Update 6/8/20: Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries has weighed in on the series’ decision to create a new lead character for Season 2 after Ruby Rose‘s surprising exit. As part of the virtual ATX TV…from the Couch festival, Dries credited executive producer Greg Berlanti with the decision to give a new character, reportedly named Ryan Wilder, the chance to take up the Batwoman mantle, rather than simply casting someone to take over Rose’s role of Kate Kane.
“Greg helped me make this call, he is way smarter than me about this sort of stuff. He said, ‘You know, we should just reboot the character in terms of reboot Batwoman as a different character, and also respect everything that Ruby put into the Kate Kane character,'” Dries said. “And I just think it helps the audience a little bit too, that we are not asking them to not address the elephant in the room.”
Dries also gave a short sneak peek into what we can expect from the new character, saying she’s “inventing a whole new character who in her past was inspired by Batwoman.” She added, “She will take on the mantle and is completely maybe not the right person at the time to be doing it, so that’s what makes it fun.”
There were alternate methods discussed, of course. “I did consider the soap opera version for a hot minute,” Dries said, referring to the way soap operas recast a character after an actor departs the show. “Selfishly because we had already a couple of episodes written, and transition-wise it would be seamless.”
Original story below.
Previously 6/3/20: Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) may be leaving Gotham, but it looks like Batwoman is here to stay. In the wake of recent news that Rose has exited Batwoman after one season, Deadline now reports that instead of recasting her character; it will introduce a new lead character instead.
The series is reportedly casting a character named Ryan Wilder, who will take up the Batwoman mantle in Season 2. Ryan will be in her late 20s and is described as “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed,” but “nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the batsuit before her,” according to Deadline. A former drug-runner, Ryan is reformed, sober, and living out of her van. She is an out lesbian, like Kate, but that’s not the only thing they have in common. Ryan is apparently a highly skilled, if wildly undisciplined, fighter.
As for Kate, we presume she’ll be hastily written out of the series, leaving room for Ryan to take her place as the city’s defender. This kind of character shuffling is likely preferable to a straight-up recasting, which may have felt a little clunky, even this early in the series. Ryan could bring a little levity to the show if she’s as fun as her description promises.
One question we’ve got about this new caped crusader, though. Ryan Wilder doesn’t exist anywhere in the DC comics, which seems a little out of step for the Arrowverse. It’s possible the series could be introducing a brand new character, but it’s also possible Ryan Wilder is just a pseudonym used for casting to keep the real identity of Batwoman’s replacement a secret.
Warner Bros. did not immediately return TV Guide’s request for comment.
Batwoman has finished its first season. It is available to stream on The CW website.
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Ruby Rose, Batwoman
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