Exclusive: No Zod in Superman Returns 2?

Brandon Routh talks superhero sequel

For all the lush visuals and emotional intensity of Superman Returns, a sizeable slab of its audience grumbled about its lack of balls-to-the-wall action, with complaints going something like, “If I wanted to watch a man lift increasingly heavy objects, I’d hang around my local skip.”

Well, Supes himself, Brandon Routh, gave us a few hints as to what we can expect from the sequel. And it seems a proper Scary Bad Guy (no offense, Lex) is very much on the cards…

“It’s going to be a lot more in that genre. In the first one, the obstacle was Superman’s love for Lois and his son, and Luthor using that against him. I just know that in the next film there will be a lot of action and I’m gonna get to fight something, or someone. An enemy with real physical power might be worked in there, definitely.”

Hmm… But what of a rumour that’s been floating around of late, that the next Superman flick will feature a certain outlaw from Krypton, a villain with immeasurable strength, a baddie whose love of baggy V-neck tunics is only matched by his fox-like cunning. In short, will Superman soon kneel once more before General Zod?

“I don’t know,” laughs Routh. “I don’t know how much we want to reprise characters that have appeared in the series before, since we’ve reset and used the first film to pay homage to all that’s come before. Now I think Bryan (Singer) might want to go somewhere new with it, which I think will be exciting.”

It’s early days for the project — Routh says he has two films lined up to shoot later this year (one a romantic comedy) before he dons the cape again, possibly in early 2008 — and aside from a bad guy, there’s something else missing: a title. “Yeah, I don’t think they’ve settled on one yet,” says Routh. “I suggested that Bryan call it Superman Returns Again, but I don’t think that will happen. They’re about to begin the pre-production process, so there’s a lot of ideas in the air and a lot of discussion about what’s going to happen with it. I promise a lot of excitement!”