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Batwoman has a new Kate Kane.
The CW’s superhero drama has cast Wallis Day to take over the role that was established by Ruby Rose in season one.
As revealed at the end of Sunday’s episode, the character of Kane was revealed to be alive yet unrecognizable due to injuries she sustained in a plane crash at the beginning of season two. She is shown bandaged and being held hostage. The British-born Day (Krypton, The Royals) will play this “altered version” of Kane moving forward.
To be clear, Kane is no longer Batwoman – who is now played by Javicia Leslie, the first Black actress to play the character in a live-action drama. Leslie plays Ryan Wilder who took over the superhero role in season two.
Bringing back Kane has long been telegraphed by the showrunner Caroline Dries. The move will provide a way for the series to give some resolution to the fate of Kane’s character, as well as help the show avoid the “bury your gays” TV trope – killing off gay and lesbian characters – which Dries has said she wanted to avoid.
“As a lesbian who’s been working as a writer for the past 15 years, I’m well aware of the ‘Bury Your Gays’ trope and I have no interest in participating in it,” said Dries in June, 2020. “That’s why it’s important to me as the showrunner to clarify any misinformation out there about Kate Kane and recasting Batwoman. Like you, I love Kate Kane — she’s the reason I wanted to do the show. We’ll never erase her. In fact, her disappearance will be one of the mysteries of season two. I don’t want to give away any of our surprises, but to all our devoted fans, please know that LGBTQ+ justice is at the very core of what Batwoman is and we have no intention of abandoning that.”
Expect the rest of season to explore where Kate has been, and what that means for her character going forward. The show will also continue Wilder’s journey as Batwoman.
Batwoman made TV history in 2019 season as the first scripted live-action TV series to focus on a lesbian superhero. Rose faced backlash on social media and then made a surprise announcement two days after the show’s season finale that she wouldn’t be returning for season two. The new season opened with an episode titled, “What Happened to Kate Kane?” – launching the mystery surrounding the fate of the character.
The casting of Day was suggested by entertainment reporter Dan Wickline for the role in May, 2020, and the actress replied at the time that it “sounds like a dream job.”
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