John Barrowman, who plays Malcolm Merlyn in The CW's DC TV universe - specifically Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow - reveals he won't be returning next season. The CW has built up its DC Comics shared television universe to great success in recent years, establishing the world in Arrow, then introducing The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, and finally bringing in Supergirl as a network transplant from CBS. In order to keep all four shows feeling connected, the series have swapped characters or featured multiple crossovers ranging from small character cameos to the annual mega event.
As a result, a number of Arrowverse actors signed on as series regulars across all four shows last year, though few of them actually appeared on all four series. Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance), Wentworth Miller (Leonard Snart aka Captain Cold), and John Barrowman (Malcolm Merlyn) were the most prominent actors to sign these contracts, allowing them to hop between series without problems. For his part, Barrowman spent much of this season on Legends of Tomorrow as a member of the Legion of Doom, though the season 2 finale saw him returned to his home time. Now, based on the actor's recent comments, fans won't be seeing Malcolm Merlyn next season.
During Planet Comicon Kansas City this weekend, as reported by Pilar Pedraza, Barrowman told attendees he won't be a part of the DC universe next season. Additional details are unavailable at this time, such as why Barrowman is leaving The CW's DC TV universe, but it would seem that the deal he made last year was only for a single season.
Although Barrowman completed his run on Legends of Tomorrow in the season 2 finale, which wrapped up and disbanded the Legion of Doom, the actor will be back on The CW at least once more this year as Malcolm Merlyn returns to Arrow before the show's fifth season ends. Plus, Barrowman recently teased that Merlyn will have a huge part to play in the Arrow season 5 storyline as it wraps up. Of course, with news of Barrowman not returning next season, fans may wonder if Merlyn will meet his end on Arrow and that's why he plays such a significant role.
Of course, if Barrowman truly doesn't return to The CW next year, that likely means the deal he made last year was only for a single season. If that's the case, it remains to be seen what becomes of Cassidy and Miller's deals. It's already been revealed that Cassidy will return to Arrow for season 6, but as Earth-2's Black Siren rather than Laurel Lance. As for Miller, Captain Cold was killed in the penultimate episode of Legends of Tomorrow season 1, and only returned in season 2 as an earlier version of himself from the timeline. If he only signed on for a single season across The CW's DC TV series, it's possible he may not return next year either - though fans can take heart that Captain Cold will be on The Flash before the show's season 3 finale.
So, what Barrowman's exit from the DC universe means for the character of Malcolm Merlyn remains to be seen as Arrow wraps up season 5, but those who enjoyed his appearances will surely be disappointed about the actor's departure. However, depending on how Arrow leaves Malcolm Merlyn, perhaps Barrowman could reprise his role again at some point.
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8pm on The CW, followed by The Flash on Tuesdays at 8pm, and Arrow on Wednesdays in the same timeslot. Legends of Tomorrow will return for season 3 on The CW.
Source: Pilar Pedraza