Hey, if Chris Evans and Ben Affleck can play multiple superheroes, why can't Routh?
TVLine is reporting that actor Brandon Routh has been cast in the recurring role of Ray Palmer, better known to DC Comics fans as The Atom, in the CW television series Arrow. According to the article, Palmer is "an unparalled scientist and inventor" and "will play an unexpected role in the lives of Oliver and (rumored love interest) Felicity as the new owner of Queen Consolidated. Palmer’s plans for Queen Consolidated’s Applied Sciences Division will be shrouded in mystery."
Routh, of course, is no stranger to comic book adaptations, having played Superman/Clark Kent in the 2006 Bryan Singer film Superman Returns and the superpowered vegan Todd Ingram in the 2010 film version of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Now 34, Routh has also had notable roles on the television series Chuck and Enlisted and also voiced the character Everywhere Man on the animated series The Batman.
Created by Gardner Fox and Gil Kane, the second Atom debuted in 1961's Showcase #34 as Ray Palmer, a physicist and professor at Ivy University who finds a mass of white dwarf star matter that lands on Earth and creates a lens from it that allows him to shrink anything he wants. During a spelunking expedition, he becomes trapped with his girlfriend Jean Loring and his students in a cave, then uses the lens on himself to enlarge a small opening with a diamond engagement ring. Later on, Palmer develops a size-changing control belt from the lens and decides to use his ability to shrink to subatomic size and control his body mass as the superhero The Atom.
The Atom has had a number of short-lived comic book series and one-shot specials of his own, but has primarily appeared as a member of the Justice League of America. In the current New 52 continuity, Ray Palmer has appeared in the series Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. as S.H.A.D.E.'s scientific advisor.
Although the character has appeared in several animated series over the decades, including Super Friends, Batman: Brave and the Bold and Young Justice, this will be his first full depiction in live-action. Previously, John Kassir played The Atom in a 1997 Justice League of America television pilot that failed to be picked up by CBS.
Arrow returns to The CW on October 8, 2014.