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Batwoman made big news back in May despite the early hiatus due to the announcement that leading lady Ruby Rose was departing after only one full season in the cape and the cowl. At the time, the plan to replace Rose seemed to be to find an actress to step into the role of Kate Kane in Season 2 and beyond, and several actresses threw their hats into the ring. Now, the show is reportedly moving in a very different direction and replacing Kate Kane altogether and making another woman Batwoman.
Ruby Rose's Kate Kane will be replaced by a character named "Ryan Wilder," according to Decider, which cites a casting call for such a character that has since been deleted. The casting call allegedly was looking for a "Ryan Wilder" who is "female, Mid-late 20s, any ethnicity," as the woman "about to become Batwoman." The description of the new lead character is that she's "nothing like Kate Kane," "goofy and untamed" as well as "likable" and "messy."
Given that casting calls are known to use fake names to prevent spoilers, "Ryan Wilder" may not be the name of the character who will step into Kate Kane's bat-boots when the show resumes for Season 2. Interestingly, however, there isn't really an obvious character from the pages of DC Comics who could take over. Unlike The Flash, Batgirl, and even Batman to a certain extent, Kate Kane is really the only big character many would associate with Batwoman.
Does this mean that Batwoman will go for a new leading lady who is completely original to the series, a la Arrow with Felicity Smoak and Legends of Tomorrow with pretty much everybody? Or will the second Arrowverse Batwoman be a comics character with a twist? Whatever direction the show goes, the new Batwoman will evidently be brand new to the show, if Batwoman is looking to bring in an outside actress rather than switch an existing character into the role.
The replacement of Kate Kane raises some very big questions, not the least of which is how Batwoman will continue to play with connections to Bruce Wayne when the closest connection -- a.k.a. his cousin Kate -- is no longer around. A lot of characters are primarily connected to Kate; if Ruby Rose is done with the character for good and isn't planning on reprising the role for a farewell, Batwoman will have a lot of loose ends to tie off.
If only this had happened before the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover! A Batwoman switcheroo would have been easy to explain immediately after Crisis, considering all the other changes. While viewers would have had to suspend their disbelief about Kate suddenly looking different if Batwoman had gone with recasting the character, the show still faces some big challenges in reorganizing around a new central character. Hey, at least our picks to play the new Batwoman are still valid!
If you want to relive Ruby Rose's one and only season as Kate Kane, you can find the first season of The CW's newest superhero show streaming on HBO Max, although the rest of the Arrowverse series are currently streaming over on Netflix. For some additional viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, check out our 2020 summer premiere schedule.