'Legends Of Tomorrow': EP Phil Klemmer On Rip's Return, The Struggle For Mick Rory's Soul

They’re back! The “Legends of Tomorrow” are heading off on a new time travel adventure as they move to Tuesday nights on The CW.

The return of the show will also see the return of Rip Hunter, Arthur Darvill’s character, who was lost to history throughout the first half of Season 2. He briefly appeared in a final scene at the end of 2016 with longer hair, an American accent, and in a director’s chair.

Executive Producer Phil Klemmer told AccessHollywood.com more about Rip’s return, and how different he’ll be when the “Legends” and Legion of Doom encounter him. And, he addressed Mick Rory’s (Dominic Purcell) recent Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) visions and what they could mean for the character.

AccessHollywood.com: Rip Hunter is finally back. He was working in the film  industry. Although, he didn’t seem to be working on a big budget feature.
Phil Klemmer:
No, it’s not a big budget. It’s more of the student film variety.

Access: He’s a graduate student I understand. Was Mr. Darvill working on another project and he wasn’t available to you or did you want to create some mystery?
Phil: I would say that it was a confluence of both. He does have other obligations, but at the same time, we wanted to give him a chance to play a totally new character. And we also wanted a chance to see who our Legends were without somebody telling them what to do or what the right thing to do is. … We just felt sorry for Rip Hunter – that he was constantly having to correct these people and tell them how incompetent and how irresponsible they were because … [it’s] no fun to be like a chaperone on a field trip of over-caffeinated middle schoolers. So our solution to that was to basically turn Rip into the equivalent of an over-caffeinated middle schooler, to make him one of the gen pop. He’s no longer an authority figure. In fact, he’s kind of the least heroic of our characters when we meet him, not that directing movies isn’t important, but he’s certainly doesn’t remember anything about being a Time Master, he doesn’t remember anything about the Spear of Destiny. All he wants is to make his student film.

Access: Can we expect Rip to not have his memory for the next few episodes at least?
It’s complicated. I mean, yeah, he does not have his memories. Obviously we’re not going to leave him without his memories forever, but there’s a real severe complication. Having them restored is not a gentle or a process that doesn’t have hiccups. And remember, we’re not the only people after Rip. The Legion is looking for the Spear of Destiny and Rip obviously was somehow tied up in the disappearance of the Spear so he’s in the crosshairs too. And when our team comes and says, ‘Hey Rip, we’re here to rescue you,’ he trusts them exactly as much as he trusts the Legion of Doom. It’s like an amnesia story where we’re like, ‘No, we’re the good guys!’ and obviously the Legion can be like, ‘Hey, we’re the good guys too.’ But there will be complications because he will be in our hands, he will be in their hands, and eventually, he will have to decide which of our teams to believe. And at a certain point, there’s going to be more than one version of Rip Hunter this season.

Access: I’m looking forward to seeing how Damien [Darhk] reacts to film school Rip because Damien just does not suffer fools gladly. He just gets very irritated with people very easily.
Phil: Yeah. We’ll do an episode from the point of view of the Legion and it’s really fun to watch Darhk sort of deal with this like befuddled film student version of Rip because he’s hopelessly freaked out and neurotic and he’s making these movies about what he thinks are like actual villains, and when he meets a real life villain, it sorts of puts his imagination into context.

Access: This episode, we can see Mick Rory in a chair with Stein being attentive [in a promo pic]. Does he have a medical problem?
Phil: Medical, mental – I mean we know that Mick Rory is not right in the head. I guess the big question is we’ve seen Snart and it’s like is he seeing Snart? Is Snart real? Is Snart a ghost? Is this some time traveling version or a time figment? But regardless, Mick Rory is a man who having burned his own family alive in their house as a child, he’s got some real psychological issues that he needs to deal with. And yeah, I think, I don’t think Stein, for all his brilliance, is really going to be able to help him.

Access: I spoke with Wentworth Miller the other day at TCAs and he said he was [heading up to Vancouver to film more episodes]. Obviously [his character] is joining the Legion of Doom. Can you give us any sort of hints at the version of Leonard Snart the Legion is going to be recruiting and then, to piggy back off that, how is that going to impact Sara and Mick?
Phil: Well it’s not the ideal version of him. I don’t think we should count on him exploding himself for the sake of our team any time soon. Yeah, I mean, it’s — for Sara they did have a bit of a moment there at the Vanishing point, but I think Sara’s kind of moved past it. She’s sort of really stepped up in Rip’s absence and become the sort of the de facto captain of this team. For her, her real struggle is about Damien Darhk and whether she tries to kill him in order to prevent her sister from dying in the future. That’s her season-long struggle. … Rory has only ever trusted one person in his life, and even if it’s not the version of Snart that he remembers, it still beats all of our Legends combined. … The way I describe it is our Legion and our Legends are like perfectly matched and then Mick Rory, if you imagine it like a scale, he’s sort of standing there right on the balance. … Basically, this whole season is a battle for like Mick Rory’s soul and I don’t think we’ve ever really fully established whether he belongs on our team or whether he’d be better off with the Legion. I think in his heart he’d rather be back with Leonard Snart, but as we know, that version of Snart has to die and so it really is a question of whether his loyalty to the only person he’s ever given two craps about – whether that’s greater than his newfound loyalty for our team because Rory doesn’t give a crap about history. He’s a simple man and it’s really about who’s got his back and yeah, really interesting stuff for him to play.

“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” airs Tuesday at 9/8c on The CW, after “The Flash.”

Jolie Lash