We Lost: The Last Great Arrowverse Show Was Originally Planned as a Spinoff of the Most Underrated DC Superhero

The Arrowverse show, which didn't completely dip in quality with time, was initially intended to be an Atom spin-off.



  • Legends of Tomorrow starred a plethora of CW heroes, which was essentially Arrowverse's time-travelling Justice League.
  • But initially, the show was just meant to revolve around Brandon Routh's Atom.
  • Routh wasn't consulted beforehand about his character's departure from the show.
Show More
Featured Video

One thing that plagued the Arrowverse throughout its entirety was the dip in quality in most of its entries, especially in the latter seasons. This problem was apparent in its biggest attractions, Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl, which despite starting out on a high note and growing to immense popularity, lost their spark during the latter half of their run.


But it was quite the opposite for Legends of Tomorrow, which often gets overlooked when it comes to CW DC shows, and interestingly, the show was originally planned to be just an Atom spin-off.

Arrowverse Initially Intended Legends of Tomorrow to Be an Atom Spin-off

A still from CW's Legends of Tomorrow | Arrowverse
Legends of Tomorrow – CW

Unlike Noah Centineo‘s Atom in Black Adam, which barely gets any spotlight, Brandon Routh‘s Atom garnered immense popularity following his recurring appearances in Arrow back in 2014. This prompted CW to consider a spin-off with Ray Palmer’s Atom at its center, which would’ve stood on its own like Arrow and The Flash. But as they delved deeper into the project, the Atom spin-off eventually developed into a team-up show with a bit of Star Trek elements.

A still of Brandon Routh from the Arrowverse
Brandon Routh as Atom | Arrowverse/CW

Although the show opened to underwhelming reviews at first and never reached the popularity of its predecessors, the show did succeed in maintaining a steady flow of quality in its latter seasons. So it makes it more tragic that the show never received a definitive ending like Arrow and The Flash, as the season 7 finale wasn’t meant to be a series ender.

Brandon Routh Was Shocked After Learning About His Character’s Ending

Despite starting off as an Atom spin-off, the actor and his wife Courtney Ford, who played Nora in the show, were let go of from Legends of Tomorrow after season 5.

This was reasonably shocking for the Superman Returns star, as he revealed showrunner Phil Klemmer decided to wrap up their story arcs without consulting them beforehand.

Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford from Legends of Tomorrow
Legends of Tomorrow – CW

He told TV Insider:

Neither of us decided to go. It was [showrunner] Phil Klemmer who decided that it was time for us to go. Yeah. Before the season started, got a phone call that that was the situation… [It] was a shock to us, because I always had open conversations with the producers about the whole experience. This was sprung upon me without communication. So that was a challenging thing.

In hindsight, it’s reasonable to say that both Routh and the show deserved better. But on the bright side, the actor did get to don the Superman suit again during the Crisis on Infinite Earths event.

Legends of Tomorrow is available to stream on Apple TV.


Written by Santanu Roy

Articles Published: 1534

Santanu Roy is a film enthusiast with a deep love for the medium of animation while also being obsessed with The Everly Brothers, Billy Joel, and The Platters. Having expertise in everything related to Batman, Santanu spends most of his time watching and learning films, with Martin Scorsese and Park Chan-wook being his personal favorites. Apart from pursuing a degree in animation, he also possesses a deep fondness for narrative-driven games and is currently a writer at Fandomwire with over 1500 articles.