The CW isn’t just recasting Ruby Rose‘s Batwoman – they’re replacing her character, Kate Kane, altogether. The first season of Batwoman came to a dramatic close, with Alice murdering a beloved ally and transforming Hush into a Bruce Wayne doppelganger. It seemed to set up a bold new direction for the show, with Ruby Rose‘s Kate Kane moving ever deeper in the shadow of the Bat.
And then, in a shocking twist, Ruby Rose left Batwoman. It was a shock decision, easily the biggest casting controversy to ever engulf the Arrowverse, and it’s still largely unexplained. There have been reports tension on set led both parties – Rose and the DCTV team– to believe things just weren’t working out. Whatever the truth may be, it’s clear Batwoman season 2 will be very different. The internet has, naturally, been abuzz with speculation about just who could replace Rose as Kate Kane.
In a shocking twist, following reporting by Decider, THR has confirmed The CW is choosing not to recast Kate Kane at all. They’ve uncovered a since-deleted casting notice, looking for an actor to play the new starring role. This character is identified as “Ryan Wilder,” which is probably just a placeholder name to conceal the true identity, given that name doesn’t come from the comics at all. The character description is fascinating:
She’s likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the batsuit before her. 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. A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical All-American hero.
It will be fascinating to see just how Kate Kane is written out. The Arrowverse‘s Gotham is already at the center of a dark mystery; why did Batman abandon Gotham three years ago, and what happened to the wider Bat-family, such as Robin and Azrael? Now the first Batwoman can be added to the list of vigilantes who vanished in Gotham, perhaps suggesting there is a conspiracy afoot that even Kate Kane has fallen prey to. If that is the case, “Ryan Wilder” will need to uncover the truth and take on an enemy who defeated her predecessor.
There’s no comic book precedent for “Ryan Wilder,” so presumably the Arrowverse is switching up a character quite considerably in order to turn her into the next Batwoman. The replacement of Kate Kane will need to be handled with care, because Ryan is entering a world with several key villains already established. The dynamic between Kate and her twisted sister Alice was key to Batwoman season 1, and that plot was set to escalate into the second season. That means the creative team behind Batwoman will have to be very careful to create a Batwoman 2.0 who has an equally strong dynamic – and it’s unclear how they will pull that off.