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‘Batwoman’ Will NOT Recast Ruby Rose, Instead Creating New Protagonist for the Series

After Ruby Rose announced she was leaving Batwoman after one season and the CW announced they’d be recasting the lead, we all assumed that they would be casting an actress to take over as Kate Kane and continue the show as planned. We have word now, however, that the new Batwoman will not Kate Kane and that a new character will be created to take up the mantle of Batwoman.

A leaked casting call posted on Reddit and reported by Decider describes the new Batwoman.

The news began to trickle out thanks to a leaked casting call looking for a character named “Ryan Wilder.” Described as a “female, Mid-late 20s, any ethnicity,” the part that raised fans eyebrows was the following sentence: “Ryan Wilder is about to become Batwoman.”

The description continued that, “She’s likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the batsuit before her.” And though casting calls are known to create fake parts for auditions, the “Ryan Wilder” character will in fact be replacing Kate Kane as Batwoman in Season 2; and Kate Kane will not be recast.

It sounds like Berlanti and the CW are taking the opportunity to retool the show which, while it was successful, appears to have underperformed relative to the network’s expectations. “Nothing like Kate Kane” is a big giveaway that they think Rose’s portrayal and the first season’s dark and somewhat depressing tone failed to strike a chord with the audience the same way lighter shows like Flash and Legends of Tomorrow did. Batwoman even felt crushingly grim compared to Arrow, a show whose first season involved protagonist Oliver Queen straight-up murdering the people he decided had failed his city.

But let’s wildly speculate over who “Ryan Wilder” might be. I’m guessing that it’s a placeholder name because I seriously doubt a network DC show is going to be headlined by an original character. Legends of Tomorrow’s Sarah Lance arguably is this, but most of the other Legends have been established DC characters like Firestorm, the Atom and John Constantine and Sarah is essentially an alternate version of the original Black Canary more than a new character.

The problem is there’s only ever been one Batwoman, Katherine Kane. There’s two versions of her, Kathy and Kate, but Batwoman isn’t a legacy character like Flash or Green Lantern where there have been half a dozen people taking the mantle.

There have been quite a few Batgirls, though. Kate Kane’s niece Betty Kane was the first, followed by Commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara Gordon, the most famous Batgirl. Cassandra Cain, Harley Quinn’s teen sidekick in Birds of Prey, was also Batgirl for a while, as was Stephanie Brown, who also held the mantle of Batman’s sidekick Robin for a time as well as Robin’s sidekick/love interest The Spoiler.

Stephanie Brown is the character I’m putting my money on. Kate Kane on Batwoman isn’t old enough to have a niece to take over for her while Barbara Gordon and Cassandra Cain are both probably unavailable to the TV division because of films. The casting call’s description of Ryan Wilder fits Brown pretty perfectly and it would be easy to writer her in as a former teen hero who had worked with Batman and is pressed to return to super-heroics with Kate Kane’s departure (or possible death).

Whether or not this pans out, one thing I’m sure of is that Batwoman will have a tone closer to Flash and Supergirl in season 2. I’m not expecting full-on Adam West camp by any means, but I am expecting a Batwoman who is lighter and less serious than Kate Kane was.

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