Australian actress Ruby Rose is leaving Batwoman, which concluded its first season this past Sunday, Entertainment Weekly reports. In light of Rose’s decision, the CW superhero drama will recast the lead role ahead of the series’ second season, which is slated to premiere in 2021.
“I have made the very difficult decision to not return to Batwoman next season,” Rose said in a statement obtained by EW. “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.”
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The former Batwoman actress continued, “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.”
Rose made her debut as Batwoman in 2018’s Arrowverse crossover “Elseworlds” before getting her own solo series, which made history as the first-ever superhero series headlined by an out LBGTQ+ hero.
When Rose was on the set of “Elseworlds,” she spoke to Entertainment Weekly about how much it meant for her to play Batwoman/Kate Kane.
“The fact that she is an outwardly gay superhero, which is something growing up I would’ve loved to have seen on my TV, was a big deciding factor as to why I was so passionate about the role,” Rose said at the time. “This [role] just meant a lot more to me because I could relate in so many ways and, at the same time, felt like this was a job that would give me a purpose every day coming into work beyond just getting to live my dream, which is acting, and would be far more rewarding than anything I’ve done in the past.”
Following Rose’s sudden departure from Batwoman, Warner Bros. TV, the CW, and Berlanti Productions released a statement promising to cast another LGBTQ+ actress in the titular role for the show’s second season: “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.”
Batwoman season 2 is expected to return January 2021 on the CW.