Though the Arrow-verse has made multiple mentions of Bruce Wayne (and possibly Batman) existing on Earth-1, Supergirl is the main hub of Superman-related references. As such, it's easy to assume that Earth-1 might not have had any superpowered aliens living among the metahumans and regular folks. But depending on how Brandon Routh's Superman factors into things, that assumption could be rendered as hogwash.

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On the flip side, the Arrow-verse might try and sell Brandon Routh's Superman as an aged-up version of Tyler Hoechlin's. The logistics there are as fuzzy as can be, and the former is only eight years older than the latter, but it's still a possibility.

While we're talking possibilities, I'd be remiss in not wondering if Brandon Routh will actually be reprising the very same Superman that he played in Superman Returns, thus introducing that reality into the TV multiverse. No doubt, that would be the most surreal and arguably absurd way to handle things, but "surreal and absurd" is Legends of Tomorrow's middle name.

No one is saying yet which episode (or episodes) that Brandon Routh or Tyler Hoechlin will appear in as Superman, nor whether or not they will share the screen together. It is worth stating, though, that Routh is confirmed by Deadline to appear as Legends of Tomorrow's Ray Palmer, as Superman, and as mind-mannered Clark Kent. Quite the powerful trifecta there.

While waiting to hear more about how all this will get explained during the crossover, fans can take the time to think about how Brandon Routh's Superman is going to look when he shows up. Will it be a carbon copy look of his Superman Returns visage? Will he be an older and wizened Man of Steel? Will he get a Bizarro look? I can't wait!

Plus, Melissa Benoist showed off her new duds for Supergirl Season 5, so can we expect to see a costume upgrade for Tyler Hoechlin as well? Here's hoping.

The Arrow-verse shows will all return to The CW in October, with the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover kicking off just ahead of the winter hiatus with three episodes. Unlike past crossovers, though, this one will pick back up again after the dramas return in the new year, with two more episodes to close this "Crisis" out.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.