While Batman and Superman’s first live-action meeting was rather hostile in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, that won’t be the case when their super-cousins, Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and Batwoman (Ruby Rose), get to know each other on the small-screen in this year’s Arrowverse crossover “Elseworlds.” In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Premiering this Sunday, the three-night event sees Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) and Barry Allen/the Flash (Grant Gustin) swap lives after reality is rewritten. Teaming up with Supergirl, they zip over to Gotham City to find the man responsible, Dr. John Deegan (Jeremy Davies), and, of course, cross paths with Rose’s red-haired Caped Crusader, who makes her Arrowverse debut on Monday’s Arrow, the crossover’s second hour. Unfortunately, Kate Kane, Batwoman’s alter-ego and the current head of Wayne Enterprises, doesn’t give them a warm Gotham welcome because she doesn’t want these superheroes causing trouble in her beleaguered city, which has fallen on hard times since Batman disappeared three years prior. Despite the rough start, Kara and Kate actually end up bonding.
“We shot a scene in Wayne Enterprises together, and it was just the two of us, just these two women breaking the ice with each other. It’s rare that I get scenes like that. I have scenes like that with Grant and Stephen all the time, but I was very excited to do that with another strong female,” Benoist tells EW. “I’ve not really gotten to have scenes like this with other female characters [like] Sara Lance [Caity Lotz] or Black Canary [Juliana Harkavy]. In the way that Barry and Kara are so light and such good friends, I think Kate and Kara have a lot more in common and can really understand each other.”
“It was nice because when Kara met Kate, it was in Kate’s space, and it was fun because there’s this power dynamic,” says Rose, who makes her debut as Batwoman in the crossover. “You got someone like Kara, who is just so sweet and nice, and I think [with] Kate, who is not one to trust people and doesn’t really have a lot of time for what’s happening right now, you see it’s impossible not to be charmed by Kara. You see the warmth in what I think would be a budding friendship. But it’s also really fun making Melissa/Kara uncomfortable.”
These formidable women end up connecting over the fact that they’ve both had to deal with the shadows of their slightly more famous cousins.
“Kate Kane is a very different personality from her, but what I think she appreciates and empathizes with is her experience as a woman, being a hero, and I think she also sees a lot of herself and the struggles she went through in becoming her own hero in Kate,” says Benoist. “There’s a lot of kinship there.”
Adds the Orange is the New Black alum: “You have someone like Kate, who is very much a force to be reckoned with and, I think, intimidates the boys a little bit. With Kara, I think it’s more like she thinks it’s cool. She’s like, ‘Wow, there’s another girl out there. This is awesome.’ I know Supergirl herself doesn’t like the vigilante-type characters, so I was glad that we actually had a mutual understanding.”
Although Batwoman’s presence in the crossover was mainly supposed to tease her potential spin-off series, Caroline Dries, who is writing the Batwoman pilot and has a story by credit on the Arrow hour of the crossover (teleplay by Arrow consulting producer Marc Guggenheim), believed this friendship was necessary to give Kate some more depth.
“I inserted the scene into the outline because I was like, ‘We need to have a scene where we kind of meet Kate and have a one-on-one where we get little emotional insight into her life,’” says Dries. “It kind of worked out perfect that it would be Kara because they have this thing tin common. So, I think I put it there and Marc was like, ‘Yeah, that’s great. Let’s do that!’”
The scene between Kara and Kate ended up becoming one of her favorite moments of the crossover. Says Dries, “I just think that the two actors had really great chemistry, and it was the first time I ever got to see Kate kind of come alive.”
“Elseworlds” begins Sunday, Dec. 9, with The Flash at 8 p.m. ET; continues Monday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m. ET with Arrow; and concludes the following night at 8 p.m. ET with Supergirl.