New SUPERMAN BRANDON ROUTH has 1950s TV star Jack Larson to thank for his superhero role - because he urged director Bryan Singer to hire him as the Man of Steel. Singer was impressed by Routh in Superman auditions but Larson, who played JIMMY OLSEN in vintage series ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, convinced him that he'd found his guy. The director says, "Jack Larson was standing next to me... He didn't participate in the (RICHARD) DONNER era (Superman), so it had been a long time since he'd come face to face with Superman. "He came up to my shoulder and said, 'There he is!' I didn't know what he was talking about, and then I saw Brandon, and I was like, 'Yeah, there he is.'" And Singer discovered even his pals felt he'd made the right choice: "I had a friend drop by during one of the costume tests and he felt like he had just met Superman."