Batwoman Season 2 Will Cast New Lead, Ditch Kate Kane Character

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Batwoman is taking a different approach following the departure of its leading lady. 

The CW drama will not be recasting the role of Kate Kane following the exit of Ruby Rose after a single season in the role. 

Instead, the series will be introducing a new character named Ryan Wilder to take up Batwoman's mantle. 

Caped and Cowled and Ready for Action - Batwoman

According to a casting notice reposted on Reddit — which encourages LGBTQ performers to audition — Ryan Wilder is a female in her mid-late 20s and the complete opposite of Kate Kane.

"She's likable, messy, a little goofy, and untamed," reads the document.

In Need - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 20

"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."

"Today, reformed and sober, Ryan lives in van with her plant. A girl who would steal milk from an alley cat and could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly disciplined."

"An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical All-American hero."

This decision is somewhat surprising, especially considering the show's mythology was built throughout Batwoman Season 1 with the Kate Kane character, and her connection to everyone in Gotham City. 

Close-Up on Kate - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 19

From her complicated relationship with Alice (Rachel Skarsten), to her even more complicated with people in her family, the series was undoubtedly built on the Kate Kane character, and this switcheroo could leave a bitter taste for fans. 

However, it's not uncommon for superheroes to pass on the mantle to someone else. Legacy comes into play here, but after all the work Kane did to better herself on Batwoman Season 1, it's hard to imagine her leaving Gotham City behind. 

The more likely scenario is that Kate Kane will be killed off, but only time will tell. 

All Tied Up - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 18

The news arrives around two weeks after Rose announced her departure from the series. 

"I have made the very difficult decision to not return to Batwoman next season," Rose said in her statement.

"This was not a decision I made lightly as I have the utmost respect for the cast, crew and everyone involved with the show in both Vancouver and in Los Angeles."

"I am beyond appreciative to Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Caroline Dries for not only giving me this incredible opportunity, but for welcoming me into the DC universe they have so beautifully created."

Kate with Umbrella - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 18

"Thank you Peter Roth and Mark Pedowitz and the teams at Warner Bros. and The CW who put so much into the show and always believed in me. Thank you to everyone who made season one a success — I am truly grateful."

In a joint statement at the time of the announcement, the CW, Warner Bros. TV, and Berlanti Productions reaffirmed their commitment to casting an actress who identifies as LGBTQ in the part:

"Warner Bros. Television, The CW and Berlanti Productions thank Ruby for her contributions to the success of our first season and wish her all the best."

"The studio and network are firmly committed to Batwoman's second season and long-term future, and we — along with the show's talented creative team — look forward to sharing its new direction, including the casting of a new lead actress and member of the LGBTQ community, in the coming months."

Taking a Risk - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 20

Rose followed up her initial statement with a cryptic post on Instagram a week later.

"Thank you everyone for coming on this journey," she wrote. "It wasn't an easy decision but those who know, know.. I didn't want to not acknowledge everyone involved and how big this was for TV and for our community. I have stayed silent because that's my choice for now but know I adore you all. I'm sure next season will be amazing also. Xxx *hangs up cowl and cape."

What are your thoughts on this latest decision?

Hit the comments below. 

Remember you can watch Batwoman online right here via TV Fanatic. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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