When it was announced last month (May 19) that Ruby Rose, who played Kate Kane on The CW’s Batwoman, would be exiting the series before Season 2, it set off a series of outcries on Twitter and beyond. Adding to the fire? Kate Kane the character would not be returning, to be replaced by a new character named Ryan Wilder who would take on the mantle of Batwoman.
Naturally, fan speculation ran high that the series would be killing of Kate Kane to make way for the new character, but according to a statement provided to Decider from showrunner Caroline Dries, that’s far from the truth.
“As a lesbian who’s been working as a writer for the past fifteen years, I’m well aware of the ‘Bury Your Gays’ trope and I have no interest in participating in it,” Dries said. “My comments about recasting Batwoman have launched a storm of rumors and misinformation and I wanted to clarify something. Like you, I love Kate Kane – she’s the reason I wanted to do the show. We’ll never erase her. In fact, her disappearance will be one of the mysteries of season two. I don’t want to give away any of our surprises, but to all our devoted fans, please know that LGBTQ+ justice is at the very core of what Batwoman is and we have no intention of abandoning that.”
Dries’ statement comes hot on the heels of a panel held virtually by ATX this past weekend where the showrunner sat down with her former Vampire Diaries boss Julie Plec to discuss the reason behind changing from Kate to Ryan.
“To be honest with you, I did consider the soap opera version for a hot minute, selfishly because we had already a couple of episodes written, and transition-wise it would be seamless,” Dries said. “Upon further reflection — and Greg [Berlanti] helped me make this call, he is way smarter than me about this sort of stuff — he said, you know, we should just reboot the character in terms of reboot Batwoman as a different character, and also respect everything that Ruby put into the Kate Kane character. And I just think it helps the audience a little bit too, that we are not asking them to not address the elephant in the room.”
Though information hasn’t officially been released on the new character, Wilder has been described via a leaked casting notice as, “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.”
Rumors have continued to fly in the intervening week about Wilder, as well as the status of Batwoman Season 2, including potentially casting (no, Riverdale‘s Vanessa Morgan is not playing the new Batwoman) and Kate Kane’s mortality. Ultimately, though, those are all rumors — and Dries’ word clarifies that though Kate Kane the character will not be recast and Rose will not be joining Season 2, her presence will still very much be felt.
More to come…