Superman Returns is what you get when you follow that "it must be an origin story" idiocy. Oh yeah, it was not an origin story, it was a "returns story". Same difference.
Firstly, not the "same difference."
Secondly, the problem with "Superman Returns" was it was literally an imitation of the Chris Reeve era films. None of the actors hired were allowed to do their own thing. I mean God ... er ... Zod, it was painful to watch Kevin Spacey forced to imitate Gene Hackman! And Brandon Routh just didn't have the "it" factor of Mr. Reeve.
The whole thing was just a mess and a clear example of a studio patheticly attempting to play it safe and really taking audience intelligence for granted. I really think WB felt that if all the actors pretended to be the people from 20 years before the audience would believe they were 'cuz we be jus' dat stoopid.
Thirdly, in any event, I agree that our pals at the WB should have allowed the cast & crew to blaze their own path rather than try and photocopy someone elses from a couple of decades earlier.