Batwoman may have already wrapped for the 2019-2020 TV season, but that doesn't mean the end of huge news for the Arrowverse's newest superhero show. Star Ruby Rose is leaving the role of Kate Kane, a.k.a. Batwoman, behind after only one full season on The CW.
News of Ruby Rose's departure comes just days after the Season 1 finale of Batwoman, although the episode was not originally intended to be the last of Batwoman this season. THR reports that Warner Bros. TV, which produces the series, has decided to recast the role. Batwoman won't continue without a Batwoman.
Season 2 of Batwoman was ordered back in January 2020, well before production on Season 1 had to halt, making the news of Ruby Rose's departure all the more surprising. Rose herself addressed the difficult decision to depart Batwoman, saying this:
I have made the very difficult decision to not return to Batwoman next season. 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. 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.
Batwoman became the first out lesbian superhero starring in her own TV series when the show officially launched in 2019, although Ruby Rose had previously debuted as Kate Kane in the Arrowverse's big "Elseworlds" crossover between Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl. Interestingly, the loss of Ruby Rose as star of Batwoman comes less than half a season after the conclusion of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" mega crossover event, which might have given Batwoman an in-universe opening to recast Kate.
After all, other Arrowverse characters (and certainly shows) went through big changes after "Crisis," so another actress turning up as Kate wouldn't have been the biggest leap, although fans would have been left wondering why Spectre-Oliver decided to replace Kate as one of his changes.
As for the production teams behind Batwoman and the Arrowverse overall, Warner Bros. TV, The CW, and Berlanti Productions commented on the departure of Ruby Rose in a joint statement, thanking Rose "for her contributions to the success of our first season" and wishing her the best. The statement also made it clear that the goal is to cast "a new lead actress and member of the LGBTQ community."
Casting a new lead for the Arrowverse series that fully brought in Gotham City and classic characters associated with Batman is no small deal, although the process of replacing Ruby Rose for Season 2 may not be as rushed as in a normal TV season. Due to the production delays throughout the TV season that forced many (although not all) CW shows to end early, Batwoman and the other Arrowverse shows aren't scheduled to return with new episodes until early 2021.
Not a whole lot of details were available about what the second season would involve before news of Ruby Rose's decision to leave, although it was already announced that the annual multi-show Arrowverse crossover would be much smaller, with possibly only Batwoman and the upcoming Superman & Lois coming together for a two-parter.
Only time will tell how Batwoman moves forward with a new leading lady and if Batwoman will acknowledge that Kate Kane looks very different in the new season. Without "Crisis" as an option to explain the recasting, Batwoman would arguably be better off just moving forward without noting the change in-universe.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in superhero news, and be sure to check out our 2020 summer premiere schedule for some viewing options now that Batwoman and the rest of the Arrowverse series aside from Legends of Tomorrow have come to an end for the 2019-2020 TV season.