Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford cut back on Legends of Tomorrow duties

DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Tagumo Attacks!!!" -- Image Number: LGN405a_0226bc.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/Atom, Courtney Ford as Nora Darhk and Matt Ryan as Constantine -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has never been about one character, unlike its other Arrowverse counterparts. The Legends cast has changed more than all those other shows combined. And now, Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford will step back from the cast as series regulars in Legends of Tomorrow season 5 according to a report from Deadline.

Routh plays Ray Palmer/The Atom, while Ford plays Nora Darhk. The actors are married out here in the real world and romantically linked on the show as well. According to Deadline, the move stems from the decision to wrap up the characters’ storylines.

“Brandon and Courtney have been invaluable members of the Legends family,” series executive producers Phil Klemmer, Grianne Godfree and Keto Shimizu said in an official statement provided 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.”

It sounds like they’re getting a happy ending, though.

“Of course, when we have had main characters in the past whose journeys take them away from the Waverider, it’s never truly goodbye,” they told Deadline. “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.”

And then there were two

DC's Legends of Tomorrow - Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz, Matt Ryan, Jes Macallan

Routh is one of the remaining original cast members of Legends. The original cast featured an ensemble collected from the Arrowverse’s shows. Routh’s Atom accompanied Caity Lotz’s Canary from Arrow. Victor Garber and Franz Drameh made up the two halves of Firestorm from The Flash, joined by Dominic Purcell as Heat Wave and Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold. New characters included Ciara Renee as Hawkgirl, Falk Hentschel as Hawkman, and Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter. Across the show’s four seasons, we’ve seen all but Lotz, Purcell, and Routh depart for various reasons. Only Lotz and Purcell remain from the original cast.

Routh has acted as somewhat of a moral center for the crew since he joined. His charm allowed him to lean into the boy-scout act, which both kept the more “gray” characters in line and acted as a source of comedy for the show.

Many universes, many characters

This fall, Routh will not only portray Atom, but he’ll also don Superman’s red cape for the first time since 2006’s Superman Returns. He’ll play the character as part of the Arrowverse’s upcoming ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths‘ storyline. Last year’s ‘Elseworlds‘ storyline, for example, put John Wesley Shipp back in the Flash outfit he wore in the short-lived 1990s Flash TV show. Shipp had played Barry Allen’s father and Earth-2’s Jay Garrick on the Flash’s CW incarnation as well. The ‘Crisis’ storyline is giving the network license to have fun with these actors past roles and to bring in other actors, too. Burt Ward of the 1966 Batman will drop in, as will Kevin Conroy, voice of Batman in the 1990s animated series. He’ll play a future Bruce Wayne in the crossover.

It’s unclear right now whether Routh’s character will get his resolution as part of that arc, or if it’ll happen during the Legends of Tomorrow‘s fifth season, which airs in 2020. We’re hoping Routh’s Palmer will get to meet Routh’s Superman because there’s no way it won’t be funny.