When Ruby Rose revealed her Batwoman exit, many thought the Kate Kane character would return with a new actress for Season 2.
However, fans were stunned last week when news dropped that Kate Kane was out, and a new character would pick up the Batwoman mantle.
Now, Caroline Dries, The CW drama's showrunner, has opened up about the controversial decision.
“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 of episodes written, and transition-wise it would be seamless,” she told Julie Plec during an ATX Festival At Home Q&A over the weekend.
“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.'”
In addition to paying “respect to everything that Ruby [Rose] put into the Kate Kane character” during Batwoman Season 1, Dries conceded that “it also helps the audience, because we’re not asking them to address ‘the elephant in the room'” by accepting a new face as the same person.
The showrunner went on to say that Ryan Wilder is “a whole new character who in her past was inspired by Batwoman, so she is going to take on the mantle,” adding that she “is maybe not the right person at the time to be doing it, so that’s what makes it fun.”
"She's likable, messy, a little goofy, and untamed," reads a leaked casting document.
"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."
Ruby Rose announced her Batwoman exit in May following the conclusion of its first season.
"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."
"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."
What are your thoughts on the new character instead of having Kate Kane played by a new actress?
Remember you can watch Batwoman online right here via TV Fanatic.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.