How Superman Returns Ended Brandon Routh’s Acting Career

Even before a sequel was officially abandoned, Brandon Routh faced a string of bad luck. He was cast in the film “Without Remorse,” but the movie never happened. Another film, 2008’s “The Informers,” cast Routh, but all of his scenes were dropped from the movie’s final cut (via Giant Freakin Robot). When the Superman sequel died, Routh was understandably crushed. On Michael Rosenbaum’s podcast “Inside of You,” Routh said he “had to really come to terms with a lot of that.” For Routh, he found his escape in a popular video game, telling Rosenbaum, “I played World of Warcraft endlessly. That was my addiction.”

Over time, Routh realized that his addiction to WoW was not actually helping him process the loss of a major role, it only masked the pain. With help from his wife, Routh began the process of examining the situation, understanding it, and, eventually, coming to terms with it (via Inverse). On “Inside of You,” the actor said that recovering from the loss “was a long, drawn-out process with me in denial for much of it.”

For several years, Routh took small parts in films and television series. Eventually, he landed a recurring role on NBC’s “Chuck” in 2010. Slowly, Routh’s career was beginning to rebound. 

In 2014, he even returned to the DC world as Ray Palmer in The CW’s Arrowverse, playing the role on “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Legends of Tomorrow,” “Supergirl,” and “Batwoman.” Though Rough never got to play Superman in a movie sequel, he did don the tights and cape once more for the Arrowverse’s crossover saga “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” which gave Routh and his version of Kal-El some much-needed closure, and earned widespread acclaim from Superman fans — bringing a long-awaited happy ending to Routh’s Superman story.

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