Rumor Patrol: General Zod, Brandon Routh & The Superman Reboot

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:30 pm,

Superman Reboot Rumors Rumor Patrol: General Zod, Brandon Routh & The Superman Reboot

Now that Zack Snyder is officially directing the Superman reboot, The Man of Steel, new rumors concerning who the villain of the film will be and what actor will don the red & blue spandex are bound to pop up.

There were rumblings last week about how the criminal Kryptonian General Zod could be Kal-El’s foe in The Man of Steel, but this is the first we’ve heard of the rumor that Superman Returns‘ leading man, Brandon Routh, could actually reprise his role in Snyder’s reboot.

Bad Taste caught up with Snyder this week and was told that the the news about Zod is, for now, “just a rumor” – which is essentially a noncommittal response that neither confirms or denies the possibility of Zod appearing in Man of Steel. The fact that Snyder did not flat-out shoot down the suggestion could mean that it is completely accurate, but that Warner Bros. wants to cast someone in the role before they make any official announcements (like Sony did with the baddie in its Spider-Man reboot). Or the Zod rumors could be way off; we’ll just have to wait and see for now.

The news that Brandon Routh might play Superman again in Man of Steel is arguably the more interesting rumor right now. AICN chatted with the actor a few months ago and learned that he had hooked up with a trainer to get him “into full on Superman shape again.” Routh may no longer be in the running now that Snyder is onboard, but this information is nonetheless intriguing.

Brandon Routh as Superman Rumor Patrol: General Zod, Brandon Routh & The Superman Reboot

Brandon Routh as Superman.

One (legitimate) common criticism of Routh’s take on Superman was that the actor not only looked too young, but lacked the onscreen charisma of his predecessor, Christopher Reeve, in the role. Routh is a bit older now and Snyder’s Man of Steel might call for a far different take on the character than Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns did – could Routh now be the right man for the job?

Snyder’s Superman reboot will undoubtedly bear the filmmaker’s signature visual style and love of slow-motion action, but both his and Christopher Nolan’s involvement with the project also suggests that Man of Steel might be a darker and more complex movie than previous Superman pics. Whoever is eventually cast in the titular role will have to reflect that tonal shift in their performance.

Will Snyder deliver a darker Superman movie?

With the news that production on the Superman reboot may be rushed came the logline for Man of Steel, which involves Clark Kent traveling the world as he decides whether or not to actually become Superman. Could the hero’s existential dilemma be all the more complicated by the arrival of an impending threat to the Earth that only he can stop – say, a being with powers equal to his own, a la General Zod?

A situation like that would force Superman’s hand and make him accept his role as a defender of the planet Earth – even if he remains uncertain as to whether or not that is truly a good idea in the long term. It would be a tricky philosophical quandary that The Man of Steel would have to face – and isn’t that exactly the kind of thing that Nolan in particular has already proven he loves?

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Source: Bad Taste, AICN

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  1. It’s obviously and understandably difficult, but I wish we would all stop comparing *future superman* to Christopher Reeve. Yes he was great, and yes he was the first, but this isn’t Donner and it IS 2010. Let the work speak for itself.

    • Reeves was hardly the “first” Superman, even in movies. The local theater I go to has a ton of classic posters in their lobby and there’s at least two Supermen in various posters from generations ago.

      I’m willing to bet if there had been an internet back in the 80s that we’d have heard all about how much it was a betrayal for Donner to choose him too.

      • lolol that’s true. at least everyone can agree that Reeves is who the general populous thinks of when they think of superman

      • Here here. Brandon Routh, no doubt has his work cut out for him, but no more so, than the then awkward, skinny Chris Reeves (check out the screen tests for Superman the movie). Do your thing Brandon, the whole premise of the story is that everyone doubts that Clark could ever be Superman, you have this on your side.

  2. The one thing that Superman Returns DID get right was the casting of Routh, so I’d be very happy for him to return to the role.

  3. he wasnt the first Superman lol.

    • true. but my point is more so how Reeves is viewed as THE superman

      • then choose your words more carefully, i mean it might upset the real fanboys out there by saying “and yes he was the first” :)

        • really? that’s unfortunate. i think there are far more important things to get upset about than mistaking who played a pretend character first. but i will afford you that it can be annoying. so my apologies to everyone who was offended. sincerely.

  4. Be it Zod or not, the threat simply should not be Luthor. Superman needs something worth his power to deal with, especially with Snyder behind the camera.

    For my money, and I know I’m in the minority, I thought Routh did a phenomenal job in Superman Returns, and unlike so many others I really did enjoy the movie. My criticism, again on the minority here, was Perry’s “Truth, Justice, and all that other stuff” horse crap line.

    • You’re not in the minority when it comes to Routh; he was in fact liked/loved by most people. He got lots of good reviews for his performance and even won popular awards back then like Best Superhero by the Scream Awards (beating out people like Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale!), and Best Newcomer as voted by the readers of Empire Magazine. A lot of the backlash now is coming from a minority who wanted another guy in the role.. there is so much revisionist history with this film is so annoying.

      Personally, I’m a big Routh fan, so yes, I’d be very happy to see him back in the role. To me he’s this generation’s Superman. He’s the best Superman/Clark since Reeve, imo.

  5. I refuse to see any Superman movie with that hack Routh in it. So, it’s a good think Snyder already told Variety Routh was gone.

    • Gee Cindy tell us how you really feel.

      • Anthony, that comment added nothing to the conversation.


    • Your loss, then. When I watched the show my general thought was along the lines of “Gee, it’s like he swallowed a pill with Reeves’ essence in it”. Hack? To each their own.

  6. You People, cant complain Brandon may make that decision coming back. Before Christopher Reeve passed away in his last words. He wanted to see “Who will be the next Superman ?” Superman 5 is ‘Superman Returns” a the next saga chapter. For Superman 6 is a reboot.


    And for the Supergirl movie will also be a remake-reboot I heard a discussion that Laura Vandervoort say ‘She is not for sure, she will be in the ‘SUPERGIRL-spin off’ in episode 10 “SUPERGIRL” of SMALLVILLE she did a good job playing The Maid of Might. The Maid of Might is called THE MAIDEN OF MIGHT in the Daily Planet Newspaper. In the end, she disguises herself as Linda Danvers with a bruenette wig with glasses.

    I hope Supergirl can appear in the SUPERMAN: Reboot film and become a spin off after that

  7. man I cant wait to c this movie, I dream of the day when I will c superman, batman and green lantern on screen together, and if snyder directed it I might just pass out.

    • Will that day ever come?? I hope so..

  8. I like Brandon Routh, but not his particular take on Superman. Not to mention, like the article stated, he was really young for the role and was given it based on his physical resemblance to Reeve. Call me crazy, but my first choice is still Zachary Levi, despite the rumours he auditioned and wasn’t given the role. But imagine if he bulked up, admittedly a lot, but if he did, I think he could play a GREAT Clark Kent becoming Superman. His acting on CHUCK revolves around the idea of whether to be a spy or not, with his emotions and philosophy playing a huge role in his actions in the field. That experience of playing that type of character could be a very nice fit for this tone that they will be aiming for. I think he would be perfect for a Clark Kent coming to grips with becoming Superman.

    • Routh does look too young to be Superman, imo…

      • At least it wasn’t Nicholas Cage…

    • Sorry but Levi looks NOTHING like Superman! The guy isn’t handsome or buff enough for this role. I mean, seriously.. I’d laugh at him if he was wearing the supersuit.

  9. I like Brandon Routh. he wasnt right for Superman Returns cause he looks so young, but if you put him in a reboot, thats not an issue

    i also wouldnt mind them casting Tom Welling as superman, I know alot of fans would like that, just dont have this movie connected with the tv show in anyway.

  10. I like Brandon Routh as Superman. If they decide to go in another direction that is fine but I thought he did a good job.

  11. I think that fits pretty well with the other actors that so far (possibly, but more than likely) in the Justice League in terms of age.

    Batman/ Christian Bale: 36
    Green Lantern/ Ryan Reynolds: 33
    Flash/ Bradley Cooper (or Chris Pine): 35 (30)
    Superman/ Brandon Routh: 31.

    For experience I wont say, but Superman was one of his first roles so it’s hard to tell how he would do again in a serious role. So if he comes back than at least all these casting frustrations will be gone. But if Jon Hamm is on board for the role than I wont complain. Or Jim Caviezel, or Josh Harnett.

    As for Zod: I’m glad its a rumor. Zod is a great villain but his story was already told in Superman 2. This series really needs a fresh new villain like Brainiac, Doomsday, and Darkseid. The real heavy hitters of Superman’s rogue gallery.

    • sorry but Josh Hartnett would Emo the role or Supes to its doom.

  12. NOOO WAY Brandon Routh plays superman..wont happen. As for him playing someone else in the movie…if they go with Bizarro as the villain I could see them bringing him back for that role; but he would definately have a lot of make-up on.
    As for Zod as the villain, I think that he is the best and perfect villain for Superman to face because he his power is comparable to Superman’s and because he can represent the bad in his planet (aliens) and Superman can rep the good. It would make for a great movie. Although I would prefer them using Zod in the 2nd film and build him up in the first. They could use another villain in teh first that attempts to bring Zod to earth and defeat Superman, ad while he fails at the latter he would suceed in the former. I think that a great villain for this role would be braniac. Braniac coudl work together with Lex Luthor to bring Zod back and then Zod could be in the 2nd film.
    The main thing with me is Lex CANNOT be the only villain and we at least need to have signs of Zod in first film because imo aside from Lex, Zod is Superman’s greatest foe and no Superman trilogy/franchise is complete without him.
    As for Superman I think they need someone who is about 30 years old because you have to figure that they will likely do at leats 3 films and that they will span 10 years so you dont want somneone looking to old in the final film and at the same time you dont want someone who looks like he just graduated college in the first film. I also dont mind the idea of them going with big name actors aso long as they get people of substance- like lets say john hartnet I think he has the look and his acting skills have been proven. Even more I would go with Jared Padelecki from SUpernatural (I know MANY people will disagree with me on this one) and if you look at him you can definately see that he has the look of Superman, and judging by this season of Supernatural he also has the body structure.
    I am not so happy about the director, but if Nolan is involved I am sure it will turn out great

  13. I think Routh did not reflect what the character was meant to be on the film. He looked too young also. I don’t want neither Routh nor Welling. That will confuse the audience: Superman Returns 2 or Smallville: The Movie!

    I think Braniac will be the force that Superman needs to face ni order to accept his fate as our savior

  14. I think Routh made an excellent Superman, and I’m not even talking about his (granted, VERY close) resemblance to Christopher Reeve. I enjoyed the film (apparently, quite a bit more than the majority of people who saw it, but what I really appreciated was Routh’s understated way of portraying the titular character. He was able to show wry expressions, as well as extreme sadness and frustration, and he portrayed the world-weariness Clark felt when he realized the Earth had moved on in his absence beautifully…as well as the pure joy of being back and renewing himself and his purpose.

    I would LOVE to see Routh back in the role.

    • …oops: That parenthesis should meet its twin after “people who saw it”. Sheesh!

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself. So I won’t.

    • Routh was way better as Clark than as Kal-El. He had Christopher Reeve down to a T as Clark, but seemed to lack the gravitas as Supes.

    • I agree, Brandon was wonderful in the part, a bit young but he totally nailed it. He brought a lot of majesty, sincerity and humanity to the role. The movie was great, but it needed more action to satisfy younger audiences.

  15. If anyone else says Reeves instead of Reeve, I might actually headbutt them? Understood?

    On a less violent note, if Routh came back, it would give me a hell of a lot more faith in this project than I currently have.

    • you tell ‘em DSB!!! bloody yanks

    • I think people are putting the two most well known Superman actors names together. Calling him Christoper Reeves seems to happen quite alot.

      • Oh I’m well aware how it happens, that doesn’t stop it being unacceptable.

        • Gak! Epic fail on my part, I’ve been doing that this whole thread. Sorry, Doc, please to beat me…

          • Epic fail indeed… Thwack Crunch to you.

  16. IF Snyder and Nolan decide to bring back that hack actor Routh, I am NOT going to waste my money on a movie ticket.

  17. I could definately get by this film if Routh came back as Supes. The man was one of the few saving graces about SR. It wasn’t his fault the script had little to no action, a kid, and few line for the iconic character. That, and the dude is freak’in cut these days.

  18. After Reading all these comments. It is definately a delima that is here.

    First off. Routh: Superman Returns was garbage. I am sure many many many many people can agree with me on this one. Singer’s goal was to do justice to the Superman story and instead turned it to garbage. Routh did an amazing job as Superman. Please keep in mind that Routh was targeted no only for his looks but also because he looked the part to play Superman between 2 and 3. I think Singer butchered the crap out of Returns with the “To Holy” look. Then you have the infamous “Super Child” wtf!! did that even come from? Maybe they should have let Singer just make a second one so they could tell what happened to the kid. Kinda ruins Superman 3 and 4 now. Lets not even go into the suit. TOTAL AND COMPLETE TRASH and trash was probably a nice word for it. So should Routh be recast? Sure why the hell not? He has alread shown he can play the roll.

    Secondly: Welling: Ok sooo. I have to admit I like Welling in this. BUT if you are going to bring Welling into it you have to bring Durance too. Tom did an amazing job for 10 yrs playing the Clark Kent story line that was there. Now with the Final Season being shown for Smallville the rules are out the door and they are going hardcore into Superman. Although…. No costume till the LAST EPISODE!! UGH!! who else hates that one? anyhow. I think Tom could pull off being Superman on the big screen BUT where do you start? I mean.. you have already seen SOOOO much in Smallville.. You would either have to totally scrap Smallville or continue the story line from there into the movies. BUT then you have all kinds of issues as to who should be in the movies. But then again that does leave the Door open for Zod to return because he was only “banished” from Earth in Smallville.

    3rd: Who do you go with to play Superman in a New original story?? Well first of all. Figure out how many movies you are going to be making and how soon you are going to be putting them out.. Go with someone in there 30′s and you are going to run into problems with them aging to fast and not looking right for the roll. Go with someone 21 yrs old and you have the issue of them looking to young. If this is indeed a new Franchise being born…. Go with somoene about 25-27 yrs of age. There is no exact age as to when Superman first doned the Costume only that he was Approxmiately 30yrs old.

    4th: Who should be the Villans??? Well there is a Rogues gallery a mile long for Superman. But I would first start of with a Braniac Luthor Story. Set the movie ohhh I dunno 20yrs ago and Have Braniac Develop the city into the City of the future. Possiably in a World dominating format Since his program was Downloaded into a Luthor Corp computer. There you would have Both Supermans First Meeting of Luthor and a Ultimate villan for Superman to battle with. Could introduce the Phantom Zone device that Brainac could be planning to use to release Criminals from the Phantom Zone. And out pops Zod at the End opening the Door for Superman 2. Eyeing from afar is Darkseid and opens for Superman 3.

    Thoughts???? Would love to hear them..

  19. I am glad that the rumors, and hopefully the studios, are at least considering bringing Routh back. He was great as Superman even though he had a handful of lines as both characters Kent and Superman (they are two different characters). I like the proposed story of Kal-El deciding on if he wants to be Superman. He is three people, he is Kal-El a member of an endangered species, Superman the savior of Earth, and Clark Kent a regular everyday Joe. How does he balance these? Does he even want them? The other two are monikers almost forced upon him. I think the story should be about his struggle to deal with his identities and which one he is, and which one he has to be, which is a hard thing to do.

  20. i agree with the above poster. Lets remember and give thanks to the past and move on to something new. I thought Micheal Keaton was an excellent batman but I didn’t keep bringing him up when Christian Bale took over.

  21. I think it all depends on your actual exposure to superman. for my mom, superman will forever be Cristopher Reeves. For Smallville fans Tom Welling should be in the film, Chuck fans im guessing want the dude from chuck and others want Jon Hamm. And im sure a select few want Brandon Routh back, either because they liked Superman Returns or because he looks like Reeve, but ive never been a fan of the Supes movies, too young to enjoy the originals, and too bored by Returns. I do however read the comics and feel like Reeves, Routh and Welling are no good for the actual comic book personality of the man of steel. Whoever is casted has to have that in charge personality. All these actors are trying to play that soft Clark Kent when really it should be the other way around, Superman shouldnt be awkward, he shouldnt be nervous or neurotic or weak. He has to be in charge, and the actor has to be able to bring that to the table.

    • Just to clarify as a Chuck fan… Brandon Routh WAS the Chuck guy.

  22. If Routh comes back they can completely avoid doing any backstory, just get Rachel Mcadams as Lois and Billy Zane as Lex, and up up and away!

  23. I think Routh did a GREAT job playing Superman it would be cool to see him back

    • hey Sam…headbutt time my friend!!

      • It’s always headbuttin’ time!

        • D.Word needs one :)

          • The sound of a virtual headbutt; thwack n crunch!

  24. I’d also like to say, although he might be too old now and most might think him a better fit for Batman, but, what does everyone think of David Boreanaz as The Man Of Steel?

    • No, I can’t pick out why, but something about him just does not fit IMO.

  25. I agree. Routh did an excellent job. I’d love to see him back. And by the way – I LOVED Superman Returns. It made me a Superman fan. It’s what the original movies should have been.

    • Dude yes, I loved Returns too, though I really liked the old movies with Reeve, but Returns made me like the character even more and got me into the comics.

  26. yea i can see routh coming back he needs to bulk up though like chris evan size. keep his hair the same length as it is in dylan dog or whateveer its called and modernize the suit and take the cape away im sorry capes are waay to golden age most modern super heroes actually all modern super heroes have lost the capes. batman of course is an exception. but look at batman beyond the recently released comic depict that suit really badass. i know supes cape is the blanket he was put in from his ship but batman has a reason for having a cape super man can fly. and i think they should keep the colors but change it to a modern version

    • Really? Take away the Cape? Come on your smarter than that, I would hope anyway.

    • Might as well take away Cap’s shield, Wolvie’s claws and Spidey’s webshooters. Superman and the cape go together like ice cream and apple pie.

    • You can’t take away Supes cape. That’s like saying take the silly batsuit away from batman. That suit is who Superman is you can’t change it.

  27. Since he’s not crazy anymore, what does everybody say to Joaquin Phoenix as Lex Luthor? And Viggo MOrtensen aor Daniel Craig as Brainiac?

    • Definitely no to Craig, but why could Viggo play Lex? Or Zod!

    • If Joaquin Phoenix was cast as Lex Luthor I might have to seriously consider boycotting this movie over the most awful casting decision ever.


      • i concur Vic

      • Most awful Vic? Seems like a bit of a stretch.

        Its hard to argue that he’s a bad actor. He isn’t a great choice, but I wouldn’t call him bad.

        • Daniel F,

          I didn’t say he was an awful actor, I said it would be an awful CASTING decision. As in: Completely wrong for the role.


  28. I was not a fan of SR, but for some reason I’m certainly willing to give Routh another go as the big blue boyscout. I’ve seen seen good improvement in his acting ability since 2006, though he still remains somewhat awkward, which is pretty useful for playing Clark Kent. Give the man another shot.

  29. Give Routh another chance!