What a 'Batwoman' Series Could Look Like on The CW

"It's a darker vibe,” writer Caroline Dries says of a potential stand-alone show featuring Ruby Rose's lesbian superhero. "We were trying to create — with music and the exteriors and the alleys and the grime — a sort of uncomfortable city."
Jack Rowand/The CW
Ruby Rose as Batwoman

[This story contains spoilers from the conclusion of "Elseworlds," The CW's three-show crossover.]

Arrow has successfully been the launch pad for The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, and The CW hopes to re-create the magic with debut of Ruby Rose's Batwoman, with her character already in development for a stand-alone series.

Kate Kane (Rose) made a splash with her live-action debut in the three-part "Elseworlds" crossover this week on the Arrow-verse shows, but the hope is that the iconic Jewish lesbian superhero will anchor her own series going forward. "The whole thing has been done backwards,” Batwoman writer Caroline Dries (The Vampire Diaries) told reporters during a recent screening. “We’re making a suit, we’re casting an actor, and we [hadn’t] even written a script yet. So it’s been a really fun ride, but really surreal, too.“

Dries credited Orange Is the New Black and The Meg actress Rose for handling the pressure-filled situation — including the responsibility of being the first LGBTQ lead in a live-action comic-based series well. “She was a real trooper, but I’m sure she has the weight of the world on her shoulders,” Dries said.

Though Batwoman’s introduction in the Arrow-verse was primarily to help The Flash's Barry (Grant Gustin), Arrow’s Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Supergirl’s Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist), the glimpses viewers got into her world were intentional.

“It's a darker vibe,” Dries pointed out. “When they went to Gotham, we were trying to create — with music and the exteriors and the alleys and the grime — a sort of uncomfortable city … I think that being mugged instantaneously [in the Arrow episode] is a great way to personify the vibe we're going for.”

Of course, Gotham is a fictional city that has been portrayed dozens of times (including the current Fox drama by the same title), so finding a Batwoman-specific take on it was important.

“We wanted to find a setting that differentiated it from other Gothams in today’s viewing world,” Dries said in a nod to the feature film DC universe. "This one, we loved the idea of Chicago, because it feels like that’s the cityscape we’re looking for. There’s a million different versions of it; it’s hard to do a new version of it. But we knew the Vancouver skyline [where the other Arrow-verse shows film] wasn’t quite right. It was a little too modern.”

There’s also the question of Gotham’s most famous resident, Bruce Wayne. Kate acknowledged in the Arrow episode that her cousin (and his alter ego) had been MIA for three years, but she “was still trying to figure [why he left] out.” And while DC Comics corporate parent Warner Bros. let the writers use a number of references to the world, Bruce himself is “where they cut you off,” Dries said with a laugh. “Maybe a hologram? Slowly but surely we’ll just keep kicking away at [potentially being able to use him].”

But what they have been able to use, so far, has delighted the team. “For a bunch of geeks like us, you’re in heaven,” Dries said.

So what comes next for Kate? In the Arrow installment, she told Kara she was “in the process of turning this [Wayne Enterprise] building into a real estate development firm.” And while Dries wouldn’t directly confirm how much of that would play into a potential Batwoman series, she noted they dropped in tidbits into Kate’s introduction that “in hindsight might resonate … we created it with a bigger story in mind.”