What To Know About Hallmark Star Brandon Routh

Hallmark is the heart of Christmas, and one movie that made an impression on Hallmark fans everywhere was "Nine Lives of Christmas," which premiered in 2014. The film follows vet student Marilee White (Kimberley Sustad) and firefighter Zachary Stone (Brandon Routh) as they meet and fall in love amidst the magic of the holiday season. Not only was the film heartwarming in the traditional Hallmark sense, but what made the movie so memorable was the actors in the roles — particularly, Brandon Routh.

Originally hailing from Des Moines, Iowa, Brandon Routh had amassed an impressive resume before making his Hallmark debut in "Nine Lives of Christmas." Routh got his big break in 2006 when he landed the role of Superman in "Superman Returns." He appeared in the cult film "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" and also had recurring roles in television, such as the soap opera "One Life to Live" and "The Rookie." 

As for his personal life, Routh is a family man who has been married to his wife Courtney Ford since 2007. The couple shares a son, Leo James, born in 2012. Brandon Routh sure has a talent for winning over fans in whatever role he lands, and we love him for it, but there's more to this actor than just Hallmark happiness and superhero charm.

Routh was unsure about the success of the Nine Lives sequel

With the success of "Nine Lives of Christmas," it was only natural that Hallmark Channel would want to continue Zach and Marilee's story in a sequel. Seven years later in 2021, "Nine Kittens of Christmas" premiered, following Marilee and Zach after they separated in between the first and second films. 

While the announcement of a second movie following their favorite characters excited Hallmark fans, Brandon Routh was worried that continuing the story would turn out to be a mistake. In an interview with TV Fanatic, Routh explained his reservations about filming the second movie. "I was a little bit hesitant because I wanted to make sure it was a story worth telling and also that the film was going to have the same energy, the same level of humor and fun as the first one did," he said.

As for the first film, Routh also explained in the same interview why "Nine Lives of Christmas" turned out to be such a success. "I think it had a little more realistic tone overall for the film, a more grounded and realistic feel for the film," he said.

Brandon Routh wishes he could've kept being Superman

The Superman canon is perhaps one of the most popular movie series of all time, and Brandon Routh got to step into the superhero's shoes when he starred as the title character in "Superman Returns" in 2006. However, the film didn't receive the publicity that the team had hoped for, and Routh was unable to do the planned sequel to the film. He was recast with Henry Cavill, and thus ended his career as one of the world's most famous superheroes. 

In an interview with MTV, Routh opened up about his unfinished business with the Superman films. "I would have liked to do another movie," he told the outlet. "I love the character, and the fans are great. It has been an amazing family to be a part of. I feel like I still had more to do, and to grow as the character. But Henry (Cavill) is a great actor and has done a nice job. I'm happy for Superman fans that they get another film."

Routh went on to detail his point of view on playing such an iconic character and how he's made peace with his experience. "People come up and they love the character, and — as much as they may have loved me in the role — I'm just the vessel being able to put that guy up on the screen," he said. While Routh's days as Superman seem to be over, hopefully we'll be seeing more of him soon, and maybe even in another Hallmark movie.