Report: The CW seeking lesbian actress with open ethnicity to play Batwoman in solo series

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Jul 18, 2018, 3:31 PM EDT

With only a few short months to go before The CW takes the wraps off Batwoman, its newest DC character addition in an Arrowverse crossover event this fall, the network is on the hunt for an openly lesbian actress to step into the mask of what will also be TV’s first-ever openly gay superhero series lead.

TVLine is reporting the network has put out the call for an actress of any ethnicity who can play in the age range of 24-29, and that it’s looking for a lesbian for the role if possible. The right person would join scriptwriter and co-producer Caroline Dries (The Vampire Diaries) to develop the standalone Batwoman series. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Geoff Johns are also co-producing. 

News that The CW is eyeing Batwoman for the series treatment is still super-fresh, and it’s not guaranteed that her appearance in the crossover will lead directly to a green-lit show. If the network does move forward with Batwoman, the show is expected to debut sometime next year.

Batwoman isn’t new, hailing all the way back to the 1950s, when she first showed up in Detective Comics #233 as a Gotham City well-to-do with a major crush on Batman. Like Batman, she spent her wealth to fight crime, but unlike Batman, she did it all because she wanted a very particular type of attention: his.

After 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths, Batwoman as fans knew her ceased to be, only to reappear after the turn of the century as Jewish lesbian Kate Kane — one of DC’s first openly gay characters. In the comics, she’s an ex-military vigilante (and Batman’s cousin) who travels the world to face down past demons — including the mysterious pirate Safiyah.

While casting for an openly gay lead character might be a first, it’s not the first time LBGQT characters have been represented in the Arrowverse. Supergirl also is looking to cast a transgender actor for the role of Nia Nal for Season 4, and of course there’s Alex Danvers, a lesbian character played by Chyler Leigh on the same show, among others across ensembles such as Arrow.