Batwoman Officially Casts Kate Kane Replacement For Season 2
Javicia Leslie is The CW’s new Batwoman as her casting becomes a major step forwards in the Arrowverse when it comes to diversity and representation. With Ruby Rose departing the role of Kate Kane, the DC drama is closing the chapter on Bruce Wayne’s cousin when Batwoman returns for its second season in January 2021. While there were rumors being reported that the writers were killing Kate off, show-runner Caroline Dries debunked the false information. Instead of being killed off, Dries confirmed that Kate will disappear at the start of the sophomore season and that it’ll be a big storyline as Ryan Wilder takes over. Whether or not her friends and family ever find Kate remains to be seen, but since Dries is choosing not to recast her, it’s highly unlikely that the first Batwoman will ever be seen again.
With Ruby Rose quitting The CW is now forced to retool Batwoman season 2. They’ve just hired Ruby Rose’s replacement and her name is actress Javicia Leslie. Leslie is best known for her work on God Friended Me. She has also been on the new CBS version of MacGyver.
Most thought the CW would simply recast and have someone else play Ruby Rose’s Kate Kane character, but they’ve chosen a totally different path. Javica Leslie will not play Kate Kane, but rather she’s a new character named Ryan Wilder who will take up the Batwoman mantle.
“I am extremely proud to be the first Black actress to play the iconic role of Batwoman on television, and as a bisexual woman, I am honored to join this groundbreaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community.”
Leslie’s casting is a big deal Besides Black Lightning, which remained separate from the Arrowverse until the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover in late 2019, the Arrowverse has been dominated by white faces. Leslie is the first Black woman to spearhead a superhero show on The CW, as well as across TV in general. (Representation still has a long way to go.)
While Batwoman was a step up in LGBTQ+ representation in Season 1, Leslie’s casting is a welcome step forward for diverse representation on TV. It’s rare that Black women who identify as LGBTQ+ are cast in leading roles at all. Leslie’s casting comes as a rare bright point in an otherwise remarkably depressing year.
When Rose exited Batwoman, it seemed plausible that Kate Kane would be recast. Instead, showrunner Caroline Dries decided to introduce a new character to take up the mantle of Batwoman. With a clean slate and no concrete connections to the comics, Leslie can carve out her own space, without being beholden to fan expectations. Leslie has the potential to take this new character in an exciting direction, one free of the burdens carried had she been cast as Kate.
Leslie’s casting gives the writers the chance to explore topics they may have avoided before. Currently, Black Lightning is the only Arrowverse show that tackles the intersection of race and superheroes. Of course, Batwoman needs to actually hire Black writers if it wants to get this right.
Either way, Leslie as the new Batwoman is incredible and there’s no doubt that The CW made the perfect choice in what initially seemed like a tough situation the Arrowverse show.
Batwoman Season 2 premieres in January 2021 on The CW