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We Now Know Who The New Batwoman Will Be

Kate Kane is kissing Gotham goodbye — well, at least on the CW's Batwoman.

Just weeks after Australian actress Ruby Rose made the out-of-left-field announcement that she was departing from Batwoman after just one season in the title role, word has broken about who will replace Kate Kane. And yes, you read that correctly: replace Kate Kane, not replace Ruby Rose.

In a since-deleted post to the subreddit r/BatwomanTV, a user shared a leaked casting call claiming that Kate won't appear on Batwoman in the future. Instead, it's been said that the CW has chosen an entirely new character who will assume the Batwoman moniker. No one is replacing Rose as Kate; a new character is replacing Kate as Batwoman.

This news comes to us courtesy of Decider, which reported the casting call leak ahead of the information being deleted from Reddit. Per the outlet, the character in question is called Ryan Wilder — a possible proxy name or pseudonym, or potentially her true full name — and has been billed as a 20-something woman on the cusp of becoming the new Batwoman.

"She's likable, messy, a little goofy, and untamed. She's also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the batsuit before her. With no one in her life to keep her on track, Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the GCPD [Gotham City Police Department] and masking her pain with bad habits," the casting call states, as Decider details in its report. The notice goes on to describe Ryan as such: "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."

Ryan Wilder and Kate Kane are similar in an important way

Though the casting call claims that Ryan Wilder and Kate Kane — the apparent rising and retiring Batwomen — couldn't be more dissimilar and that Ryan is "nothing like Kate Kane," they are alike in one very important way: They're both queer women.

Cousin to Bruce Wayne, whose vanishing act from Gotham left the city without a vigilante to protect it, Kate returns to Gotham to rescue her ex-girlfriend Sophie Moore (Meagan Tandy) from the nefarious Wonderland gang ... which is actually headed up by Kate's estranged twin sister (Rachel Skarsten), who operates under the criminal alias "Alice." Once Kate learns that Bruce was behind the Batman mask and cape, she stylizes as the hero Batwoman, protecting Gotham in a way that the Crows Security organization — which her father, Jacob Kane (Dougray Scott), runs — never could. 

Basically, Kate's a badass. She's also an out lesbian, just like Ryan Wilder. 

Why is this significant? Because the CW is committed to hiring a member of the LGBTQ+ community to lead Batwoman in Rose's stead. Rose made history as the first openly gay female superhero lead on television. An argument could be made that re-casting the role of Kate Kane with an actress who isn't queer would be disrespectful to both Rose, who is a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and to the character, who is comic-canonically gay. Likewise, some could argue that having a new character who isn't openly gay like Kate Kane assume the Batwoman mantle would be similarly discourteous. It's clear that ensuring the Batwoman of the small screen is an out lesbian — and that the actress who plays her identifies under the LGBTQ+ umbrella — is important to the CW and the Batwoman creative team.

How fans feel about someone new assuming the Batwoman mantle

However, response to the reports of a so-called Ryan Wilder taking over from Kate Kane as Batwoman have been mixed. Some fans are stoked about it, while others think the series' team should have simply selected a new actress to play Kate. 

"WOW! It looks like Ruby Rose's Kate Kane will be wiped from the show of #Batwoman completely? With a new character taking over the Cape and Cowl. I think this is a bad idea, just recast Kate. Kate is Batwoman," wrote one user on Twitter. Another added, "They really shouldn't do this. I like the Kate Kane vibe. They don't have to [pick] a new character completely." User @DeltaHeliolisk tweeted her concern over the reports, writing, "Okay, now I'm worried. Just let the new series lead play Kate Kane! It may not be the ideal situation, but it's better than focusing on a completely new character."

Many others speculated that Batwoman may suffer from this decision, with ratings potentially declining and the CW having no choice but to cancel the show. That sounds like a worst-case scenario theory, but it's a genuine concern amongst fans of the superhero drama. In the same camp of concern are those worrying what kind of story the series will tell from here, without Kate Kane at the center of it all. As one Twitter user wrote, "Not smart at all. Not if you watch the show. Unless they plan to completely reboot the show with an entirely new cast and story. The current show is in the middle of a huge story that is intrinsically tied to Kate Kane, not just Batwoman. Everything on the show is tied to her."

On the flip side, some think selecting a new character to become Batwoman is a clever move. 

"It's a really smart idea. Means we don't have an actress trying to do her best Ruby Rose impression so the character is the same or we don't have S1 with Kate being a certain way then S2 rolls around and she's completely different," said one fan on Twitter. "Might get more people into the show in fact."

Another Twitter user shared that she's "excited" about seeing a new Batwoman on screen, even admitting that she didn't really enjoy the first season of the show, so she's interested to see how things change moving forward. 

Lingering questions going into Batwoman season 2

Though we now know who the new Batwoman will be, it's still unknown who will portray Ryan Wilder (if that name even ends up sticking). There are a number of actresses who could take Rose's spot insofar as nabbing the designation of "lead actress of the CW's Batwoman." Who the lucky woman will be is anyone's guess. 

Even more unclear is where the story will go from here. Will a time jump explain Kate Kane's absence? Will we get a Frankensteined scene between Ryan and Kate — perhaps performed by a body double with Rose's face rendered over, or made possible by implementing past unused footage of Rose in the role — in which Kate passes on the Batwoman mantle? Again, who knows?

Much of what made Batwoman season 1 solid and largely satisfying was the tense family dynamic between Kate, her father, her sister, her cousin, and so on. Ryan evidently has "no one in her life to keep her on track" — not even after she cleaned up, got sober, and started to craft a semblance of a future for herself. It's a far cry from the tangled web of family drama Kate has had to navigate, and it'll be interesting to see how Ryan gets mixed up with the villains already established on Batwoman as not only harmful to the world, but also harmful to Kate in particular because of their relationships with her.

Even with unanswered questions hanging in the air, Batwoman season 2 sounds like it's shaping up to be something wilder — Ryan Wilder, that is — than we've seen before.