'Batwoman' Showrunner Explains Why the "Soap Opera Version" of Recasting Was Avoided

Ruby Rose stunned Batwoman fans recently with the announcement that she would not be returning to the titular role of the DC Comics superhero when the show returned for a second season on The CW. Since then, we’ve learned that Batwoman will not simply be recasting the role of Kate Kane, the maternal cousin of Bruce Wayne who picks up her own cape and cowl after Batman disappears. Instead, Batwoman will bring in a new character to pick up the mantle, and showrunner Caroline Dries explained why.

Caroline Dries recently appeared on an ATX Festival At Home Q&A (via TV Line), and she addressed the recent decision to have an entirely new character become Batwoman instead of having a different actress play the same role originated by Ruby Rose.

“To be honest with you, I did consider the ‘soap opera version’ [of recasting] for a hot minute, because selfishly we already had a couple episodes written, and transition-wise it would be seamless. But upon further reflection — and I think [Arrowverse EP] Greg [Berlanti] helped me make this call — he’s like, ‘I think we should just reboot Batwoman as a different character.’”

The soap opera version of recasting probably wouldn’t have been too difficult to pull off. After all, Batwoman is part of the Arrowverse where The Flash resides, and the superhero’s high-speed time traveling has changed plenty of things in their world and parallel universes, so it wouldn’t have been hard to explain a different Kate Kane in the Arrowverse. However, Dries said they decided to give “respect to everything that Ruby [Rose] put into the Kate Kane character.” Plus, she also addressed how it can be hard for audiences to accept a new face on the same character.

As it stands, the new character who will become Batwoman allows them to take the superhero in some different directions. The new Batwoman is named Ryan Wilder, and here’s the official character description that was revealed last week:

“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.”

Dries added that this new character, who has been forced to live in a van with only a plant to keep her company, “is maybe not the right person at the time to be doing it, so that’s what makes it fun.” Hopefully fans will be on board with the new Batwoman when she arrives, though they’ll be waiting until early 2021 for the superhero’s return due to The CW’s modified television schedule in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic shutting down television production.

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