Brandon Routh as Superman

New Superman muscles into role (ThisisLondon)

Photo Brandon Routh in Superman costume Some might say the new Superman Brandon Routh is growing into his role remarkably well. The all-new film sequel, provisionally titled Superman Returns, is not out until next year but this sneak preview of Routh, 25, in his superhero costume, shows that he carries off the look with style. Muscled Routh does not need any fake padding to fill out his skin-tight costume.

The American soap actor was a relative unknown before he landed the part, made famous by Christopher Reeve. But as USA Today says: “The look of Superman literally rests on the broad and buff shoulders of newcomer Routh.” Director Bryan Singer, whose credits include the hit X-Men, says Superman’s heroism depends on his extraordinary physique. “With X-Men, although they had extraordinary powers, they also had physical weaknesses,” he said. “The suits were for protection as well as costume. Superman is the Man of Steel. Bullets bounce off him, not his suit.”

That’s true, although Superman’s powers don’t come from his physique per se but rather the lower gravity and yellow sun of Earth vice Krypton. And, surely, the role of Superman was famous long before Christopher Reeve played in the first Superman movie in 1978. The character debuted in Action Comics #1 in June 1938 and had been the subject of numerous animated movies and a long-running television series starring George Reeves.

Picture Gallery of Superman actors past and present, including Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain (“Lois and Clark”), and Tom Welling (“Smallville”). Oddly, George Reeves is not included.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. kenny says:

    “surely, the role of Superman was famous long before Christopher Reeve”

    Not that famous in the UK, though. As a kid growing up in the 70’s, until the Reeves films were made, I was only vaguely aware that there was a superhero called superman, mainly due to the occasional cartoon shown on the telly.

  2. Janet says:

    Uh Kenny just contradicted himself. But just so you know, that suit is padded, as the director has stated already. The guy is 180lbs. soaking wet, and 6’2, hardly enough to look very good in the suit. Which is why he doesn’t. He looks like a wimpy, scuba-diver with a cape.

  3. kenny says:

    ” Uh Kenny just contradicted himself”

    Really? How ?

    As I said as a kid , my exposure to superman was limited to a very occasional cartoon on the telly.No film, no tv series, no comics etcs. Certainly nowhere near the fame that the character enjoyed in the US.

  4. ben says:

    Brandon looks terrific to me! Very solid and taut…..super indeed!!

  5. Pat Murphy says:

    He looks like a guy in a bad Superman costume. The overall look of the costume makes him look too long in the torso and too short in the legs. The briefs are way too brief and changing the classic round belt-buckle design is a mistake that for old time fans like me is border-line blasphemous! Why does the “S” shield have to be raised. The whole suit looks plastic which may be a marketing ploy to sell action figures, but I’ll stick with the classic version from tv and the comics … Ma Kent wove his action costume from the blue , red and yellow blankets that Kal-El was hastily wrapped in before being placed in his ROCKET not a star-shaped star-ship which was one of the deviations in the Chris Reeve movies that they are repeating again which I never liked in the first place. I’m sure all the gay boys will love this guy but he looks like a bit of a poofter to me , no offense meant, live and let live you know but I’m sure this will be the end of Superman. Superman belongs in bright primary colors. He is not a dark figure of the night like Batman. I’ll wait to see it on free tv, if it’s still around in 2007.Routh looks more like Jonathan Frakes than Chris Reeve or George Reeves. A nice looking boy, but no Superman.