Brandon Routh is headed back to DC territory, though he won't be playing Superman this time around. Routh played Superman in Bryan Singer's 2006 film Superman Returns, but in Arrow, he has been cast to play the role of Ray Palmer -- also known in the DC universe as Atom -- in Season 3 of the CW series.
Deadline reports that Brandon Routh will play Arrow Season 3's "main recurring guest star," in the role of Ray Palmer, "a scientist and inventor who will play an unexpected role the lives of Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak as the new owner of Queen Consolidated." Routh's deal has him set for fourteen episodes.
This article contains spoilers/references to Season 2 of Arrow so read on with caution if you're not caught up!
With Summer Glau's Isobel out of the picture as of the end of Season 2, that does leave an opening for someone to take over Queen Consolidated. It would be nice of Oliver could regain control of his family's company, but the alternative is that someone good would run the business. And that's not such a bad thing, when we consider how busy Oliver is these days, trying to save Starling and what not.
As for the mention of the "unexpected role" Ray Palmer will play in the lives of Oliver and Felicity, that may be a nod to Palmer's arrival and/or his acquisition of the company, where Oliver and Felicity work when they aren't busy thwarting evil. Then again, there's also the obvious twist that Ray Palmer is or will become Atom, and that his superhuman ability to shrink himself down will come into play at some point.
There's also the matter of Felicity's personal life, which is apparently very relevant here as Deadline's report says he'll be a love interest to Oliver's trusted friend. This is not at all surprising, considering Palmer sounds like just her type, being brainy, not to mention looking like Brandon Routh. In the wake of Oliver and Felicity's amazing Season 2 finale tension, and the fact that Barry Allen will likely be busy with his own stuff on The Flash, the timing seems perfect for a romance, and Felicity is long overdue for a proper romantic arc.
As for Routh, as mentioned, Brandon Routh is no stranger to the DC universe, having played Clark Kent and Superman in the 2006 feature film Superman Returns. Since then, he's appeared in Chuck, Partners and Crackle's thriller series Chosen. He also appeared in Fox's unfortunately short-lived comedy Enlisted. It'll be interesting to see his take on Ray Palmer, and how the character fits into the show -- and how long he sticks around!