Last year marked the beginning of Warner Bros. and DC’s shared cinematic universe, with the rebooted Superman of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel leading the charge toward the announced (and long-awaited) Justice League film. While divisive, Man of Steel introduced fans to a brand-new Kal-El in the form of British actor Henry Cavill, following the not-so-successful 2006 effort Superman Returns.
That film, of course, starred Brandon Routh as the title character, and though Routh’s performance wasn’t really to blame, it marked the first and only time he got to soar through the skies as the Last Son of Krypton. Now, it seems that Warner Bros./DC will be putting Routh to work once again.
According to TVLine, Routh will appear throughout season 3 of The CW’s Arrow in the recurring role of Ray Palmer, though comic book fans probably know him better as DC superhero The Atom. Palmer will emerge as the new owner of Queen Consolidated and brings with him a mysterious set of plans for the company’s Applied Sciences Division. No word on whether the character will already have superpowers before appearing on the show, but in the comics, The Atom has the ability to change his own size as well that of objects around him.
Judging by this description, it’s hard not to think that including the size-shifting character on Arrow is DC’s way of beating Marvel’s Ant-Man to the punch, but as it stands, the decision to add Routh to the cast is a solid one. In addition to Superman Returns, Routh has previously played comic book characters in Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World as well as Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. He’s a performer with leading-man looks and a reasonable amount of onscreen charisma who has somewhat fallen off the radar. So it’s reassuring that DC is continuing its tradition of casting DC alums on its television series. (Remember when Dean Cain guest-starred on Smallville?)
For Arrow, Routh’s casting marks just the latest in a consistent line-up of new additions to the show. In the past week alone, both Devon Aoki (Sin City) and Peter Stormare (Constantine) have come aboard the show in significant roles. It has yet to be officially decided whether or not Arrow or sister show The Flash will tie into DC’s ambitious big-screen plans (though Stephen Amell is denying an appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at the moment). In any case, Arrow is certainly taking advantage of the vast roster of characters DC has at its disposal.
Are you excited that Routh is joining the cast of Arrow this coming season, or is the small screen becoming too crowded with DC heroes as it is? Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts.
Arrow season 3 premieres on October 8, 2014 at 8 p.m. on The CW.