Batwoman's Big Bad On The CW Will Be Played By A Former DC TV Hero

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(Image credit: the cw press)

Months before Ruby Rose gloriously showed up in full costume as Batwoman for the Arrow-verse's latest crossover extravaganza, fans were hyped about witnessing the vigilante heroine being introduced to this multi-franchise world. Now that we've been to The CW's Gotham City, though, we need info! Awesomely, it's been revealed that Batwoman has cast Rachel Skarsten, a veteran of the DC TV series Birds of Prey, to star as the potential series' overarching villain.

The Batwoman pilot cast Rachel Skarsten as the deadly and dangerous Alice, one of the female caped crusader's most memorable foes. Not quite a Clown Princess of Crime, Alice does usually rock a bit of facial makeup, and has an unhealthy taste for the theatrical and the malicious.

For those who aren't as familiar with the character, Alice is indeed a reference to Lewis Carroll's iconic rabbit-following character. She is the leader of a group of similarly flashy criminals collectively known as the Wonderland Gang, which will apparently be part of the show, per Deadline's report. Like the best baddies within the Batman mythos, Alice walks a fine line between being a charmer and being a lunatic.

Alice doesn't have the dense history that villains such as The Joker and The Riddler do, having only been created in 2009, but she's still an important element of Batwoman's always growing canon. The comics later gave Alice a backstory with the utmost importance, but it's unclear if the same story beats will get used for the TV adaptation.

Rachel Skarsten got her first big TV claim to fame as Bess in the Canadian series based on Little Men. After that, though, is when she first got her big-ish break in American TV with the superheroine series Birds of Prey, in which Skarsten played Dinah Lance. It was pretty short-lived, coming before the more recent comic adaptation boom, but it remains a fan favorite. (And it's entered more conversations again thanks to the upcoming big screen tale.)

Fans of the actress definitely know her better from other TV shows that lasted longer than 14 episodes. The biggest example would be Rachel Skarsten's starring turn as Queen Elizabeth I on The CW's royalty drama Reign. Before that, she starred in Syfy's fantastical drama Lost Girl.

While the Batwoman TV show's fate is currently up in the air, The CW bossman Mark Pedowitz said something perhaps revealing while speaking to the press at the TCA's winter press tour. When asked if the network would be setting its schedule so that its comic book franchises could air year-round, and here's how he answered.

Well, we have 52 weeks out of the year so we could work with that going in, but we are going to go in May and figure out where everything fits. We’re going to sit down with the scheduling team on what is the right allocation of episodes for each show. So, at this point, we haven’t done that yet. But I’m not quite sure that we’ll run all six DC shows at the same time.

Was it just a Freudian slip that made him say "six" shows instead of the five that are currently airing? Or was he maybe just speaking optimistically?

The follow-up question was about how many DC-based series he'd like to see on The CW within a year, at which point Mark Pedowitz admitted they haven't yet run all the numbers involved to see where they hope to slot things in the fall. It was here where he said he was excited for Batwoman, teasing that it might get ordered to series in May.

I guess it's okay to wait four more months to get any further updates about Batwoman, assuming that any news is good news. Ruby Rose's black-clad vigilante will be taking up some of our thoughts in the meantime, but don't forget to bookmark our midseason premiere schedule to stay current and up to date on all the new and returning shows.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.