Fans were shocked two weeks ago, when Ruby Rose announced that she was not returning for the second season of her hit CW series ‘Batwoman’. The reasons behind her departure seem to boil down to the demands of fronting a major weekly action-adventure series. It was assumed that producers would recast her role of Kate Kane, Bruce Wayne’s cousin who assumed the identity of Batwoman to protect a crime-riddled Gotham City in his absence. But now it has been revealed that instead, the series will introduce a completely new character to adopt the Batwoman identity.
The new character will be named Ryan Wilder, and she is described as being “the complete opposite of Kate Kane.” As was the case with Rose, producers are seeking an LGBTQ actor for the role, and she should be in her mid- to late-20s. A casting description was released and surfaced on Reddit (courtesy of Entertainment Weekly):
“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. Today, reformed and sober, Ryan lives in van with her plant. A girl who would steal milk from an alley cat and could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly disciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical All-American hero.”
This is a shocking development, to say the least. Kate was the star of the show, and half the characters are members of her family. A big chunk of the first season dealt with Kate discovering that the criminal mastermind Alice was actually her long-lost sister. And there was also development between Kate and her half-sister Mary, and her father Jacob.
There is also the fact that Ryan Wilder is not a character that originated in the comics. Will viewers embrace her?
Though it isn’t quite the same, ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ was forced to replace the existing character Vixen/Mari McCabe, when the actor that played her, Megalyn Echikunwoke, was not available to reprise her role. Instead, the show introduced Mari’s time-displaced grandmother, Mari Jiwe, played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers. Of course, that is an ensemble show and even in the comics, Vixen isn’t usually a solo star. So the stakes weren’t as high in replacing the original version.
What do you think? Were you a fan of the first season of ‘Batwoman’? How do you think the show will do with a different focal character?