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SYFY WIRE Batwoman

Batwoman showrunner talks 'inventing a whole new character' to replace Ruby Rose's Kate Kane

By Josh Weiss

Less than a month after Ruby Rose decided to part ways with The CW's Batwoman, the Arrowverse series has a solid path forward in terms of replacing its leading lady for Season 2. Rather than just recast the role of Kate Kane and ask audiences to accept a new actor, the production is pivoting to an entirely fresh persona.

"I'm inventing a whole new character, who, in her past, was inspired by Batwoman, so she will take on the mantle and is completely, maybe, not the right person at the time to be doing it, so that's what makes it fun," creator/executive producer/showrunner Caroline Dries teased via Deadline.

The character's name is Ryan Wilder — she's younger than Kane and will spend the sophomore season on a path to becoming Batwoman. At this time, however, we don't know if Wilder is a never-before-seen character or an alias that secretly refers to an established hero from DC lore.

Initially, Dries did seriously consider a clear-cut recasting or what she referred to as "the soap opera version." It was only brought up "for a hot minute ... because we already had a couple of episodes written, and transition-wise, it would be seamless," she added.

Batwoman Season 1 Finale

In the end, it was advice from fellow executive producer Greg Berlanti that changed her mind. Berlanti serves as a producer on all of the network's DC-inspired programming.

"He said, 'You know, we should just reboot the character in terms of reboot Batwoman as a different character, and also respect everything that Ruby put into the Katy Kane character,'" Dries said. "And I just think it helps the audience a little bit too, that we are not asking them to not address the elephant in the room."

Shortly after Rose's exit, it was reported that the actress had been unable to cope with the demanding TV production schedule in Vancouver, Canada. Rather than put herself and the crew —who reportedly felt the effects of her frustration — through another season of misery, Rose decided to amicably call it quits. A week later, she posted on Instagram, thanking everyone behind the scenes for giving her such an incredible opportunity.

Season 1 was forced to end prematurely as a result of the pandemic.

For a list of other genre shows that lost their leads, click here.