Legends of Tomorrow fans were dealt quite a blow when it was announced that the superhero drama would be losing two key characters, one of whom is an original. Brandon Routh and his co-star (and real-life wife), Courtney Ford, will be exiting in Season 5. They will be taking Ray Palmer and Nora Darhk with them. It turns out that Routh did not want to leave, though.
On Instagram, Brandon Routh promoted Legends of Tomorrow with a picture of him and his co-star Nick Zano (Nate Heywood/Steel). In the caption, Routh warned there were not too many episodes of #SteelATOM left. Over in the comments section, user “johnwilsoncomicsguy” said that Routh could change his mind, and not leave the show.
Brandon Routh responded, “Not my choice,” with a downcast emoji. Not his choice! As in, it was not Routh’s idea to leave Legends of Tomorrow? It seems to be confirmation that the surprising exit of Routh’s Ray was not the actor's idea. But, there were clues that Routh leaving might not have been his idea before his Instagram comment.
Brandon Routh’s response comes after Legends of Tomorrow’s co-showrunner, Phil Klemmer, explained the reasons behind Ray and Nora’s departures. Klemmer’s explanation did not directly mention Routh or Courtney Ford requesting to leave. Instead, he described the exits occurring along the lines of a natural evolution for the characters and the show.
This exit from the Arrow-verse was apparently not decided by an actor ready to move on. At least, former Superman Brandon Routh was apparently not raring to go. Legends of Tomorrow’s decision comes despite Routh being one of the show’s core original characters and an active member of the Arrow-verse.
Brandon Routh has been super busy in the Arrow-verse during its current cycle. Routh portrayed one of several versions of Superman in the crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” He has also played Ray Palmer on Legends of Tomorrow during its fifth season, which will now be his last. Following news of his Legends of Tomorrow exit, Routh shared a moving farewell message with fans.
Sadly, it seems that Brandon Routh’s goodbye was a story-dictated one. Will this seeming confirmation about Routh's departure change fans' feelings surrounding his exit? Fans tend to get when an actor is ready to move on, but learning that a show chose to move on without the actor is another thing altogether.
Now that Brandon Routh will be available after his Legends of Tomorrow stint ends, fans will have to see where he turns up next. At least Routh got a chance to play Superman one more time via the Arrow-verse. I greatly enjoyed Routh’s Ray Palmer when he was on Arrow, and he is a great actor. Hopefully, he ends up somewhere else on television soon.
New episodes of Legends of Tomorrow air Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. Time will tell how, exactly, Ray and Nora exit the show. Until then, you can relive their time on Legends of Tomorrow via past seasons currently streaming on Netflix along with new content in 2020. In other television viewing opportunities, there are this winter and spring’s premieres.