Batwoman fans were shocked and dismayed when it was announced that Ruby Rose wouldn’t be returning for season 2. The exact reason why remains a mystery, though there have been a number of reports that Rose was unhappy with the demands of shooting a network TV show. Whatever the case, the wheels need to keep turning and The CW immediately began hunting for a replacement.
Most initially assumed that they’d find another actress for Kate Kane/Batwoman and simply carry on the story. This wouldn’t be ideal, but how else are you going to carry on the plotlines introduced in season 1? But we then began hearing talk that they might ditch Kate Kane altogether and create a ‘new’ Batwoman. That once unlikely rumor has now been confirmed, courtesy of a casting call for a character named Ryan Wilder who has been described as follows:
“She’s likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the bat suit before her. 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. A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical All-American hero.”
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Appearing during the ATX Television Festival, showrunner Caroline Dries talked about the drama of the last month, addressed the casting call and explained why they decided to create an entirely new character, saying:
“So, to be honest with you, I did consider the soap opera version for a hot minute, selfishly, because we had a couple episodes already written, and transition-wise, it would be seamless [since] we already started breaking season 2. But upon further reflection, and Greg [Berlanti] helped me make this call and he’s way smarter than me about this sort of stuff, he’s like, ‘You know, I think we should just reboot the character in terms of reboot Batwoman as a different character.’ Just to also respect everything that Ruby [Rose] put into the Kate Kane character.”
Though no actress has been chosen just yet, we’ve heard that The CW is interested in Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg to play the role. On paper, she’s exactly what the network has said they’re looking for, but whether it’s her or someone else, I’d imagine we’ll get an official announcement soon.
One interesting wrinkle to all this is that writing Kate Kane out of the show rather than recasting means that they’re leaving the door open to her returning in the future. This may indicate that things aren’t quite so tense between Rose and the production staff as first reported. In any case, right now it seems that Batwoman season 2 might be set to be a very soft reboot for the show, and a great jumping-on point for new viewers.