When Batwoman returns next year, the show’s Kate Kane won’t be returning–an all-new character will take over her spot.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Batwoman isn’t going to recast Kate Kane, the role Ruby Rose played before leaving the series after its first season. Instead, the series is introducing an all-new character named Ryan Wilder to take over Batwoman’s bodysuit.
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According to a casting call reposted on Reddit – which encouraged LGBTQ performers to audition for the role – Ryan Wilder is a female in her mid-late 20s and the complete opposite of Kate Kane. “She’s likable, messy, a little goofy, and untamed,” the document states. “With no one in her life to keep her on track, Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the GCPD and masking her pain with bad habits. Today, reformed and sober, Ryan lives in a van with her plant. A girl who would steal milk from an alley cat and could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly disciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical All-American hero.”
While Batwoman‘s decision to create an all-new character instead of just recasting Kate Kane is surprising to many, in typical DC Comics legend, hero mantles are often passed down between several people.
As for the new character’s introduction to the series, it does raise one concern: What does this mean for Alice (Rachel Skarsten)? In the first season of Batwoman, the show was built around Kate’s relationship with her villainous twin sister Alice. At this time, it’s not known how Ryan will interact with Alice in the upcoming season.
The casting news arrives almost two weeks after Rose’s sudden exit from Batwoman was announced.
“I have made the very difficult decision to not return to Batwoman next season,” Rose said in her statement. “This was not a decision I made lightly as I have the utmost respect for the cast, crew and everyone involved with the show in both Vancouver and in Los Angeles. I am beyond appreciative to Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Caroline Dries for not only giving me this incredible opportunity, but for welcoming me into the DC universe they have so beautifully created. Thank you Peter Roth and Mark Pedowitz and the teams at Warner Bros. and The CW who put so much into the show and always believed in me. Thank you to everyone who made season one a success — I am truly grateful.”
The CW, Warner Bros. TV, and Berlanti Productions also released their own joint statement reaffirming their commitment to casting an actress who identifies as LGBTQ: “Warner Bros. Television, The CW and Berlanti Productions thank Ruby for her contributions to the success of our first season and wish her all the best. The studio and network are firmly committed to Batwoman‘s second season and long-term future, and we — along with the show’s talented creative team — look forward to sharing its new direction, including the casting of a new lead actress and member of the LGBTQ community, in the coming months.”
A week after her departure, Rose followed up her initial statement with a cryptic message on Instagram. “Thank you everyone for coming on this journey,” she wrote. “It wasn’t an easy decision but those who know, know.. I didn’t want to not acknowledge everyone involved and how big this was for TV and for our community. I have stayed silent because that’s my choice for now but know I adore you all. I’m sure next season will be amazing also. Xxx *hangs up cowl and cape.”
Batwoman season 2 is expected to premiere in January on the CW.