Brandon Routh Breaks Silence on Leaving DC's Legends of Tomorrow

While characters have come and gone quite frequently from DC's Legends of Tomorrow over the course of its first four seasons, there are some heroes that felt like permanent members of the team. Brandon Routh's Ray Palmer is one such character, which is why fans were shocked by the news on Thursday night that Routh and wife/co-star Courtney Ford would both be leaving the series at some point in Season 5.

Routh has been one of the lead actors on Legends since the first season, and Ford's Nora Darhk has stuck around since Season 3. Their characters are romantically involved with one another and it seems as though their exits will be tied to their love story. It will certainly be tough to see them leave, and both actors have taken to social media to thank the fans for their loyalty.

"Legends of Tomorrow fans are the best fans," Routh wrote in a tweet. "Thank you for embracing Ray Palmer/The Atom."

Routh also released a statement to Deadline regarding the news Thursday night, saying that he was sad to see his on-screen story come to a close but that he wanted only the best for the rest of the cast.

β€œI’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to bring the big-hearted and humorous Ray Palmer to life for our fans over the last 5 years, but unfortunately, his storyline is pointed in another direction,” Routh said. β€œI’m saddened to see Ray’s journey end for now but wish my Legends family well.”

Of course, given that this is Legends of Tomorrow we're talking about, this departure isn't necessarily permanent. Executive producers Phil Klemmer, Grianne Godfree, and Keto Shimizu confirmed that there is always a possibility both Ray and Nora could return in the future.

β€œOf 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. β€œWe 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.”

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Are you sad to see these Legends depart? Who do you think will replace them? Let us know in the comments!

Legends of Tomorrow returns for its fifth season on Tuesday, January 12, 2020 at 9 pm ET on The CW.