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The surprising upside of Ruby Rose's Batwoman exit

News of Ruby Rose's departure from her role as the title character in the CW's Batwoman only a few days after its first season finale shook the Arrowverse and its fandom. But one man who's been around since the very beginning of the network's DC lineup says something positive may come from Rose's split with the series. 

Arrow co-creator and Batwoman executive producer Marc Guggenheim spoke to Collider about the star's exit, weighing in on whether it was a bittersweet or exciting development for the series. Guggenheim, who's attached in various ways to the other Arrowverse series Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, and The Flash, noted that the feeling following Rose's departure is, funnily enough, both. 

"I was talking to one of the Batwoman writers the other day, and we were saying how, in this, is a great creative opportunity," Guggenheim said. "I think there'll be people who come to the show, quite frankly, just to see how the writers choose to handle this. I'm a big believer that anytime you face a production challenge, and sometimes it's in cast while sometimes it's just logistics, in that challenge, lies a creative opportunity."

The Batwoman EP may be right as fans immediately began to speculate about how the series might tackle the idea of moving forward without Rose both in its casting and in its storyline. Meanwhile, actors have already started throwing their hats in the ring to replace the John Wick and Orange Is the New Black actor. 

With the news of Rose's exit coming so soon after the first season's finale, it's currently unclear how early those working on the series knew about her decision. But the actor's relationship with the CW show has been somewhat rocky from the start, with reports indicating this may have been a long time coming. 

Marc Guggenheim sees Rose's departure as a creative opportunity

Ruby Rose hasn't had the easiest time playing Bruce Wayne's cousin, Kate Kane. Following the announcement that Rose had been cast in the role, social media held nothing back in its takes on the casting decision, resulting in Rose leaving Twitter altogether. The former Batwoman star then revealed she had been seriously injured in a stunt accident while filming. Yet, in the end, one report featuring an anonymous source close to the issue says the real reason Ruby Rose left Batwoman was general unhappiness with the working demands of being a series lead. Her discontent became noticeable enough to the network's higher-ups that the actress and the production had to part ways. 

This marks the first time the Arrowverse has ever had a lead leave before the end of their series, and while Guggenheim says the challenge of Rose's departure is a creative opportunity, however you spin it, the move comes at a tricky time. All of TV is struggling to find a way forward amid an industry-wide shutdown. The CW has decided to delay its entire fall 2020 slate to spring 2021, including Batwoman's second season. Still, Guggenheim seems confident the show can rebound. 

"I was actually talking about that with [Arrow co-showrunner] Beth Schwartz, the other day," he told Collider. "We were talking about how once production resumes post the pandemic, how are we going to work with all these different limitations? And it's the exact same thing, which is that in those limitations and in those challenges lie the chance to do something new and different, and come up with a clever creative solution. That, to me, is the fun part of the job."