Legends of Tomorrow: Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford to Depart as Series Regulars

Two of Legends of Tomorrow's most beloved characters are preparing to leave the Waverider. According to a new report from Deadline, Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford will be stepping down as series regulars in the show's upcoming fifth season. Routh has been portraying Ray Palmer/The Atom since the show's first season, while Ford joined the show in Season 3 as Nora Darhk.

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

The report indicates that the exits are a result of "a creative decision" to wrap up Ray and Nora's storylines. Routh and Ford are expected to film their final episode in October, although it is unknown which episode that will be in Legends' fifth season.

Over the seasons since Nora's Legends debut, she and Ray have gone from adversaries to love interests. Season 4 put their relationship to the test in an interesting way, between Nora turning herself in to the Time Bureau and Ray briefly being possessed by the villainous Mallus.

While Routh and Ford might be exiting the show, the producers are not ruling out a potential return for Ray and Nora in the future.

“Of course, when we have had main characters in the past whose journeys take them away from the Waverider, it’s never truly goodbye,” Klemmer, Godfree and Shimizu said. “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.”

Before Legends returns in January of 2020, Routh has also been confirmed to be playing a role in the Arrowverse's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover, where he will be playing Kingdom Come Superman.

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Legends of Tomorrow’s fifth season will begin on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 9/8c.