Batwoman is already scheduled to visit the Arrowverse for the annual crossover event in December; she may now become a permanent member of it, expanding the universe and breaking some TV ground in the process.

The CW has put in development a Batwoman series for 2019 consideration. It hails from former The Vampire Diaries executive producer Caroline Dries and the architect of the CW Arrowverse, Greg Berlanti.

In Batwoman, written by Dries based on the DC characters, armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope.

Batwoman already has been a trailblazer for LGBTQ+ representation in comics. After a long hiatus, she was reintroduced to the DC comic universe in 2006 when she was established as a Jewish lesbian, becoming the first-ever lesbian superhero title DC character. Now Batwoman would become the first gay lead character — male or female — of a live-action superhero series. (DC, Berlanti and Warner Bros. Animation previously collaborated on the first animated show with a gay lead, Freedom Fighters: The Ray on CW Seed).

Batwoman would join Arrowverse, which features a number of LGBT characters, including Arrow‘s Curtis Holt, The Flash‘s Captain Singh, Legends‘ Sara Lance and Supergirl‘s  Alex Danvers.

Batwoman comes from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television where the company recently extended its overall deal. Dries, who is lesbian, executive produces alongside Berlanti Prods.’ Berlanti and Sarah Schechter as well as former DC Entertainment president Geoff Johns (The Flash) via his new Mad Ghost Productions banner. Johns also has been producing the long-gestating Batgirl DC feature at Warner Bros., which switched writers this past spring.

Casting is about to begin for an actress — likely lesbian — to play Batwoman in the DC crossover event in December. If Batwoman goes to pilot, the same actress will play the central character in it. Dries does not work on a CW DC series but is expected to be involved in some consulting capacity when the character of Batwoman is crafted for the crossover, which spans Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. (It is unclear yet which of the series would introduce her.)

It was Arrow star Stephen Amell, along with the CW president Mark Pedowitz, who announced at the CW presentation in May that this year’s crossover event will feature Batwoman. “This is the first time ever that Batwoman will make a live-action appearance on any screen,” Pedowitz said, adding that, along with Batwoman, the City of Gotham also will be added to the ever-expanding Arrowverse.

DC

With Batwoman, the CW is following the strategy it used for The Flash, whose central character was introduced in a two-episode arc on Arrow in December 2013. While originally the network had planned a third Arrow episode later that season to serve as The Flash backdoor pilot, it ultimately opted for a standalone Flash pilot, which launched the series the following fall.

Dries has superhero credentials — she started her writing career on the CW/WBTV Smallville before a seven-season run on The Vampire Diaries, on which she rose to executive producer and showrunner.

The character Batwoman began appearing in DC Comics stories beginning with Detective Comics #233 in 1956, in which she was introduced as a love interest for Batman. On TV, Batwoman first appeared in animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which premiered on Cartoon Network in 2008. On film, Batwoman appeared in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, voiced by Kyra Sedgwick, a 2002 direct-to-video animated film based on animated series The New Batman Adventures. Batwoman also made a cameo in direct-to-video superhero film Batman vs. Robin and appeared in 2016’s Batman: Bad Blood, voiced by Yvonne Strahovski.