When Ruby Rose shockingly walked away from Batwoman before the second season the search was on, so it seemed, for the next Kate Kane. But we learn this week the producers, whether they have a soft spot for Rose or not, aren’t going to replace her.
Entertainment Weekly reports that, with Rose gone, they are saying goodbye to original Batwoman Kane and moving forward with a whole new character.
EW got their hands on a character description from a casting call for a new lead named Ryan Wilder. She’s described as “Female, Mid-late 20s, any ethnicity.”
Also “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed,” the breakdown continues:
“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.”
According to that, they are sticking with the mandate for diversity in Batwoman and the Arrowverse at large.
Recall Berlanti Productions, The CW, and Warner Bros. Television swore in a statement they would uphold their policy of LGBT representation. Said the statement:
“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.”
At the time, everyone assumed this meant, with some assurance, they were looking for Ruby Rose’s replacement. WWE Superstar Sonya DeVille and Brooklyn Nine-Nine actress Stephanie Beatriz vied for the role of Kane while some sites wanted a Jewish actress to reflect Kate’s canonical heritage.
The CW, Berlanti, and showrunner Caroline Dries, far from doing that, could be trying to move on from Ruby Rose and forget both her and Kate Kane. The character description tellingly adds “Ryan Wilder is about to become Batwoman” but she is “nothing like Kate.”
That’s strange when you think about how unhappy Rose allegedly was working on location in Vancouver, along with the rest of the behind-the-scenes drama.
The source of the casting call is a Reddit leak (see below).
A new character means a lot of storylines from Season 1 will go out the window. Kate’s dalliances with Julia Pennyworth and former flame Sophie, her blood feud with sister Alice, and her father’s inconvenient vendetta won’t be resolved – satisfactorily anyway.
At least viewers can say the pointless subplot of Lucius Fox’s book of secrets to penetrate the Batsuit’s armor is done for.
Dries discussed with EW what direction Season 2 can take. She stated the focus might be the brewing rivalry between Alice and Kate’s stepsister, Mary:
“I would say the thing that we have not done this season is — we definitely set up this triangle of sisters with Alice, Kate, and Mary, and I think there’s a journey to be had between Alice and Mary.”
“There’s the huge elephant in the room that she killed her mom, and Mary, in my opinion, has never had proper closure around that. Hopefully, there’s somewhere to go with that that doesn’t necessarily end in forgiveness, but it creates really juicy tension when they’re together in a room.”
It wasn’t explained how they’ll write Kate out of the show or if there were any frontrunners to play Ryan.
Batwoman Season 2 premieres in January 2021. Season 1 is streaming on HBO Max.