Dominic Purcell leaving Legends of Tomorrow, bad-mouths studio

Heat Wave
Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory/Heatwave on Legends of Tomorrow. Pic credit: The CW

Heat Wave is leaving DC’s Legends of Tomorrow...and it doesn’t seem like his departure was on good terms. 

Dominic Purcell broke the news on social media that he was exiting the role of Mick Rory after six seasons on the CW’s time-traveling series and his words indicate it’s due to major tension with the show’s producers. 

Heat Wave’s journey

Debuting in the Flash Comics in 1963, Mick Rory was a pyromaniac who developed a powerful flamethrower for his robberies. He was soon a key member of the Rogues, the pack of Flash villains who plagued the Scarlet Speedster.

Purcell debuted on The Flash’s first season keeping to the idea of Rory as a hot-tempered crook. He was sought by his old partner Len Snart (Wentworth Miller) who had taken an ice-themed weapon to become Captain Cold. He gave the matching flame weapon to Rory to work together.

The casting was a clever homage as Miller and Purcell had starred as brothers in the hit Fox drama Prison Break. 

While starting as pure villains, the characters moved to Legends of Tomorrow and were recruited as part of the time-traveling adventurers.

While Snart died at the end of the first season (Miller would return thanks to time-travel antics and a doppelganger from another reality), Rory kept on with the team.

Rory would grow as a character, often thick-headed and getting laugh lines but also maturing as a romance novelist. The last season had him thrown to discover a teenage daughter he never knew he had and trying to be a good father to her. 

Purcell’s exit

Purcell had indicated he might be leaving when his contract was up at the end of the show’s seventh season. However, his Instagram post is notable as it contains slams against the studio indicating some tensions over pay and other issues. 

“Deal isn’t done. I have no interest. What ever cash they throw on the corporate level. I’m walking away from @cw_legendsoftomorrow. It’s been a total pleasure and a humbling experience bringing @dccomics iconic character #heatwave (aka) MICK RORY to life. I smashed this character— not an actor in the world could have done better. FACT…. Such a funny [foo foo] ……..Time to move on and see how s— unfolds. @caitylotz @nickzano look after the kids coming through. They need education. They are a number— teach them to not rely on loyalty from the studio. The studio does not care. The actors work ethic and talent must give them the confidence to question authority. ….Much love to all. It’s not lost on me how very fortunate I am. …..ACTORS HIT ME UP ON DM.”

Purcell’s exit means Caity Lotz (Captain Sara Lance/White Canary) and Amy Pemberton (who voices computer Gideon) are the only remaining cast members from the show’s first season.

What it means for the show

Purcell has been open in the past about how he was tempted to leave the show after its first season. He was also critical when original co-star Brandon Routh (Ray Palmer) left in the fifth season

At the same time, in March of 2020, Purcell shared a message stating he fully intended to honor the last two years of his contract, which would have ended after the show’s seventh season. 

It appears something occurred behind the scenes that’s pushed Purcell to exit much earlier than planned, although the actor won’t share further details yet. It may be the classic case of the actor and studio unable to come to proper terms regarding Purcell’s salary.

Legends is still in the midst of production and preparing its sixth season finale. This would give the writers a chance to find a way to write off Mick properly. 

The season will involve the team searching for Sara who has been kidnapped by aliens who are affecting history. 

While the reasons behind the exit are still unclear, it seems this will be the last ride on the Waverider for Heat Wave.

Legends of Tomorrow season six premieres on the CW at 8/7c on May 2.

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