Brandon Routh, <EM>Superman Returns</EM> Brandon Routh, Superman Returns

Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet, but Superman Returns took an arduous 117 days to hit the $200 million mark at the box office. While this was a bit of a disappointment (considering the movie’s price tag which, including development, totaled around $250 million), the film was generally well reviewed, as was its strikingly handsome star, Brandon Routh. Warner Bros. has greenlit another movie, signing on Routh and director Bryan Singer for another stab at the Man of Steel’s quest for truth, justice and all that stuff. The film is tentatively set to open in 2009, but in the meantime, Superman Returns arrives on DVD today. Among the bonus features are a first-rate behind-the-scenes documentary on the film’s production. There are also 11 deleted scenes. The good: Kitty (the hilarious Parker Posey) asking Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) about his plans: “So, what is it this time, Lex? Clubbing baby seals or selling ice to Eskimos?” The bad: The missing “return to Krypton” scenes, in which Superman searches for the remains of his home planet. (It looks like that elaborate, much-anticipated sequence is being saved for some future super-deluxe DVD.) TV Guide checked in with the mild-mannered Routh to see what he thought about the movie, and what’s next.

TV Guide: Is there anything in particular that got cut from the movie that you are looking forward to fans seeing in the DVD?
Brandon Routh:
Well, there’s some really good stuff at the farm, some neat interaction with Clark and Martha and James Karen’s character, Ben [Martha’s new beau], which is funny stuff. It will be fun for people to see that.

TV Guide: When you were filming the movie, did you realize that there would be too much to fit into the theatrical version?
Routh:
I don’t think I did. I think filmmakers are very naive to that, even directors who have done this forever, because they love their story, and they are so passionate about it. And it’s hard to imagine not getting everything in there, and that it won’t all be wonderful. [Laughs]

TV Guide: How many times have you seen the movie?
Routh:
I’ve seen it five or six times.

TV Guide: How does your view of it change with each time?
Routh:
I notice things I didn’t previously. And I’m always entranced by the last 45 minutes of the movie. I really appreciate even more all the work that’s gone into it.

TVGuide.com: Is there anything in particular that jumped out?
Routh:
Sometimes different audiences got different jokes. Maybe because I was watching myself so closely at first, but after seeing it so many times I can notice other people, and Sam Huntington [Jimmy Olsen] has a lot of funny moments. And there are funny lines that Kitty says that just feel different, because maybe I was focusing on Lex the previous time. Little pieces here and there, and then you start to dissect the film.

TVGuide.com: You recently did a guest voice on the Batman cartoon, and you’ve got a short film, Denial, on iTunes right now. What’s next?
Routh:
Well, I’ve been busy having a lot of meetings and reading a lot of scripts. There are quite a few scripts that I’m excited about, so I’m meeting with those directors and waiting for them to pan out.

TVGuide.com: Do you feel like you have to go out of your way to do something that’s very un-Superman?
Routh:
I don’t think I have to do something that’s very un-Superman. Quite a few roles have come my way that are very different than Superman, but they are too much the other way, and I’m just not comfortable playing some characters. A lot of the characters I’m interested in have a journey to take. They may become better people at the end, but they don’t start out that way. But as long as they have a good journey — and aren’t wearing tights and saving people — that’s what matters!

TVGuide.com: Have you given yourself a timetable in terms of when you want to be working on your next film?
Routh:
I have, but then I put that away, because I’ve learned that you can’t rush things like that. A Superman film took 10 years to get made, and when it came together, it happened in a matter of months. You have to just allow for things to happen, and then they do.

Send your comments on this Q&A to online_insider@tvguide.com.