Superman back in new clothes

LOS ANGELES: This first look at ‘Superman Returns’ — due in theatres in June 2006 — shows that the skin-tight costume stretches over only the actor’s muscles and frame, without the augmented armored pecs or abs of recent movie superheroes. Director Bryan Singer famously

changed the fluorescent spandex suits of the X-Men into dark, leather-like uniforms for those movies. But on ‘Superman Returns’, he says, he wanted “something classic.” Instead of reinventing the character’s appearance, Singer says he wanted to remain faithful to the previous incarnations of Superman. Singer decided to keep the cape, the blue body suit, the red tights - even the V-cut opening of Superman’s boots. The key to filling it out, however, depends entirely on the physique of Brandon Routh, 25, the Iowa native who was briefly on the soap opera ‘One Life to Live’ in 2001. Singer says the Superman costume wasn’t complete

without Routh. “I always had the general idea of the suit. I privately had paintings rendered with Brandon’s face, which certainly brought it to life.” — Agencies