EXCLUSIVE: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow will be bidding farewell to two series regulars during the superhero team-up drama’s upcoming fifth season: Brandon Routh, who plays Ray Palmer/Atom, and Courtney Ford, who portrays Nora Darhk.
“Brandon and Courtney have been invaluable members of the Legends family,” series executive producers Phil Klemmer, Grianne Godfree and Keto Shimizu said in a statement to Deadline. “They have always brought a level passion and collaboration to their characters and to the show — both on and off the screen – that we deeply admire and for which we are eternally grateful.”
Routh was among the core group of fan-favorite recurring actors from Arrow and Flash who were recruited to anchor the third Arrowverse series, along with Victor Garber, Wentworth Miller and Caity Lotz, and has been a series regular from the start. Routh’s wife, Ford, joined Legends of Tomorrow as a recurring in Season 3 and was promoted to a regular at the beginning of Season 4. Mirroring real life, Routh and Ford’s characters are romantically linked on the show.
“As one of the founding Legends of Tomorrow, Brandon is extremely beloved by the fans and everyone on the show,” Klemmer, Godfree and Shimizu said.
Routh and Ford’s exits stem from a creative decision to wrap up their storyline. Because of the nature of the time-traveling Legends of Tomorrow, there has been a natural character turnover, with series regulars leaving as their stories come to an end and new ones coming on board. Of the large regular ensemble cast that started in Season 1, only a couple will still be on the show by the end of this coming season.
But as is the case with most Legends, the producers are leaving the door open for Ray and Nora to pop back in for guest appearances.
“Of course, when we have had main characters in the past whose journeys take them away from the Waverider, it’s never truly goodbye,” Klemmer, Godfree and Shimizu said. “We love these characters and hope to check in with them in future seasons, to see how life off the ship has transformed them for better or worse.”
Routh and Ford are expected to film their final episode in October. It is unclear yet when it will air during Legends of Tomorrow‘s Season 5 run, slated to start in January.
“I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to bring the big-hearted and humorous Ray Palmer to life for our fans over the last 5 years, but unfortunately, his storyline is pointed in another direction,” Routh said in a statement to Deadline. “I’m saddened to see Ray’s journey end for now but wish my Legends family well.”
Added Ford, “Nora Darhk is very close to my heart. If it were my choice, I’d play her for years to come. But I understand that stories run their course, and I’m grateful for the time I did have bringing Nora to life on Legends of Tomorrow.”
Routh will be pulling double duty in the upcoming Arrowverse crossover where he is also set to play Superman, a character he played in the 2006 Bryan Singer-directed feature Superman Returns.
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