SUPERMAN RETURNS Star Brandon Routh Offers Advice For David Corenswet: "To Me, Superman Is Pure Love"

SUPERMAN RETURNS Star Brandon Routh Offers Advice For David Corenswet: "To Me, Superman Is Pure Love"

During a spotlight panel at ACE Superhero Comic Con 2024, Superman Returns star Brandon Routh offered some heartfelt advice for our new big-screen Man of Steel, David Corenswet...

By MarkCassidy - Jun 23, 2024 12:06 PM EST
Filed Under: Superman
Source: Nerdtropolis

It's probably fair to say that Bryan Singer's Superman Returns was not well-liked by fans when it hit theaters back in 2006, but many would agree that Brandon Routh did a pretty good job in the role of Clark Kent/Superman.

The movie's tepid reception led to a planned sequel being scrapped, but Routh would get the opportunity to play the Man of Steel many years later as the Kingdom Come version of the legendary DC Comics hero for the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths television event.

This appearance most likely marked Routh's final time in the iconic red and blue suit, but the actor has often spoken about his love for Superman and clearly has a strong grasp of what's made him such a popular and enduring character over the years.

Routh was a guest during a spotlight panel at ACE Superhero Comic Con 2024. Host Sean Tajipour, the Mayor of Nerdtropolis, asked if he had any advice for the next actor to step into the role, David Corenswet.

“I think the biggest thing for me about Superman is always recognizing the non-physical superpowers that he has. It can be cheesy to relate it to the ‘teach a man to fish’ story, but quite literally that is how I see it, and it’s very apropos to being the thing. If you save people all the time, everywhere, maybe they never learn how to save themselves. That doesn’t mean that you don’t save them, but it just means that the teaching, the personality, the aspect, the human communication, the understanding Superman can give us of inclusion.”

“To me Superman is pure love, he doesn’t judge," Routh went on. "He has to make some hard choices and stop people from doing bad things, but my goal for Superman is that he’s the guy that everyone can be in their person…maybe without all the flying and all the other stuff. But he’s an example, the best of humanity, and he could teach us to do it, not just by his actions, but by calling out the truth.”

What do you make of Routh's take on the Man of Steel? Do you think Corenwet should follow his advice? Drop us a comment down below.

While Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) plots to destroy him once and for all, the Man of Steel (Brandon Routh) returns after a long absence to a much-changed world. Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) has moved on with her life, and society has learned to survive without him. Superman must find a way to reconnect with her and find his place in a world that may no longer need him.

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Malatrova15 - 6/23/2024, 12:02 PM
Siperman is inclusion and love for beign diferent please remebee thst Mr Gunn
And cast Jonathan Majors as Bibo Bibowksky
TheNewYorker - 6/23/2024, 12:03 PM
Routh deserved better 😔
The1st - 6/24/2024, 8:59 AM
@TheNewYorker - Another Superman wasted by the directorial/studio vision, or lack there of.
ProfessorWhy - 6/23/2024, 12:04 PM
That collar really stands out next to Routh's more traditional, though muted, suit. I really hate it in that picture, maybe in the final production it will look less awkward
FireandBlood - 6/23/2024, 12:12 PM
@ProfessorWhy - It’s so awful
tylerzero - 6/23/2024, 12:22 PM
@FireandBlood -

The result of trying to be different just for the sake of being "different."

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TheLight - 6/23/2024, 2:56 PM
@ProfessorWhy - Seriously. I can't believe that collar came from Jim Lee's design. Jim Lee, the living legend himself, did this!
bkmeijer1 - 6/23/2024, 4:42 PM
@FireandBlood @ProfessorWhy - I honestly never like thed the crew neck in live-action, so I don't mind the collar at all
ProfessorWhy - 6/23/2024, 4:57 PM
@bkmeijer1 - it's not even a collar really.... more of a super mock turtleneck
bkmeijer1 - 6/24/2024, 2:16 AM
@ProfessorWhy - I do agree it's weird that it's all the way around. Best would be the front is a bit open imo
Doomsday8888 - 6/23/2024, 12:06 PM
First of all...damn, be totally gets it.

Second of all, what's sounds more real? WB developing a KC movie starring Routh and this is the official image:
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And the CW on the other hand developing a Superman tv show with this Superman:
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Or the f*cking reality we live in? Someone messed with the timeline, yo...
Doomsday8888 - 6/23/2024, 12:08 PM
I swear, man...Gunn has no sense of f*cking style...
ObserverIO - 6/23/2024, 12:45 PM
@Doomsday8888 - What did you do Ezra?!
ObserverIO - 6/23/2024, 12:46 PM
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NinnesMBC - 6/23/2024, 8:58 PM
@Doomsday8888 - The reality we've been living is that TV series can more often than not do justice to a classic costume more than the cinematic endeavours are able when the people behind it are passionate and not because they just want to make profit out of it. The fact is The CW never missed a beat with making the Man of Steel look and feel like it.

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Demigods - 6/24/2024, 9:02 AM
@Doomsday8888 - hahahahhahahahh THAT IS GREAT!!! You're totally right

Also, this is some great Superman advice. Dude does "get it."
Se4M4NSt4ine - 6/23/2024, 12:13 PM
The more the years go on, the more I appreciate Returns. It’s flawed sure, did the continuity of the Donner era need to be made? Probably not. If this film was a standalone, or even a full reboot I think it’d have been received so much better.

Setting themselves up to fail by trying to hold a candle to Donner’s Superman and all its performances was the biggest issue with this movie. The story wasn’t actually that bad either, takeaway the kid plot, and Supes returning from Krypton and they could’ve beat Marvel to the punch in creating a cinematic universe.
TheVisionary25 - 6/23/2024, 12:25 PM
@Se4M4NSt4ine - I’m not a big fan of the movie but that plane sequence is still a highlight imo…


I do think the premise aswell of Superman having come back to Earth after being in space for a while to find out that people close to him and society overall has moved on without him thus having to find his place again sounds interesting…

I just don’t think it was executed the strongest
Epc11223 - 6/23/2024, 2:29 PM
@TheVisionary25 - there were actual prequel comic books that went with the movie that I think should have been part of the movie. I don’t think the movie would have been as disjointed and there should
Have been different editing for the movie. Should have been a 3 hour epic that also included brainiac and the prequel comics. But it is what it is.
TheLight - 6/23/2024, 3:03 PM
@Se4M4NSt4ine - " The story wasn’t actually that bad either"

Eh, besides Jason and Lois's horrible treatment of Clark, I wasn't the biggest fan of Lex's real estate 2.0 plot in the movie. I think that was what truly killed it for many.
Thing94 - 6/23/2024, 12:25 PM
I like what he's saying and I get it. But he lost me at "inclusion."

DTor91 - 6/23/2024, 2:18 PM
@Thing94 - LMAO that’s what got your panties in a bunch, Petunia? Says all that needs to be said about you.
TDKRnry88 - 6/23/2024, 3:05 PM
@Thing94 - What was that line in the 1978 movie? "Superman cares about everybody, Jimmy." There's another line from 1987: "Never set anyone above the rest. Love all humanity equally."
ModHaterSLADE - 6/23/2024, 12:27 PM
Wish Routh's Superman got better material, even though his Superman came off as more odd than charismatic, he was still good in the role, especially the Clark Kent scenes.
HermanM - 6/23/2024, 12:30 PM
That collar on Gunn's Superman suit needs to go and is the only really bad part of it. The Robert Pattinson Batman, new Wolverine suit, the Captain America suit, all have collars now. I'm guessing they're "in," but they are a terrible design. Superman needs a wide boatneck opening at his neckline for the top of the shirt that the cape goes into.

Superman Returns was just a bad Superman story, but it didn't try to reinvent the character. It's The Force Awakens of Superman movies; it takes all of the beats/skeleton of the first Reeve film and just grafted its own parts onto it, which were mediocre.

The costume had the correct parts (blue shirt & pants, red cape, boots, trunks, yellow belt, and red & yellow S shield), but was just badly executed (S was too tiny, trunks were like little boyshorts instead of wrestler trunks, collar was too close to the neck, colors were too muted, the S on the belt, etc). Fortunately, the Kingdom Come suit fixed all of the flaws of Routh's suit and gave us the best Superman costume in live action of the last 25 years.

That said, why would anyone listen to Routh's advice in Superman? While better than Tyler Hoechlin, his movie underperformed (so did Snyder's though), he is a mediocre actor, and no one holds Superman Returns in high regard. Sure, it is better than Man Of Steel in many ways because it didn't see the character as the problem, but it did put him in a terrible story.

Man Of Steel should have been great since it was the origin, one of the best Superman stories, but instead wanted to deconstruct the character by over emphasizing the alien aspect of Superman to make him a fish out of water, nomadic outsider first contact story, while in the comics being an alien is just the explanation for the superpowers, nothing else, while everything else like the S symbol, costume, morality, will to help others, and the mild mannered reporter disguise all comes from being Clark. MOS wanted to turn Superman into the Martian Manhunter.

Superman Returns just made him a deadbeat dad to a kid he didn't know he had.

Both bafflingly bad decisions.
TheMetaMan - 6/23/2024, 1:39 PM
@HermanM - Regardless MOS is the best Superman film and will always be. Synder turned superman into batman not Martian manhunter.
HermanM - 6/23/2024, 1:45 PM
@TheMetaMan - Why would that make it the best Superman film then if he turned the character into Batman?

The best Superman movie is one where Superman is Superman.

I do agree though, in addition to turning Superman into The Martian Manhunter/a first contact story, he did turn him into Batman too, with the whole traveling the world as a beardless hobo and stealing thing, except there was never a point to why Clark was doing any of that in the film while there was for Bruce.
Feralwookiee - 6/23/2024, 1:53 PM
@TheMetaMan - "MOS is the best Superman film and will always be."

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Epc11223 - 6/23/2024, 2:39 PM
@HermanM - I hate the collar on gunns suit but want to see a better picture of him in the suit before
I say that’s the only thing I dislike about the suit. From the blurry newspaper picture, for me the s seems too low but it’s such a blurry picture. Dave also doesn’t appear to be in shape in the picture but he def worked out and is built but the suit might be hiding it because it’s so thick. I know you don’t like Cavill’s portrayal or where the suit originated, but he looked in shape in the suit and yes i know had some sculpting in the suit but I thought it generally worked. Rouths suit in returns actually looked better when it wasn’t in the movie and on a mannequin. Thought the collar should have been straighter but the portions and the lighting actually looked better when it wasn’t on film. Also not as dark which I thought looked good. I like hoechlins current suit when it doesn’t look like he’s wearing padding . I agree that rouths kingdom come suit is one of my favorite versions and wish we had that with the gunns superman.
Epc11223 - 6/23/2024, 2:43 PM
@TheMetaMan - man of steel is probably my favorite Superman movie but I don’t consider it a Batman movie, just a modern Superman movie more akin to earth 1/some aspects to John Byrnes Superman/and Superman birthright. As much as I love the movie, there’s always room for a new number one if executed right. Gunn makes fun interesting movies so I’m hoping his version of Superman is up there. Def need to see more to determine where it ranks.
HermanM - 6/23/2024, 4:37 PM
@Epc11223 - I think Cavill himself was fine casting and the silhoute of his suit looked good. I think Corenswet is going to be even better though since he is a better and more charismatic actor (and will have his hair going the proper way), although I do not think the suit is too baggy. I think it is too early to tell for sure its texture, but the collar is awful.

Routh's suit worked against his body type by making his torso appear longer than it was with the tiny S and tiny boyshorts and the cropped collar.

If Snyder's film would have followed Byrne's Man Of Steel verbatim, it would have been the best version of Superman of all time in live action, since Byrne's origin is still the best and gets the point of the character right.

Even if it followed Birthright verbatim it would have been better, but mixing the two is a mistake since they are opposites on Superman. Birthright started the "S = alien hope symbol" and overemphasis on the alien aspect nonsense in the comics. But it was still coherent as a story at least, even if I didn't like the take.

Waid's best Superman work is still Kingdom Come and the animated series comic where he didn't have full creative control over the origin.
TheMetaMan - 6/23/2024, 5:34 PM
@Epc11223 - MOS is synonymous with the dark knight trilogy. In fact it was Nolan who is responsible for the conception of MOS. He conceived the idea of a superman reboot pitched it to Warner bros and along with David Goyer a script was penned and approved. Synder was hired to direct. Goyer serving as the writer proves how similar it is to Batman begins. In fact it’s pretty much a Batman begins ripoff. The tone, non-linear flashbacks, the protagonist adopting a nomadic lifestyle, drifting from place to place with no purpose in life until….. Both franchises adopt a serious, dramatic, Greek tragedy approach to Batman and Superman. In the dark knight trilogy Batman is considered a vigilante and Superman is referred to as an alien in MOS.
SuperJefe - 6/23/2024, 6:23 PM
@HermanM - When you’re right, you’re right.

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Epc11223 - 6/23/2024, 7:54 PM
@TheMetaMan - ok, I now see where you were coming from with the comment they turned Superman into Batman. It is the same creators and tried to do similar things with Superman and Batman but I looked at both Batman begins and man of steel like a worlds finest comic book. Batman is usually portrayed in the dark and Superman in the light and i think the comics try to portray the two characters as two sides of the same coin. I wouldn’t necessarily say they turned Superman into Batman, but I do see the similarities, if that makes sense.
HermanM - 6/23/2024, 8:00 PM
@SuperJefe - amen. Still the all time best origin. Nobody outside of his creators understood Superman and the point of the character as well as Byrne.
Epc11223 - 6/23/2024, 8:02 PM
@HermanM - most of what you wrote I do agree with but with gunns suit, I’m not sure yet if I’m on board with the color of the suit either. From that one picture it’s a bit darker than I’d prefer. If I had to rate the suit, for me it’s about a 6/10 but I want to see more of it to see if it’ll change my opinion. I haven’t seen too much of Dave’s work but he seems like a decent guy in interviews so I’m hoping that comes off the screen. Gunn tends to get characters right or at least interesting so I’m really not concerned about enjoying the movie but right now mostly disappointed about the suit. We’ve discussed about where the s comes from and to me it’s not really an issue. To be honest, I’m surprised you like the suit as much as you do because it does look kryptonian in nature. I’m hoping it’s his first suit and gets destroyed and by the end it looks more like the traditional suit. I’m fine with no trunks and no high collar but I know for you you’d want to just lose the collar.
HermanM - 6/23/2024, 8:16 PM
@Epc11223 - The colors were better in the first shot of the S up close in the snow, I wish the yellow in it were more of a bright yellow and less of a taxi cab yellow but I'll accept it.

As for the suit's origin, I'm not sure what it will be in the film, but I don't think any version of the Superman suit looks more "alien" in nature, including this one. Some people have said that the Kingdom Come "S" symbol must mean it is kryptonian, but the Kingdom Come "S" symbol was not kryptonian in the comics, that suit and its S was, again, all something that Clark designed and created.

Even if the costume sucked, I still have faith that Gunn will deliver both a great character driven film and get the personalities right if nothing else.

And yes...the red trunks and yellow belt are a must.

That collar tho is awful and has always been awful on all iterations of Superman that have it.

Very Justice Lords.

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Except the collar or high shirt line looks better there on that suit since it is a complete redesign. But for the "main"/classic suit? The collar/high neck must go. Wide boatneckline is the only proper look.
Epc11223 - 6/23/2024, 8:24 PM
@HermanM - other than things being “proper” or must, I firmly believe this is all art and aesthetics and subjective I see where you’re coming from. I prefer an almost a golden yellow, I think that would be a nice shade of yellow. Definitely not a fan of mustard but it is what it is. In the past I think we both agreed that Lois and Clark’s version of the colors was our optimal. To me the materials def comes off alien in nature but I guess we’ll see. Also agree that I’m looking forward to this due to gunns track record of character and story.
HermanM - 6/23/2024, 10:28 PM
@Epc11223 - I don't think that all art is subjective, personally. People can intuitively tell when something is beautiful and when something is ugly.

In the case of the Superman suit, I believe the red trunks & yellow belt - being a similar shape & size to the S shield and the same colors as it - balances the blue lower half the way the red & yellow S shield balances the blue top half of the suit, with the red cape and red boots acting as book ends to contain the blue. I think it is a timeless design because of its color balance, personally.

I totally agree on the Dean Cain suit, one thing it really got right were the blue & red colors, finally Superman was in comic accurate royal blue, and the way the cape went into the shirt/way the top half of the shirt was cut (boatneck style), as well as the size of the S shield were all perfect, in my opinion.

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I've seen some people complain of the shiny-ness of the suit, but I prefer this to a rubber look.

Siegel & Shuster, Superman's creators, described the Superman costume as "athletic tights and a cape," and if you look at the tights that athletes wear, they are often of a shiny material.

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So for me, if the suit draws inspiration from that, it's pretty in line with the character, since the costume is inspired by sports uniforms with their badges, and Clark chooses a shield as his badge/symbol since shields are protective symbols and he uses his powers to protect, then puts an "S" inside of it for Superman.

My ideal Superman suit is comething like this...this is the costume I created for Comic Con:

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I like the royal blue and bold red colors with a lighter yellow, trying to evoke the Bruce Timm JLU Superman colors, which are the same as the Byrne Superman colors and Golden Age Superman colors:

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I wanted the cape length to be the same as it is in the Fleischer cartoons, Golden Age, Bruce Timm Superman Animated Series, and Silver Age/Curt Swan length, where it goes to about right above the knee pits, kind of like the animated Disney Hercules' cape, where it looked like he could always spring into action (since Superman is a character of action) without being visually impeded by it:

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The iconic suit is such a perfect design, in my opinion. I think people would be amazed at how great it would look in live action if they just brought it to life.

Epc11223 - 6/23/2024, 10:43 PM
@HermanM - Well I think any two people can see art and look at it very differently. Especially with this medium. I think Jim Lee does awesome artwork but he’s the one who created the high collar and thought it was a decent design. I don’t think it resonated with most but some people do prefer the collar. I personally loved his design without the high collar. I personally like a red belt and a yellow circle on the belt to break up the color of the suit. I like the colors of your suit, nicely done. But I prefer a slightly longer cape. Not to the ground like man of steel but not as short as Christopher reeves version. Dean Cains suit in my opinion had perfect colors but I hate the trunks on him. Im not opposed to trunks but his looked like a bikini. I thought the s was an odd shape too. Slightly smaller s is my preference. Brandon rouths kingdom come suit I think is awesome but with yellow on the s and just slightly higher neckline but that’s me being nit picky. Something like this would be close to my ideal version but I’m such a fan that I have quite a few variations that I’d be happy with. Most versions I like do not have a high collar. With suit being updated and still with the trunks, I’m a fan of the my adventures with Superman version which still has the trunks, modern s, I think it’s the perfect cape length. Loved the stories of Bruce timm but wasn’t a huge fan of the overall design. Ruby spears Superman and my adventures with Superman design for me.
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