The news broke earlier this week that Brandon Routh, who currently plays Ray Palmer a.k.a. The Atom on the CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, would be reprising the role of Superman for the upcoming Arrowverse crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” But the question remained…would he be playing the same version of Superman that he played on the big screen in 2006’s Superman Returns? Apparently not, according to the Arrowverse panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday.
“Well, I spoke to WB, we actually discovered this last year on last year’s crossover: Every time they have a costume, they basically put it in their archives. And they don’t like to let it out,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim said at the panel. “So we won’t be able to use your original costume. We’re still figuring it out. We’ll dress you in something, obviously. If you have any ideas, we’re all ears.”
At that point, Routh exclaimed, “I have an idea!” and opened his button-down shirt, revealing a Superman T-shirt beneath. But this one replaces the traditional yellow in the Superman “S” with black, which comic fans will recognize as the logo of the Superman from Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ classic comic Kingdom Come.
“I think we’re going to do that!” Guggenheim said.
Kingdom Come is a story set in the far future, when Superman has gotten gray in the temples and is facing competition from a younger, more violent generation of superheroes. It was originally a self-contained story, but in 2008 Ross and writer Geoff Johns brought the Kingdom Come version of Superman into the pages of Justice Society of America, where he interacted with mainstream DC superheroes from the mainstream continuity. Looks like he’ll soon come face to face with the Arrowverse characters, and the version of Superman that Tyler Hoechlin plays in those shows. Infinite Earths means infinite Supermen, after all.
“It’s an opportunity for me to kind of say hello and goodbye to the character in a way I didn’t get to the first time,” Routh told EW earlier during Comic-Con weekend. “Being a young individual of 24, 25, I thought, ‘Oh, I’m going to do this for years and make multiple movies.’ And that, of course, didn’t happen. I’m just very honored to be able to do this one last time.”
Watch the video with Routh above.
—With reporting from Mary Sollosi
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