When Ruby Rose announced earlier in the year that she was hanging up her cape and cowl as Batwoman after just one season, it came as a huge shock to fans. Besides for sustaining a pretty bad on-set injury, Rose had unfortunately found that her duties as superhero Kate Kane on The CW’s Arrowverse spinoff show was just too grueling for her to keep up. And after a desperate round of casting, showrunner Caroline Dries found Rose’s replacement in newcomer Javicia Leslie. But this wouldn’t be one of those old-school soapie moments where a new face steps shows up on screen with a voiceover just announcing “The role of Kate Kane is now being played by Javicia Leslie”.
Instead, as we subsequently learned, Leslie is playing an entirely new character named Ryan Wilder, who may boast similarities (Batwoman’s trailblazing sexuality is still kept in place) but is a very different character to Rose’s Kate Kane. But what about the latter? How would the show handle her sudden exit? Well, according to what was revealed by Dries during the Batwoman panel held for DC FanDome second show this weekend past, they’re turning an unfortunate loss into a major story inspiration.
We have two major stories this season as we come into Season 2. The first one is: Where is Kate? What happened to Kate? Is she alive? Is she dead? Is she missing? Is she on the run? Is she held captive? Is she lost? These are all huge mysteries that push us deep into the season. All of our characters are going to have different perspectives on that. Different conspiracy theories, different points of view, and it will create a lot of drama, mystery, tension, intrigue. It will be shocking, awesome, and amazing.
As for the second story, look for Leslie’s Ryan to spend her time in the Bat-suit fighting even more for the disenfranchised of Gotham City than her predecessor. As the panel revealed, Ryan “was a girl who was a statistic of injustice the moment she was born and the system was not built for this person.” And that means standing up for those just like her, as Leslie explained.
I know that going into it, it’s going to be a struggle because when you’re a part of a community that has been neglected by the system, that’s the initial community that you feel responsible for helping. That’s what you’re going to see. You’re are going to see that community of Gotham that got overlooked.
After the big Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover that actually pushed Batwoman firmly into the Arrowverse, I stopped watching all of these shows as I just felt their quality had lapsed universally. I know others feel differently as these are still hugely popular. Personally though, I felt Batwoman had already started with a low bar to begin with, but a lot of that had to do with Rose’s stilted performance as Kate Kane. Maybe Leslie’s turn as Ryan Wilder will up things for Batwoman overall.
Fans will luckily not have too long to wait to see if that’s the case as production on season two kicked off earlier this month following COVID-19 shutdowns, with an expected release date pegged for January 2021.
Last Updated: September 14, 2020