Brandon Routh’s time on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is coming to an end, as the actor is set to depart the show. Tonight’s episode will mark his final appearance as a series regular along with co-star Courtney Ford who is also leaving the team. Routh has become a fan favorite as quirky scientist Ray Palmer, who goes by the superhero moniker Atom. However, Routh’s first foray into the DC Universe was 2006’s Superman Returns in which he played the titular hero.
Routh recently got the chance to reprise his role as the Man of Steel during the massive “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event. The actor opened up to Entertainment Weekly about the feeling of uncertainty he had heading into the fifth season of Legends of Tomorrow. This, however, disappeared after he was offered the chance to play Superman again, which is something he credits the fans for:
I honestly don’t know what would’ve happened to Season 5 of Legends of Tomorrow if that hadn’t been offered. I’m eternally grateful to everyone who allowed that to happen because truly, personally, even before I filmed the first day, the whole process of the suit fitting and the photoshoot and knowing it was happening and the training, the wound that I had from how my first turn as Superman ended was healed and pretty magical. I’m grateful to the fans who also responded in kind. It was partially their response to the first reveal of the suit, that they were excited to see it, was validation. I’m only Superman if they see Superman.
Seeing Brandon Routh suit up as Superman in the Arrowverse was exciting, especially given the fact that the character has been so close to his heart. This is only made more meaningful by the fact that Routh is heading out the door, which was a decision made by the producers.
Routh was revealed to be revisiting the iconic character during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con last summer. The Clark Kent featured in the crossover was the same from Superman Returns, but he was depicted as a somewhat grim character who had experienced his fair share of loss since the events of the film.
This new Kingdom Come-inspired Kal-El proved to be a hit with fans and viewers. This popularity has even led some to lobby for a spinoff miniseries centered on the character.
Years before the Arrowverse became a reality, Brandon Routh was expected to once again take to the skies in a theatrical sequel. Those plans slowly fizzled out, and the film spent years in development hell before officially being shelved.
Routh would get another chance with DC after guest starring as Ray Palmer in an episode of Arrow. This would pave the way for him headlining Legends of Tomorrow alongside his own eclectic cast of characters.
Seeing Brandon Routh leave the show will be bittersweet for many viewers but, hopefully, he’ll receive a worthy send-off. Routh’s last episode, “Romeo v Juliet: Dawn of Justness", airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.