It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a veteran cop who’s been described as polarizing…
Brandon Routh, former Superman and most recently The Atom on The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, has been cast in a four-episode arc on The Rookie. ABC confirmed that Routh will play Doug Stanton, an 11-year veteran of the LAPD, whose views prove to be polarizing at the Mid-Wilshire station.
Routh will first appear in the second episode of the third season, which kicks off in January. ABC notes there is also a possibility for additional episodes.
Season 3 finds Nathan Fillion’s Officer Nolan facing his biggest challenges on the force yet. He’s nearing the end of his training, but the end of season 2 found Nolan being framed by dirty cop Nick Armstrong (Harold Perrineau) for Armstrong’s own crimes.
Creator Alexi Hawley previously told EW the season 3 premiere would pick up the right where the cliffhanger left off. “There’s a lot of discussions about Nolan and not wanting him to be naive,” Hawley said. “I do think that he’s a realist. He’s been through a lot. I just think that at the end of the day, he’s a man who’s chosen to see the world with the positive. That will be challenged here… this will shake him to his core, that somebody that he truly cared about betrayed him and what he thought they both believed in. But can he still come out of it feeling like people deserve the benefit of the doubt and all that kind of stuff? That’s going to be his struggle in season 3. Just how do I retain my values and my worldview when they’ve been shaken to the core?”
The Rookie also faces the additional challenges of adapting in a changing media landscape, addressing the Black Lives Matter movement that exploded in the wake of the George Floyd murder in May of 2020. The show is poised to address these issues, as laid out in a panel “Scripted Police Series and Their Impact on Culture,” which welcomed Hawley and Fillion, as well as other The Rookie producers and cast members alongside representatives from organizations Breaking Barriers United and Color of Change.
Though there aren’t further details, it seems likely that Routh’s new character could play a role in this aspect of storytelling, given his description as polarizing.
The Rookie returns Jan. 3 at 10 p.m on ABC.
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