Legends of Tomorrow

Arrowverse: Why Are Brandon Routh And Courtney Ford Being Written Out Of Legends of Tomorrow?

They’re an unusual pairing but Ray Palmer and Nora Darhk have become fan favourites. Though, we need to ask: why are they being written out of the show?

They’re two sides of the same coin. Doctor Ray Palmer and Nora Darhk made their debuts in Arrow before later joining Legends of Tomorrow. In reality, their portrayers Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford are married with a child. We personally love the way they’re both written.

Ford made her debut as Nora in the Legends Season 3 episode, Return to the Mack. Routh made his first appearance as Ray in the Arrow Season 3 episode The Calm. Since then, they’ve joined forces and their characters have become a couple with the younger Darhk denouncing her parents’s evil ways.

Going into Legends Season 5, fans were given the devastating news that Brandon and Courtney would be leaving the show at some point during the new season. However, Routh didn’t want to go. So we need to ask ourselves, why were the on-off screen couple written out of the show?

No Storyline Left To Tell

[Credit: Daytime Confidential]

Now, this might seem obvious, but sometimes a character runs their course and there’s no story left for them to partake in. Much of the time, they’re killed off to make way for new characters or to move the plot along. Other times, they’re just written out without an explanation which is known as Chuck Cunningham Syndrome where a character just disappears.

It’s happened on a heap of soap operas over the years. Look at Jessica Forrester, the first daughter of The Bold and the Beautiful‘s John Forrester for example. When her sister Ivy joined the show or when their dad showed up, there was no reference to her. Then Ivy disappeared without so much as a goodbye.


[Credit: Arrowverse Fandom]

A common way to dispose of actors is if they get into some kind of dispute like pay rises. Look at what happened to Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim on Hawaii Five-O. They wanted more money because they weren’t being paid enough while their co-stars were getting more due to white privilege on the studio’s part. When the bigwigs refused the request, the actors walked.

Another dispute would come in the form of sexual misconduct but we doubt this or the money issue were factors.

Written Out To Make Way For A New Atom

Ryan Choi
[Credit: Comic Book]

Fans have known for a while that Ryan Choi, the second Atom would be joining the Arrowverse during the Crisis On Infinite Earths crossover event. While the character has popped up after being hinted at in The Flash Season 5 by Nora West-Allen, it’s unknown what his status after CoIE will be. It’s been rumored he might be Ray’s replacement as the Atom, but we learned in The Flash hour that Choi has a wife and infant daughter.

We also learned that Ryan is the Paragon of Humanity and he survived the anti-matter wave hitting Earth-1. Sorry is that’s a spoiler. Also, there’s no guarantee that he’ll show up again after his role is completed. There’s been no news of Osric Chau of returning to the Arrowverse. Though, he might’ve filmed stuff and it just hasn’t been announced.

Costs Too Much

[Credit: The Nerdy]

Of all the options we’ve listed, we have not gone over a vital one; the budget of Legends of Tomorrow. LoT is possibly the most visual effects heavy series in the Arrowverse outside of The Flash. Also, the cast of every show broadcasting on The CW get good money. Routh is one of the leads on the series outside of Caity Lotz (Sara Lance).

Let’s not forget that Brandon starred as Superman in Superman Returns, a role he reprised in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, only he’s now the Kingdom Come version of that character. He’s had a Hollywood career so he would be getting good money regardless.

This is the thought of Arrowverse YouTuber, Pagey who told us:

From what I have heard…the main reason that both of them were written off was because of Brandon…and that is due to the fact he costs a lot. Not 100% sure if that is true…but to me it makes sense. That has happened in the past with CW Shows.

We agree with him. Though, we think that they could come back in guest appearances if they’re not killed off.


Whatever the case might be for Brandon and Courtney’s departures, we wish them the best of luck. We hope they return to the Arrowverse at some point in the future.

Legends of Tomorrow returns with the final hour of Crisis on Infinite Earths on January 14 on The CW.

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About Author

C.J. Hawkings has written for the now-defunct Entertainment website, Movie Pilot and the still functioning WhatCulture and ScreenRant. She now writes for FanSided and is loving it!

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