'Batwoman' to Feature New Lead Character After Ruby Rose's Departure

Whoever ends up under the cowl in season two of Batwoman, they won't be playing Kate Kane.

Following the surprise departure of Ruby Rose from the title role at the end of the CW superhero drama's first season, the show has opted to create a new character to play Batwoman rather than recast Rose's role of Kate Kane, a cousin of Bruce Wayne, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Word of the change came via a since-deleted casting notice posted to a Batwoman Reddit forum. Per Decider, which first reported the news, the new character is named "Ryan Wilder" (whether that's a placeholder name is unclear) and is described as a woman in her mid-20s who "is about to become Batwoman."

"She’s likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the batsuit before her," the notice reads, according to Decider. "With no one in her life to keep her on track, Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the GCPD and masking her pain with bad habits. A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical All-American hero."

Batwoman made history in the 2019-20 season as the first scripted live-action TV series to feature a lesbian superhero at the top of the call sheet. Rose made a surprise announcement on May 19 that she had exited the series, saying in a statement that "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 [executive producers] 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."

Warner Bros. TV, which produces the series, and The CW said in their own statement they would cast another member of the LGBTQ community in the title role. 

Rose faced immediate backlash on social media after she was cast and would eventually quit Twitter, although she remains active on Instagram.

Like dozens of other series, Batwoman was forced to end its season early due to the coronavirus pandemic. The drama finished 20 of a planned 22 episodes, with the May 17 installment serving as the season finale. Sources told THR that episode was Rose's last on the series, but it's unclear if a transition to a new lead would have been set up in the two episodes that weren't completed.