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Batwoman’s debut season saved its biggest twist until the final credits rolled. In a shock to fans who’ve followed along, Ruby Rose is reportedly leaving the series, a move that puts The CW on the hunt for a replacement.
The news comes on the heels of Batwoman airing its final Season 1 episode. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. TV will recast Rose’s lead role as Kate Kane/Batwoman, a part that made TV history by putting an LGBTQ female superhero in the spotlight. Per a statement, The CW will look for another LGBTQ candidate to take over the role.
Season 1 ended on May 17 with “O, Mouse!” — the 20th installment in a marathon first batch of episodes. Batwoman already has been renewed for Season 2, so it’s safe to say that DC television mastermind Greg Berlanti is about to face a Batwoman future that’s shaping up to be a whole lot less certain.
While neither Rose nor the network has cited a reason for her departure, the actress said in a statement (via THR) that the decision to leave the show was difficult, and that she has nothing but admiration for the entire Batwoman creative team.
“This was not a decision I made lightly as I have the utmost respect for the cast, crew and everyone involved with the show in both Vancouver and in Los Angeles,” Rose wrote. “I am beyond appreciative to Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Caroline Dries for not only giving me this incredible opportunity, but for welcoming me into the DC universe they have so beautifully created. Thank you Peter Roth and Mark Pedowitz and the teams at Warner Bros. and The CW who put so much into the show and always believed in me. Thank you to everyone who made season one a success — I am truly grateful.”
The CW, which managed to eke out 20 of its planned 22 episodes for Season 1 before the coronavirus pandemic put the final stages of production on hold, also struck a positive note, assuring fans that the show isn’t going anywhere — and that it won’t lose sight of its progressive underpinnings.
“Warner Bros. Television, The CW and Berlanti Productions thank Ruby for her contributions to the success of our first season and wish her all the best,” wrote the team. “The studio and network are firmly committed to Batwoman’s second season and long-term future, and we — along with the show’s talented creative team — look forward to sharing its new direction, including the casting of a new lead actress and member of the LGBTQ community, in the coming months.”
While fans ended up taking a big bite out of Rose’s on-screen Batwoman performance, offscreen, her work on the show faced a couple of early snags. Rose weathered some early "fan" backlash on social media following her initial casting, leading her to quit Twitter. And last summer, she sustained an on-set injury while doing stunt work that required major surgery and nearly left her paralyzed.
Season 2 of Batwoman is slated to land at The CW in January 2021. So far, there's no early word on whether Rose's departure will affect that timeline for the Season 2 premiere.