BATWOMAN: Kate Kane Won't Be Recast, a New Character Will Join Season 2 - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

BATWOMAN: Kate Kane Won’t Be Recast, a New Character Will Join Season 2

June 2, 2020 by  

Batwoman Ryan Wilder

Image Number: Batwoman_1stLook_V5_.jpg — Pictured: Ruby Rose as Batwoman — Photo: JSquared Photography/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

When BATWOMAN returns for a second season, a new woman will be saving Gotham.

In addition to Ruby Rose exiting the series, a source confirms that the sophomore season of The CW series will focus on a Batwoman other than Kate Kane (whom Rose played in season 1).

According to Decider, who first reported the shakeup, the new character, called Ryan Wilder in casting sides posted to Reddit, will be a “female, Mid-late 20s, any ethnicity. Ryan Wilder is about to become Batwoman. She’s likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the batsuit before her.” Like Kate, she’s a badass (“the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined”) and an out lesbian.

On paper, it makes sense to replace Kate with a new character. It’s unconventional for a primetime series to recast a lead character like this, and any actor that followed Rose would be compared instantly, from the dynamics with the people in Kate’s life to how closely the new actress could replicate Rose’s fighting techniques. And comic book stories are notorious for new generations inheriting the costume from their originators.

The problem? Based on season 1 of BATWOMAN, the show was in the perfect position to keep Kate Kane with a new face.

Season 1 of BATWOMAN established that in the show, people could, essentially swap faces. (The season ended with villain Hush being given Bruce Wayne’s face.) The series had a built-in excuse for Kate to look very different in season 2. The show set up so much incredible groundwork with Kate’s family and friends. Now, truly, what ties the characters there?

One of the best elements of the last arc of episodes was Mary (Nicole Kang) discovering her stepsister was Batwoman and working her way into the Batcave with Kate and Luke (Camrus Johnson). Mary and Luke would take in a new Batwoman, but it’s not the same. With Kate’s dad Jacob (Dougray Scott) fiercely against Batwoman—and vigilantes—the stakes dramatically shift if the woman he’s chasing isn’t his daughter. How would he have had to shift and struggle when he had to face his daughter was the person he was harboring such hatred for? Ditto Sophie (Meagan Tandy), whose star-crossed romance with Kate seemed to be destine to be the show’s long-term/end game romance, even though she’s currently entangled with Kate’s ex.

Of course, there’s also Alice (Rachel Skarsten). The push-pull between Kate and her twin led them both down dark roads, with Alice unable to let go of her sister (and her anger towards accidentally being abandoned) and Kate was never really able to take her down. Without that twisted tie, what’s to stop a new Batwoman from taking Alice out? What’s to stop Alice from figuratively pulling the trigger? (Or losing interest entirely?)

And to a lesser degree, it’s a shame because Kate helped save the world. She had a lovely friendship with Supergirl/Kara (Melissa Benoist). She had established relationships within the ARROWVERSE due to the previous two crossovers. BATWOMAN will be crossing over with the new SUPERMAN & LOIS show, but, in theory, this new Batwoman wouldn’t have met these characters.

There’s also the very real question of what happens to Kate if she’s not around and not Batwoman. The CW was criticized after a number of LGBTQ+ characters were killed off years ago, and the network has been a lot more cautious since. The optics of killing off its first queer superhero character whom the show is named after would be awful, and I can’t imagine that’s a road they’ll go down—but how do they explain her away?

The show was in a tough spot no matter what. But so much of what made BATWOMAN compelling in season 1—and arguably the best CW/DC show post-“Crisis”—was Kate’s deeply complicated relationships. It’s going to be interesting to see how the writers can work their way around that.


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