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SYFY WIRE Batwoman

Batwoman to replace Kate Kane with all-new character following Ruby Rose departure

By Benjamin Bullard

Ruby Rose's surprise departure as Batwoman's namesake character hasn't just left The CW looking for a new cast member to step into the role. In another surprise, The CW reportedly isn't planning to recast Kate Kane, the Batwoman we've come to know over the course of the show's debut season, at all — but will instead replace her with an entirely new character.

Decider reports that The CW will keep the Batwoman name as the series' title while framing future stories around an entirely new Batwoman persona — one whose alias, unlike Rose's character, isn't Bruce Wayne's cousin Kate Kane.

Per Decider, following the scent of a casting notice first posted to Reddit, Batwoman will introduce fans to a new hero named in the casting notice as "Ryan Wilder," a character with her own backstory who will assume the role of Batwoman. The Hollywood Reporter confirms the news about the character change, but notes that it's unclear if the new character will actually appear on the show as Ryan Wilder, or whether that's merely a placeholder name as the search begins to find a replacement for Rose.

Ruby Rose Batwoman

Rose surprised fans in announcing last month that she was walking away from her lead role. The news came just two days after Season 1 had aired its final episode. Though she thanked the network and fans for their support at the time, Rose (who sustained a spinal injury while doing stunt work for Batwoman last summer) hasn't gotten too specific since then about why she decided to hang up her cape, merely telling Instagram followers last week that "those who know, know."

Via Decider, the since-deleted Reddit post supposedly cited a casting call for a "likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed" woman in her mid-'20s who's "about to become Batwoman." The character reportedly is "nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the batsuit before her," and comes with a heck of a complicated superhero backstory: "With no one in her life to keep her on track, Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the GCPD and masking her pain with bad habits. A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical All-American hero."

In keeping with The CW's pledge to retain Batwoman's focus on putting forward an LGBTQ lead character, the call reportedly encourages interest from actors who "identify as LGBTQ." That aligns with the network's remarks in the wake of Rose's departure, which teased a "new direction" for the series, "including the casting of a new lead actress and member of the LGBTQ community, in the coming months."

Batwoman's second season — complete with its new bat-hero — is set to swoop onto The CW in January 2021.