The new lead of the CW’s Batwoman will not be Kate Kane. The show has opted to go with a new character in the title role following the exit of star Ruby Rose, sources confirm to Deadline. The show was expected to go for a new identity of Batwoman, which is a far more elegant way of replacing a lead than straight-out recasting, especially given the fact that comic book canon is built on superheroes having multiple alter egos.
In a casting notice, a copy of which was obtained by Deadline, the new lead character is named Ryan Wilder and is younger than Katy Kane — she is in her mid-to late 20s. It is unclear whether Ryan is a newly created character or a code name for an existing DC character, but Season 2 of the CW show will chronicle how she becomes Batwoman.
Per the casting notice, first reported by Decider, Ryan is “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed” and “nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the batsuit before her.”
A former drug-runner, the now-reformed and sober Ryan lives in her van with her plant and is a highly skilled but wildly undisciplined fighter. Like her predecessor, Ryan is an out lesbian, with performers who identify as LGBTQ encouraged to submit for the role.
As mentioned, it’s not uncommon for multiple people — in the DC universe and otherwise — to take on the cape, cowl and identity of a superhero. When it comes to Batman, numerous people have assumed the role besides Bruce Wayne including Dick Grayson — who many know as Robin or Nightwing. Betty Kane became Batgirl and then was passed on to multiple people including Barbara Gordon (Commissioner Gordon’s daughter) as well as Cassandra Cain, a character featured in Birds of Prey played by Ella Jay Basco. On top of that, there are many iterations of the Man of Steel himself, Superman.
Batwoman premiered last fall as the first superhero series in television history to feature an avowed LGBTQ character as the central character.
Rose announced in May that she was leaving the Warner Bros. TV/Berlanti Prods. drama after one season.
Batwoman is produced by Berlanti Productions/Warner Bros Television. It hails from writer-executive producer Caroline Dries and executive producers Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Geoff Johns, David Nutter and director-executive producer Marcos Siega.