News of Ruby Rose’s departure from Batwoman was surprising, to say the least, but what was even more shocking was learning that the producers will bring in an entirely new character instead of recasting the role. While some believe this could complicate things from a story perspective, showrunner Caroline Dries and her team seem to be all for this new direction. And it sounds like she already has an idea of how this successor will connect to Ruby Rose’s Kate Kane:
I’m inventing a whole new character who in her past was inspired by Batwoman, so 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.
This character, who’s currently being listed with the name Ryan Wilder, sounds like she’ll be an enthusiastic, and initially inexperienced, protagonist. Despite Caroline Dries’ enthusiasm about adding a fresh face, she did admit during ATX TV…from the Couch (via Deadline) that she initially considered taking a note from soap operas and just recasting the role:
To be honest with you, I did consider the soap opera version for a hot minute, selfishly because we had already a couple of episodes written, and transition-wise it would be seamless.
These plans changed, however, when she spoke with producer Greg Berlanti, who suggested that the right play may just be to reboot the character entirely:
Upon further reflection — and 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 Katy Kane character. 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.
There are definitely pros and cons to the decision that Caroline Dries came to. In terms of cons, integrating a new character into the show’s current storyline will be tricky. Kate Kane was set to engage in a face off (no pun intended) with Hush in Season 2. Additionally, establishing relationships between “Ryan Wilder” and Kate’s allies will take some time.
On a more positive note, this development does give the creative team a chance to reinvent the character and the show as a whole. Producer Marc Guggenheim even went as far as to call Ruby Rose’s exit a “creative opportunity.”
With the second season’s delayed premiere date, it’ll be a while before fans get to see how things play out for the Arrowverse series. But this still gives Caroline Dries plenty of time to iron out the details for Gotham’s defender.
Batwoman Season 2 is set to debut on The CW in early 2021 and, in the meantime, you can stream the first season on HBO Max.