EXCLUSIVE: Deadline caught up with Greg Berlanti at the INTV conference in Jerusalem, Israel, who provided some insight into the timeline of the upcoming Batwoman pilot, written by Caroline Dries and directed by Marcos Siega.
Berlanti was one of the keynote speakers here at INTV, speaking on two sessions today, the morning panel canvassing his career as a series creator with 15 live-action shows on the air (more than any other showrunner currently).
While Batwoman was created by Edmond Hamilton and artist Sheldon Moldoff in 1956, initially as a love interest to Batman, she went on a very long hiatus, and was rebooted in 2006 in the seventh week of DC’s year-long 52 weekly comic book as Kate Kane, and open lesbian. While that version of Batwoman remains the protagonist for the Berlanti-produced CW pilot, he says that Dries “is grabbing across a set of issues in episodes”.
Last December we met Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) in the first DC crossover episode “Elseworlds” on The Flash-Arrow-Supergirl crossover in which Barry, Oliver, and Kara travel to Gotham, meet Kane (the cousin to Bruce Wayne who oversees Wayne Enterprises). Three years have passed since both Wayne and Batman left Gotham without explanation. As the Dark Knight’s substitute, Batwoman has her hands full in a city spiraling into crime and chaos. The heroes in their first meet-up ultimately deal with a prison riot.
Berlanti informed us that the Batwoman pilot “origin story that we set up predates the crossover; it’s a story prior to the crossover.”
The character breakdowns have given a taste as to where Batwoman will dwell. Rachel Skarsten, who played Black Canary on the WB’s Birds of Prey, plays chief baddie Alice, the leader of her Lewis Carroll–inspired Wonderland Gang and Gotham antagonist.
Dougray Scott will play Batwoman’s father, Jacob Kane, a former military colonel with a chip on his shoulder for Batman. He now commands Gotham’s private security firm The Crows, and has made it his mission to protect his city better than the Dark Knight ever could. But it’s only a matter of time before his unwavering disdain for vigilantes puts him at odds with Gotham’s new caped crusader…who also happens to be his own daughter.
Elizabeth Anweis plays Catherine Hamilton-Kane, Kate Kane’s step-mother. She made her fortune as a savvy, bullheaded defense contractor, and all those billions position her as one of Gotham’s most powerful residents. For Catherine, it’s a matter of the bottom line: Batwoman is bad for business.
Meagan Tandy portrays Sophie Moore. After graduating from military academy, Sophie rose through the ranks to become a high-level private security agent and one of Gotham’s staunchest protectors. Despite her bite and regimented outlook, Sophie has a soft side, illuminated by Kate Kane’s return. Camrus Johnson is Luke Fox, a Batman loyalist and son of Wayne’s R&D director Lucius Fox. Luke works to keep Wayne Tower secure in his boss’s absence. Nicole Kang is Mary Hamilton, Kate Kane’s step-sister and polar opposite. Mary is a compassionate figure in Gotham’s underserved communities.
Dries executive produces the Batwoman pilot alongside Siega, Berlanti Prods’ Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, David Nutter, as well as former DC Entertainment president Geoff Johns via his new Mad Ghost Productions banner. Berlanti Productions produces in association with Warner Bros. Television.
“I have seen dailies, and they’re very exciting,” said Berlanti today about the pilot.