Ruby Rose was a fan favorite from the start when she was cast as Katie Kane in the CW’s Batwoman. Among other things, she was the first character in the Arrowverse to represent the LGBTQ community as a lesbian character. The show was a hit with both fans and critics alike which made it surprising that Rose announced, over the summer, that she would be leaving the show. That led to Batwoman needing to pivot and we finally have our first live-action look at Ruby Rose’s replacement in the cowl and cape.
Check out the new Batwoman in the first trailer for the show’s second season:
Javicia Leslie will replace Ruby Rose as the titular character and will be the first African American to play the role of Batwoman on screen. The show continues to break down barriers in terms of its casting and storyline, a tone set by Rose’s Kane in the first season. From the 20-second teaser, we see that the new character Ryan Wilder (Leslie) appears to stumble on the Batsuit washed up on the side of a river and instantly takes a liking to the new persona. This lends itself to the idea that the show decided to possibly kill off Ruby Rose’s Katie Kane or at least have her abandon the persona.
Recasting a replacement on an established show is never an easy task, especially when fans had taken a liking to the original character. But Ruby Rose leaving the show wasn’t a snap decision. In August interviews, Rose outlined some of the reasons she decided to exit the production. First and foremost were physical concerns after she had suffered a number of on-set injuries during filming. She had to have back surgery and admits she returned too quickly back to the set performing a number of different super-hero-like moves which exacerbated the injury.
But her surgically-repaired back wasn’t the only reason Ruby Rose stepped away. There were also detailed issues in filming with Rose citing some mental health concerns that led to friction among the cast and crew. While the physical issues may have been the ultimate dealbreaker, this wasn’t exactly a perfect situation for anyone involved. Rose decided to leave sure, but it doesn’t appear the relationship was set up for long-term success no matter what. It may have been the best decision for Batwoman’s long-term viability to make a pivot now rather than later.
It appears Leslie replacing Ruby Rose could have benefits for Batwoman going forward. The reimagined batsuit which apparently Wilder’s character will develop as time goes on in Season 2, will embrace the character and actresses’ own dynamic. Wilder will keep her original hair (unlike Rose’s Kane) and has a number of other subtle changes that begin to move away from what fans got used to in Season 1.
The new season of Batwoman is set to release on the CW on January 17, 2021. It will mark an exciting time for Arrowverse fans who also get Legends of Tomorrow coming out with Season 5 just four days later. And then, in the beginning of February, Black Lightning will debut Season 4. And finally, the much-anticipated Superman & Lois hits the small screen on February 23rd. Though Ruby Rose has moved on, the Arrowverse and Batwoman specifically continue to move forward in a big way.