The OG series Arrow might be shuffling off the moral coil next season, but The CW already has a new super-show on the way in Batwoman — and San Diego Comic-Con brought out some fresh intel and an early look at the pilot episode.
The series follows Kate Kane (Ruby Rose), who steps into the void left by Batman to try and clean up the streets of a fading Gotham City. Though Batwoman herself wasn't in attendance (word broke on Friday that Rose would not be present at the show's panel due to logistical issues), the rest of the creative team had a lot to say and show fans in attendance.
Looking toward Season 1, producer Caroline Dries said they borrowed quite a bit from Greg Rucka's "Elegy" storyline from the Batwoman comics, specifically connecting Kate's life to the villain Alice, a plot point that plays a key role in the arc. She also promised there will be a lot more backstory filling in the gaps for Alice's journey, and how she reached this point where she is terrorizing Gotham. Essentially, Alice is Season 1's Big Bad.
"As we go into series you're going to realize that's really Kate's journey over Season 1, trying to redeem the humanity she knows is still inside of this monster. That's really what makes the show unique," Dries said. "Some said do it end of season, but we knew too many people were familiar with this content, so we decided that's what the show is about — make this about Kate and her sister."
Dries also revealed how the emergence of Batwoman affects the world of Gotham, as people are confused and excited, with many thinking that cowl in the sky is actually Batman himself and not a new hero. But no matter who is wearing the cape, a hero will need villians to stop — and Batwoman will have plenty of them.
"The city is clamoring for Batman to come back, and some people think Batman is back — and when Batman is back that means his enemies are back to try and kill him," she explained. "Then, what we're doing with our Bat villains, we're trying to find a different angle into these villains so it's not a character you've seen a million times, or at least not an approach you've seen a million times."
One famed Bat-baddie fans can expect to meet in Season 1? An origin story for Hush (aka Tommy Elliot), looking into what drove him to evil before he took up his bandaged face and alter ego. Dries also confirmed they won't be reusing baddies from the Arrowverse, but focusing on new threats for Kate.
They also tackled the pointy-eared elephant in the room — will we ever get to meet Batman in live action on Batwoman? Producer Sarah Schechter said "anything is possible," though the first priority is to introduce fans to Kate Kane and establish her journey. They also reiterated that DC is obviously strict with the Batman IP, but much as Supergirl eventually got to do its own version of Superman, it stands to reason that Batman could show up at some point down the line. They noted that one option on the table is to have Bruce send a letter to Kate, as part of Season 1 is framed around Kate journaling her adventures in case Bruce ever returns to read them.
Rose’s take on Batwoman was first introduced in last season’s big Arrowverse crossover, "Elseworlds," to generally positive buzz. The event found the Arrowverse heroes making their first trip to Gotham City, where they cross paths with Kate. The character is also expected to play a role and return in the upcoming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" event later this fall, which makes sense, as Batwoman will be on the air by then.
Alas, they couldn't reveal much at the panel about "Crisis," but Dries did let slip that OG Robin Burt Ward from the original Batman TV series will be making an appearance (though there's no word on who he'll actually be playing). She also teased that the Supergirl and Batwoman dynamic fans enjoyed so much in "Elseworlds" will be back, and they hope to plant the seeds for that friendship in this year's crossover.
The pilot episode received a roar of approval from the crowd, giving most fans a first look at establishing the Gotham City corner of the Arrowverse. The episode works as a prequel of sorts to the Kate Kane fans met in "Elseworlds," establishing her backstory and what exactly brings her back to Gotham in the first place. The supporting cast is excellent, and the format should feel familiar but fresh for Arrowverse fans. No spoilers, but plenty of twists scored gasps and roars from the crowd.
The cast includes Rose (Orange Is the New Black), Rachel Skarsten (Lost Girl), Meagan Tandy (Teen Wolf), Nicole Kang (You), Camrus Johnson (Luke Cage), Elizabeth Anweis (Twin Peaks), and Dougray Scott (Taken 3).
The series comes from executive producers Greg Berlanti (The Flash), Caroline Dries (Smallville), Geoff Johns (Titans), and Sarah Schechter (Supergirl).
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