'Legends of Tomorrow' Is Losing Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford in Season 5

Meredith Jacobs
Bettina Strauss/The CW

The Waverider is going to be a bit emptier in Legends of Tomorrow Season 5.

The CW superhero drama is losing two series regulars, Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford, at some point in the upcoming season due to "a creative decision to wrap up their storyline," Deadline reported. They will shoot their last episode in October, but an air date for it has yet to be announced.

Routh has played Ray Palmer/The Atom since the beginning of the series after his introduction in Arrow Season 3. Ford recurred as Nora Darhk in Legends of Tomorrow Season 3 and became a series regular the following year.

"Brandon and Courtney have been invaluable members of the Legends family," executive producers Phil Klemmer, Grainne Godfree, and Keto Shimizu said in a statement. "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."

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The good news is it doesn't sound like fans should be bracing for either of them to be killed off. "Of course, when we have had main characters in the past whose journeys take them away from the Waverider, it's never truly goodbye," the EPs' statement continued. "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 said on Twitter that it wasn't his decision to leave and added in a longer statement on Instagram that he's "saddened to see Ray's journey end for now."

 

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Thank you all for watching Ray’s journey over the past 5 years. I love this character. I love bringing his wit and charm and silliness to life everyday on set. I will miss him immensely, and felt he had more adventures ahead, but unfortunately his storyline is pointed in another direction. I’m saddened to see Ray’s journey end for now. I love my fellow cast and crew, and want you to know how tirelessly they work to bring each episode of this critically acclaimed show to you every week! 👏🏻💪🏼 And thank you to our outstanding team of writers who come up with bonkers ideas that always end up working! Thank you for leaning into my comedic nature—and that of our cast. Our show is better because of it. Thank you to @thecw, @warnerbrostv, & @dccomics for bringing me back into the superhero world once again. And @marcguggenheim & @gberlanti for bringing me onto #ArrowSeason3 (and #Crisis 😉) and starting this whole thing. 🙏🏼🙌🏻 With Gratitude, Brandon ❤️ @deadline story in profile, and also I’m my Story.

A post shared by Brandon Routh (@brandonjrouth) on

"I love this character. I love bringing his wit and charm and silliness to life everyday on set," he said as he thanked fans for watching his character's journey, the cast and crew, and the writers. "I will miss him immensely, and felt he had more adventures ahead, but unfortunately his storyline is pointed in another direction."

He concluded his message with gratitude for The CW, Warner Bros. TV, and DC Comics for bringing him "back into the superhero world once again." (He played Clark Kent/Superman in 2006's Superman Returns.) He also thanked Marc Guggenheim and Greg Berlanti for "starting this whole thing" by bringing him onto Arrow.

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Ford also thanked the fans, writers, and crew in her post on Instagram. "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," she wrote. "Nora Darhk is a reflection of survivor's resilience. I hear you. I see you. Your stories and strength inspire me every day."

 

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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. Thank you @legends_of_tomorrow_writers for the opportunity to play in a world I love so much. What a ride. Proud to have been able to call @warnerbrostv and @thecw my home. Excited for everyone to see what we have in store in the first half of season 5❤️ Respect to our crew. The first to arrive every morning, and the last to leave every night. The ones on the ground here in Vancouver making everyone else’s wild ideas into reality through their own literal blood, sweat, and tears. Honored to spend another few months with you. And finally, endless gratitude to the Legends fandom for embracing me so completely. Nora Darhk is a reflection of survivor’s resilience. I hear you. I see you. Your stories and strength inspire me every day. Thank you❤️ 🎨: @muckitymuckart

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Legends of Tomorrow's fifth season will premiere in the midseason, with its part of the upcoming five-part Arrowverse "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover airing last, on Tuesday, January 14 at 9/8c. Routh will be playing two roles during the event, Ray Palmer and a version of Superman.

Legends of Tomorrow, Season 5, 2020, The CW