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. I say bring back Routh, let him have another go, I thought he was great last go round.

  2. I’m torn. Brandon wasn’t a good actor at all when Superman returns he was just darn near awful. He’s certainly improved sense then, but not enough for such a huge and important role.

    I think him even being considered means they ran out of options or are just truly baffled at who else can look the part.

    • it is a difficult part to cast though, I can understand why they are having trouble.

    • Yikes. Don’t know if I’d go that far. Routh acted exactly like he was told to act: “Act like Christopher Reeve in the previous Superman movies. He did a decent job trying to act like guy who acted like a guy who was acting like a nerdy guy.

  3. There are a lot of kids out there who have ONLY seen Routh as Superman in their young liftimes.
    So, it make sense and it TOTALLY takes another origin tale off the table.

  4. Ya know, maybe Superman Returns wasn’t as good as it should’ve been, but I think Routh is worthy of at least another consideration. Over the last four years, I’ve seen him win over not only people who loved the film, but also a good number of people who didn’t. That’s gotta say something, right?


    • oh snap!! CAPS rage!!

  6. Vic, can we get a poll for or against Brandon Routh reprising his roll?

    • Tim,

      Great idea!

      Folks, we’ve added a simple yes/no poll to the article above:

      Would you like to see Brandon Routh reprise his role as Superman?

  7. Having Routh back is the right move. It’s a continuity issue with me and when first cast, his uncanny resemblance to Reeves brought back such a nostalgic feeling in me. With a better script and a faster non-convoluted pace, Routh could be the banner model for a more modern everyman’s Superman. GIVE IT TO ROUTH!!

  8. I really hope that now that a director has been selected, Zach Snyder will do the smart thing and decide not to bring back Brandon Routh. After I read this news yesterday on a different website it was the first time I felt disappointed with this reboot. It’s a reboot so why are they going to keep Routh? If they are keeping the same actor then what difference would that make if they would say, cast Tom Welling. They can just take him and say we are having him play Superman in the movie, not a Smallville Superman movie – use the same excuse they would use if they actually do decide to go with Routh for a second round. It’s the same thing! Saying that Routh will be playing Supes in a different continuity would be the same as having Welling do it, just say- its a whole different continuity! This news is outrageously awful!! I was almost going to start tearing when I heard this.

    I am a Tom Welling fan, but I am open to having someone else play Superman as long as he fits the role and ISN’T Brandon Routh.

    This has me extremely upset. The fact that Routh was told to get in shape a month ago gave me a tiny bit of hope since that was before they chose a director. Snyder did a pretty good job casting his lead roles so I’m hoping he will continue that for The Man of Steel and leave Routh in the dumpster.

    I’m afraid that they may actually cast him; and if they do, I really may not watch this film in the theaters even though it will break my heart. I would just refuse to support this…. T_T

  9. Bring back Routh, he was good. And I´ve seen him in other stuff since and he´s been very good in most of it.

  10. As long as its not Tom Welling…..

  11. I still don’t think Brandon Routh looks like Christopher Reeve.

    • hey! someone got his name right :)

  12. Sounds like a remake of Superman Returns in a way to me, even though i wouldn’t mind seeing Routh in the role again. But General Zod already been used already. Can’t Znyder and Nolan pick a villain that hasn’t been on screen yet? Darkseid being a threat to earth would be my top choice while Clark is busy traveling the globe and wondering if he should still be Superman etc. Id like to see a heavy hitter villain other than General Zod, Otherwise this Man Of Steel film might aswell ignore Superman Returns and be a sequel to Superman 2 and feature Zod get his powers back.

  13. We want Tom Welling!!!!

    • lol we do?. you dont speak for me buddy

    • I want Tome Welling!

      But I wouldn’t mind Henry Cavill.

      Just PLEAAASE! No Brandon Routh!!!

    • WE WANT WELLING! (It’s what the WWW in front of every website stands for, you know).

  14. The most thought of approach to the SUPERMAN reboot is who can play this role of a super man. What human actor can even begin to equal the look and physical appearance of this truly larger than life super man? The answer is … no one.

    Chris Reeve got close, but although his facial features were acceptable, he still lacked the physique that is SUPERMAN’S. No human actor we know of that would be considered for that role is a superhuman actor, nor can any come close to filling that role completely. The wonderful graphic depictions of the man of steel by various artists demonstrate that fact most emphatically.

    Today, the art of computer generated imagery has developed to the point of perfection. Naomi Watts was computer generated in certain scenes of King Kong that were deemed too dangerous for her to perform. I defy anyone not connected with the film to tell me which scenes they were.

    The reboot of SUPERMAN could contain a computer generated SUPERMAN that could be indistinguishable from a human actor, but at the same time retain the true physical representation of SUPERMAN.

    Why this observation has apparently escaped everyone but me is a mystery.

    Let’s finally give SUPERMAN his due. He is, after all, NOT human. So why do we insist on forcing him into a human mold?

    • A CGI Superman?!?

      That just sounds ridiculous.

      Superman might not be human, he’s Kryptonian. Kryptonians look like humans.

      All the filmmakers have to do is find someone who looks like Superman and who can get that build and have them bulk up and we will have the Superman we’ve all been waiting to see. Superman is supposed to be able to hide amongst the humans. Bryan Singer took that concept too far by making his Superman look weak. But he can be muscular and physically bulky and still look like a regular human being. He doesn’t have to be CGI because it can be done.

      We can’t have Superman be CGI in all the scenes he appears in… That’s just ridiculous.

      • and downright retarded too.

      • I don’t see why it’s so ridiculous as an idea. CGI has advanced to the point where it’s almost indistinguishable from live action. If Bruce Banner’ face could be superimposed on the Hulk’s body, I don’t see why we can’t put say Brandon Routh’s face on a more super physique. Remember that in all the Spiderman movies, most of the Spidey we saw swinging around was CGI. You didn’t really think Toby McGuire was swinging between skyscrapers did you?

        • Thing was with Spidey, his face was covered. So a CGI Superman would be retarded. Brandon Routh, tom Welling (the better of the two) can do the job. There is no one, no actor that looks like superman from the comics, especially like Alex Ross’s Superman so going with a close one is good enough.

    • Well for one thing accepting a comic book pencils view of reality means every man is built like Mr. Universe, every woman is 50-20-45 (purposely exaggerated), and the like. It’d be harder than finding elves in New Zealand, populating such a film. Some enhancement is likely mandatory, but who would really buy Mr. U. as CK?

      I think you’re stuck with human-looking men of steel for the forseeable future.

  15. There is one name that comes to my mind, his name was tagged the last time before the making of Superman returns. I think its very possible he would be a really very good superman, he has potential I believe that James Cavesil could bring great presence to the role. If anyone can do Jesus Christ in the way he portrayed Jesus, then surely James is worthy to wear another red cloak.

    what noble and integrity he could bring to the role, I really think this would be a great role for him.He’s a deep thinker and very grounded I think he would love the role, I could see him binging very good light on the Superman project I hope and pray he is pict. I think he could bring it to a powerful piece of super hero work on screen.

    I have so much faith in this actor I really do and I would challenge you all to reconsider him and see if you agree, if you do then we must try to get that out there. If you don’t thats no problem, I respect that, we all have our ideas and stuff.

    • He did great in outlander and the count of monte cristo, if he would bulk up a bit I would love for him to be Superman/Clark kent.

    • Caviezel for Superman? I can see his name being mentioned. He was in the running – and lobbied hard for the part- but due to Passion, Singer thought he was too well known and went with Routh.

  16. I liked Brandon Routh, the movie just sucked. As far as villians go I much rather see someone different like Darkseid or Doomsday.


    He deserves another shot at this role just as Edward Norton did as the Hulk.

    Don’t make another mistake with this powerful superhero Hollywood.

  18. I don’t mind another Superman, just like the Batman movies. But with both, the two storylines that could work for both, and set up another whole set of movies, would be the Doomsday and the Knightfall series. I have to be honest, there hasn’t been tons of original ideas out of Hollywood anyway, why not go with some of the biggest storylines to hit either of the characters? I know this particular column is just about Superman, but the two characters are tied together anyway, and the stories are already done, no worries about it! And, if they could stick with or improve the CGI from what they did with Incredible Hulk, the Doomsday storyline would be amazing on the bog screen! Tell me I’m wrong!

    • I got the thinking about it more, and the reason I like the Doomsday scenario is this. In every venue Superman is in, he is almost perfect. Barring kryptonite, this guy just can’t be hurt. Finally, we have a villain in Doomsday that can take Superman to his limits, and beyond. All the movies previous, even to some extent Superman 2, he is fighting people. His people, or Lex. But with Doomsday, there is no reasoning. There is no outsmarting. And it would actually show the full breath of Superman’s power. Really, Superman is an iconic figure, because he is almost a God. Which is part of the reason I haven’t always been a fan. I would love to see that icon be shown that he can be “beaten”, but still come out of it. That seems to be real drama. And please, no more Lex.

  19. I think Brandon didnt quite get to show his acting cops in Superman Returns, So I reckon he should get another shot! As for the Villain, they have so many to choose from… Metallo, Mongul, Brainiac, Darkseid, Parasite, Doomsday etc…

    I would prefer that they went with an Earth bound villain for this film, and have some of the cornier villains help create them, like Toyman (Winslow Schott)be an employee of Lexcorp who helps create Metallo!

    And leave the Alien Villains like Darkseid, Brainiac or even Zod for the impending sequels!

    • I agree with you on the story line part.

      I just don’t agree on Brandon Routh. It’s supposed to be a full reboot so nothing form the other franchises should interfere with that.

      I don’t think Brandon Routh deserves another shot. He had his chance and he blew it. Even though the script was weak he could’ve made it better by just being Superman and he couldn’t even do that so he doesn’t deserve another shot.

      As for the story line I do think Metallo would be the perfect villain to start off the franchise. The addition of Toyman could also make it a bit more interesting.

      • Julissa….imho Metallo would suck for several reasons. First, he looks way too much like a terminator, and secondly (and the biggest problem) is that kryptonite comes into play yet a again, and its as tired as using Lex Luthor all the time.

        We will also just have to agree to disagree about Routh. I dont see how he “blew it” at all. Even if SR was a bad film (its not imho, just the wrong film to reignite Supes popularity) Routh could only work with what he was given, he did not write the story, or call the creative shots.

        For me he was a very good Superman. His Supes was certainly dfferent to Reeves, there was more of a inhuman disconnect there, a sense of someone who is basically a god, and thus alone in the world.

        Finally, one of the biggest reasons I want Routh back is because I dont want to see the same b******* as what has happened with the Hulk films. Its utterly ridiculous that in 3 films we will have had three different actors playing the part.

        it should be special for an actor to play an iconic part, and imho when you start chopping and changing actors in said part too often, and have too many actors having played the part, you make it less special.

        And Tom Welling is a complete and utter tv actor based on what I have seen. Now, I have nothing against Smallville, and have enjoyed it from time to time, but I find most of the actors on it to be servicable at best. And that includes Welling.

        Besides, I highly doubt Snyder would go for Welling if he would nt use Routh. If they want no association with SR, then they sure as hell wont want to have any association with a tv show..

  20. Those who keep wanting Welling as Superman should listen to this:

    • Smallville:The Movie lol. something about that guy just screams steel toed boot to the head

    • This guy isn’t stating the reasons why Tom Welling as an actor shouldn’t play Superman. The points he brings up are no longer valid.

      Yes, casting Tom Welling will seem like it would just be a Smallville movie, but the same could be said about bringing Brandon Routh back for the “reboot.” This is supposed to be a reboot meaning its a new take on Superman. Bringing back Routh would just be like creating a Superman Returns sequel! So we have the same problem for both actors. The guy in the video does not bring up any strong points so the same could be said about both. Tom Welling would be the better pick from the two not only because he physically fits the role a lot better, but because he hasn’t played “Superman” at all, on TV nor film. So if there’s anyone that deserves a shot, he does.

      Now I understand that he may not get chosen for the role and I will be fine with that as long as they choose someone who can fit the role and have a powerful presence on screen (something Brandon Routh desperately lacks).

      My top choice right now other than Tom Welling is Henry Cavill, but I will take almost anyone before Routh as long as they are tall with blue eyes and black hair. The casting options that guy mentioned were also pretty weak.

      • and thats why i wouldnt want either of them for this project:current/past ties to the role in question. and that guy is a blogging tool :)

  21. If this came up last year I would say no to Routh, but I really liked him in Chuck. So I hope he will re-try for it…..they really have to stop changing actors for comic heroes (Hulk)

  22. Tom Welling for Superman/Clark Kent
    Tina Fey for Lois Lane
    Paul Giammati for Lex Luthor
    Kyle McLachlan for Braniac
    Anton Yelchin for Jimmy Olsen
    Dan Hedeya for Perry White

    • omg lol put down the crack pipe now, thanks

      • LMFAO

        • Looks likes someone wants Superman to be a comedy!
          I only agree with Tom Welling but everyone else like Tina Fey mainly, yeah uhh NO!

  23. I really liked Brandon Routh. He has a basic decency and goodness about him that was just Superman- the same kind of goodness that Christopher Reeve exuded. And it was certainly a tribute to Reeve that Routh resembled him so much. He just needed slightly bigger muscles.

    It wasn’t Routh’s fault that Superman Returns sucked. All that nonsense about Superman having a child (!) Blasphemy! It was just a weak script. With the right script I think Routh could be as great as Chris Reeve.

    • Yeah it wasnt Routh’s fault, since it was a continuation of the last one which was what, number 4 the quest for more money? I mean peace?

      • Actually, it was a continuation of Superman 2. The studio made like Superman 3&4 didn’t exist….which they shouldn’t have.

        • Have you seen 3 and 4? It’s good they did. It’s like Predators not mentioning Predator 2 or the AVPs.

  24. How do you know its still called The Man Of Steel. Maybe its not called that anymore at least I hope not.

  25. As far as I’m concerned, The Welling Kent-Superman resides on Earth 123, the Dean Cain Superman on Earth 456 (BTW, I *heart* Teri Hatcher!). The Reeves/Routh Superman resides on Earth 789.

    This Superman is on Earth Zero.


    Seriously though, I don’t want Routh—not of this is a reboot. I would only want him back as Supers if this was a retcon follow up of the Singer film. It isn’t. Adios, amigos.

    I’m not suggesting Routh isn’t a good actor.
    I’m not suggesting Tom welling isn’t a good actor.
    I am suggesting that they hang up the red cape and move on.
    I personally don’t like the Reboot idea. But it is the hand that is dealt.
    Deal with it.

    By the way, like I said before, I am a happy camper that Zod is not involved. Let’s keep it so. Time for another Supey villain to get his/her mug onscreen.

    James Caviezel might put his name in once again; if he don’t get Supes, that’s okay. Cast him as The Parasite and hear my round of applause.

  26. Henry Cavill as Superman!
    One word sums it up – Perfect.

    Need I say more?

  27. Henry Cavill as Superman. One word sums it up – Perfect.

    Need I say more?

    This website has a couple of Henry Cavill pics in a Superman suit with muscles!

    • crazy he would probably way better than routh to

      • There is no doubt in my mind that Cavill will be better then Routh! He fits the part better too! Just let him pack on muscles and watch the magic unfold!

        • @ Julissa

          Great pick. I can certainly see Henry Cavill as “The Man of Steel” no problems. Now put him in the gym for six months so he can really flex those muscles. :-)

          This just came to mind. Probably an odd choice but how about Henry Rollins to play a bad ass villain?
          Who in the DC universe could he portray?

          • Thanks. They gave him the part before and actually took it so I’m sure he’ll take it once more if they offer it to him again. I hope they do…..

            As for Henry Rollins, how about Doomsday?!?

            lol… J/K!

            I honestly don’t know about him.

    I agree with you 100% Remy2

    BRANDON ROUTH FOR SUPERMAN! and I could say it a million times more

    He definelty deserves another chance or shot at this role just as Edward Norton did as the Hulk. Please let him come back and let this not be another rumor. Its not his fault the movie sucked! I do think he does deserve another shot at this role 100% for Brandon Routh as Superman

    Don’t make another mistake with this powerful superhero Hollywood.

    Oh and about the Villian I would say General Zod or maybe Darkseid would be a good villian maybe even a darker version of Superman though.

    • Thank you. I knew there were some descent people out there who know a good actor when they see one and who are true and fair. Just like ROUTH FOR SUPERMAN.
      Come on people, if you like Chris Reeve, they you should have no problem with the man who has taken his place as Superman who resembles Reeve in looks, and wholesomeness.
      Having BRANDON ROUTH FOR SUPERMAN is just like having CHRISTOPHER REEVE FOR SUPERMAN all over again which everybody would love. It would bring respect to Reeve which he deserves.

  29. I would love to see Brandon Routh given a second chance to portray Superman. With the right script and director I believe he could hit it out of the park.

    There’s a moment in “Superman Returns” that Routh’s character is flying and he smiles — and it was the Christopher Reeve smile at the end of Superman. I teared up while watching the sequence.

    He’s older now and more experienced as an actor. He can do the job now.