Happy Superman Day!

The Man of Steel’s first appearance was in the pages of 1938’s Action Comics #1.  We’ve heard the tale of how baby Kal-El, powered by the Earth’s yellow sun and raised by farmers named Jonathan and Martha Kent, would ultimately grow up to become Superman.

How many Superman's are there?

Many actors have portrayed Superman, the first live-action was in 1948, with actor Kirk Alyn stepping into the role, in a 15-episode film serial.  followed by the movie Atom Man vs. Superman in 1950.  That was followed by George Reeves with The Adventures of Superman from 1952 to 1958. There was quite a chasm between the George Reeves era of Superman, ending in 1958, and the Christopher Reeve era which began in 1978 with the blockbuster makeover of the franchise.  Christopher Reeve reprised his role, in 1980, with Superman II, in 1983, with Superman III (featuring Richard Pryor), and finally in 1987's Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.

The next actor to pick up the Superman cape was Dean Cain, this time Superman was on the small screen from 1993 to 1997 on ABC.  Superman stayed on the small screen for his next project being portrayed by Tom Welling in Smallville.  Took a while for Superman to show up in that series.  Smallville was mainly based around Clark Kent and his life before becoming Superman.

Following the small screen stay of Superman, he finally made it back to the big time in 2006.  Brandon Routh saved the day in Superman Returns. Routh reportedly auditioned for the role of Clark Kent in Smallville but lost out to Tom Welling.

Henry Cavill took up the role in 2013's Man of Steel, the first non-American actor to be cast in the part.  Appearing again as Superman in the 2016 film Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Cavill was also in the later films, Justice League and Black Adam.

Tyler Hoechlin was given the role in 2021 with the series Superman & Lois.  he first stepped into the role on the shows Supergirl, The Flash and Arrow.

The newest Superman, to soon appear in James Gunn's newest installment Superman: Legacy is Pearl actor, David Corenswet.

Now that we know who played Superman.  You've heard he was from Krypton, but, did you know that Superman is actually from Des Moines, Iowa, and one other place too?

Where did Superman come from?

Routh, the third child among four siblings, was born in Des Moines, Iowa, to Catherine LaVaughn (née Lear), a teacher, and Ronald Ray Routh, a carpenter. His upbringing took place in the nearby town of Norwalk. Raised in a Methodist household, Routh's ancestry encompasses English, Scottish, German, Irish, Welsh, and Dutch roots. 

Growing up just a stone's throw from Woolstock, where George Reeves, the inaugural actor to portray Superman on television, was born, Routh found himself captivated by the idea of acting. Despite his rural background, he nurtured dreams of a full-time acting career, though he initially considered it unrealistic.  

Routh's formative years unfolded at Norwalk High School, where he balanced sports, musical pursuits, and theatrical endeavors. Coincidentally, he attended alongside Jason Momoa, who would also later venture into acting, particularly in DC Comics film adaptations. Reflecting on his school days, Routh described himself as a "momma's boy" and admitted he wasn't among the most popular students. However, his fondness for Superman movies and comic books was evident even then. 

Following a brief stint at the University of Iowa with aspirations of becoming a writer, Routh embarked on a modeling and acting journey to fund his education. It wasn't long before his striking resemblance to Christopher Reeve, the iconic Superman actor, caught the attention of industry insiders. Encouraged by his former manager, who foresaw Routh's potential as Superman in a future film installment, he pursued acting with renewed determination. 

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Landing the role of Superman

Wikipedia says before Brandon Routh landed the role of Superman in "Superman Returns," Warner Bros. had been meticulously planning to revive the franchise for over a decade. The project, initially titled "Superman Flyby," had a roster of potential stars that included Nicolas Cage, Josh Hartnett, Brendan Fraser, and others, with directors ranging from Tim Burton to Brett Ratner. However, when director Bryan Singer took the reins, he sought an unknown actor to embody the iconic superhero, akin to Christopher Reeve's casting. 

Routh, then 24, had caught Singer's eye through a previous audition with director McG. Singer, impressed by Routh's resemblance to Superman and his blend of vulnerability and confidence reminiscent of Reeve, ultimately chose him for the role. Routh's casting was announced in October 2004, catapulting him to instant fame. 

Preparing for the role, Routh underwent a physical transformation, gaining 22 pounds to portray the superhero convincingly. Filming commenced in Sydney in February 2005, leading to the release of "Superman Returns" in June 2006. Despite garnering decent reviews, the film fell short of box office expectations. 

Routh's performance received mixed reviews; while some praised his effortless portrayal of Superman, others felt he lacked charisma, particularly as Clark Kent. Nonetheless, he earned recognition, winning the "Best Superhero" award at the 2006 Spike TV Awards. 

Despite initial plans for Routh to reprise the role in potential sequels, Warner Bros. decided to reboot the franchise. Although Routh expressed interest in returning, British actor Henry Cavill ultimately took on the role in "Man of Steel," released in 2013. 

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