With the release of Superman Returns in 2006, star Brandon Routh was poised to become the next big thing. He was taking on the role of a superhero icon in one of the biggest blockbusters of the year, cast partially for his resemblance to the iconic Superman star, Christopher Reeves. But then, crickets. Superman Returns opened to decent reviews and a respectable worldwide gross of $391 million. But Warner Bros. wrote the film off as a disappointment, and Routh was devastated to learn that there would be no sequel — instead the superhero got rebooted in with 2013’s Man of Steel in which Henry Cavill donned cape.

While Routh has carved out a good niche as a genre TV regular with roles in Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, and Chuck, the actor revealed the difficulties he endured in the aftermath of Superman Returns — and indeed, during the filming, with director Bryan Singer, who has in recent years been exposed for his history of sexual abuse. Read more of Brandon Routh on Superman Returns and the difficulties on set and after the film’s release.

In an interview with Inside of You host Michael Rosenbaum, Brandon Routh opened up about the effect that the “failure” of Superman Returns had on his career and mental well-being.

“I would say that the end of my run as Superman in Superman Returns that did not pan out the way I thought it was going to, the way everyone around me thought it was going to. I had to really come to terms with a lot of that. There was no sequel, the movie was widely well-reviewed, people liked the movie, but it, you know, made almost $400 million worldwide but that wasn’t enough. And it was a very slow fizzle out of the possibility of a sequel over the next two, three years and I did everything that I could do, that I thought, in my world to help make it happen.”

So how did he cope? World of Warcraft. But that didn’t help Routh either, until his wife, Courtney Ford, was able to help him deal with the trauma. “It was a coping mechanism but it wasn’t teaching me things until I finally came, you know, had several experiences where I had to come to terms with that and she was part of that,” Routh said.

Routh had faced criticism when he was cast as Superman — with many comparing him unfavorably to Reeves. But Routh revealed that he had difficulty on the set of Superman Returns too, specifically with director Bryan Singer.

“He wasn’t always the kindest person to everyone,” Routh told Rosenbaum. Routh agreed that, though Singer was good to him, he had seen the director behave badly with others — stories that stars like Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Rami Malek and X-Men: Apocalypse‘s Sophie Turner have corroborated in the aftermath of reports of Singer’s alleged sexual assaults.

But all the criticism and on-set difficulty Routh endured, and he didn’t even get to play Superman a second time — on the big screen, that is. Routh reprised the role on television for the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event. So at least he got the chance to say goodbye to a character that helped launch his career, and gave him so much trouble.

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