Some interesting tidbits from the washingtonpost
It reaches out to embrace all the previous iterations of the caped flyboy, even finding room for Jack Larson and Noel Neill to get giant close-ups and dramatic scenes of the sort they never got in previous TV cameos. Neill, the ur-Lois Lane, plays a dying octogenarian who is swindled out of billions on her deathbed by Lex Luthor; and Larson, the ur-Jimmy Olsen, is a bartender who in a moment of stress actually hugs Sam Huntington, this movie’s Jimmy Olsen. It’s too bad George Reeves, the original TV tall-building leaper, isn’t around to bask in a little afterglow.
Reeve and even Reeves were coached to see flying as athletic, an expression of strength and speed. To get airborne they took off, building up a head of steam, then (oof!) bounding into the air with a diver’s gymnastics as he launches off the high board. By contrast, Routh is a much less athletic, much less muscular flier. For him, flight almost seems Zen. He doesn’t have to put any muscle into it and when he’s flying, he’s not penetrating the atmosphere (his hair hardly moves) but rather transcendentally meditating his way through it. His landings aren’t controlled crashes softened by super-strong muscles and ligaments (oof! again) but a kind of delicate settling. He’s a Supe who’s made peace with the air.
as great an actor as Kevin Spacey is and as perfect for this part as he seems to be: Nobody could do it better than Gene Hackman. True, it’s probably easy to underrate Hackman’s turns as Luthor, but they were great pieces of work. He was avuncular, self-parodying, narcissistic, self-amused and evil all at once.