Batwoman boss reveals Kate Kane won't be killed off: 'We'll never erase her'
Just because Batwoman plans on introducing a brand new character to pick up the titular hero's mantle in the wake of Ruby Rose's exit doesn't mean the CW superhero drama will forget about Kate Kane. In fact, Kate's absence will baked into the show's second season in the same way that Bruce Wayne's was in the first season.
"As a lesbian who’s been working as a writer for the past fifteen years, I’m well aware of the “Bury Your Gays” trope and I have no interest in participating in it," said Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries in a statement released Wednesday morning. "That’s why it’s important to me as the showrunner to clarify any misinformation out there about Kate Kane and recasting Batwoman. Like you, I love Kate Kane – she’s the reason I wanted to do the show. We’ll never erase her. In fact, her disappearance will be one of the mysteries of season two. I don’t want to give away any of our surprises, but to all our devoted fans, please know that LGBTQ+ justice is at the very core of what Batwoman is and we have no intention of abandoning that."
Dries' statement is in response to some comments she made about rebooting the show with a new character named Ryan Wilder instead of recasting the role of Kate during an ATX Festival at Home Q&A with Legacies showrunner (and former colleague) Julie Plec.
"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 episodes written, and transition-wise it would be seamless,” she said, according to TVLine. “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.'” She went on to explain that this decision allowed them to honor Rose's work in season 1 while also not forcing the audience to put a new face to a character they'd already spent time getting to know.
Rose's departure was announced two days after Batwoman's season 1 finale. Then two weeks later, EW confirmed a leaked casting notice that revealed the show's plans to replace Rose's Kate with a new character named Ryan Wilder, who was in her late-20s and the complete opposite of Kate.
"She's likable, messy, a little goofy, and untamed," the now-deleted document read. "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."
Batwoman is expected to return in 2021. The complete first season is available to stream on HBO Max now.
This post has been updated.