Home Entertainment Batwoman season 2 release date | Recast, Javicia Leslie, villain

Batwoman season 2 release date | Recast, Javicia Leslie, villain

Comic book fans were shocked when Ruby Rose announced she would not be returning to play Batwoman for season two, but The CW has just announced a similarly momentous replacement.

Javicia Leslie will be inheriting the cape and cowl to become Gotham City’s newest protector, portraying a brand new character called Ryan Wilder, created specifically for the show.

Batwoman has been one of the leading figures for LGBT+ representation in comic books and that aspect of the mythos isn’t going away with this casting swap, as Leslie’s character will also be an out lesbian just as Kate Kane was.

But there are still plenty of unanswered questions about this major shift in focus, including how Ryan will step into the Batwoman role and what exactly takes Kate out of action?

Here’s all your essential information on Batwoman season 2:

When is Batwoman season 2 on TV?

Season two of Batwoman is currently scheduled for a later-than-usual premiere in January 2021.

DC Comics shows on US broadcaster The CW typically begin in September/October, but due to the one-two punch of coronavirus and Rose’s shock exit, the show has been delayed.

Will Batwoman be recast in season 2?

Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) as Batwoman

Yes! While the series had intended to continue the story of Kate Kane’s crimefighting across Gotham City, the writers have decided to introduce an entirely new character following the resignation of Ruby Rose.

The producers have cast Javicia Leslie in the role of Ryan Wilder, who will take over the mantle of Batwoman from season two onwards, after being inspired by the vigilante’s actions in the past.

Ryan is described as “likeable, messy, a little goofy and untamed,” but has a chequered past as a former drug runner who has spent years on the run from Gotham City’s police department.

She’s a “highly skilled and wildly undisciplined” fighter as well as an out lesbian, ensuring that Batwoman’s groundbreaking LGBT+ representation remains at the heart of the show.

Showrunner Caroline Dries addressed the decision to abandon Kate Kane, a character who has a sizeable comic book fanbase, during a Q&A for ATX Festival At Home.

She said: “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 of episodes written, and transition-wise it would be seamless.

“But upon further reflection – and I think Greg [Berlanti] helped me make this call – he’s like, ‘I think we should just reboot Batwoman as a different character’.”

Who will be the next Batwoman?

It was recently announced that Javicia Leslie will be taking over the role of Batwoman from Ruby Rose, an American actress best known for her role on comedy-drama series God Friended Me.

She said: “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.”

Previously, RadioTimes.com readers had voted for Stephanie Beatriz to be cast in the role, but it’s unclear whether this would have been possible due to her existing commitment to hit sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Former star Ruby Rose took to Instagram to congratulate Leslie on getting the gig, saying: “I am so glad that Batwoman will be played by an amazing Black woman. I want to congratulate Javicia Leslie on taking over the bat cape.

“You are walking into an amazing cast and crew. I can’t wait to watch season 2 you are going to be amazing.”

Is the Batwoman cast returning?

Rachel Skarsten plays Alice in Batwoman

Rachel Skarsten plays Alice in Batwoman

While Kate Kane will be written out of the show, her friends and family are set to return – meaning fans won’t have to bid farewell to every character they got to know over the course of season one.

Camrus Johnson and Nicole Kang will still have major roles as tech whizz Luke Fox and medical student Mary Hamilton, which suggests they could help Ryan Wilder find her footing as the new Batwoman.

Kane’s troubled father Jacob (Dougray Scott) will also return as well as her psychopathic sister Alice (Rachel Skarsten), but it will be interesting to see how their dynamic shifts with Kate out of the picture.

We can also expect more from Meagan Tandy as Kate’s ex-girlfriend Sophie Moore, who is a protector of Gotham in her own right as one of the Crows leading operatives.

What could happen in Batwoman season 2?

Camrus Johnson and Nicole Kang star in Batwoman

Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson) and Mary Hamilton (Nicole Kang)

Prior to Rose’s departure, The CW released a synopsis for season two of Batwoman, which included that Jacob Kane would be waging war against Batwoman and her vigilante activities.

That could still be the case, only with Ryan as the woman behind the mask rather than his own daughter Kate, but that’s not the only thing our incumbent Batwoman has to worry about.

There is also the small matter of Bruce Wayne’s former friend Tommy Elliott, who has adopted the super villain persona Hush to wreak havoc across Gotham City.

Other details that were teased by The CW include a romance between Luke and Mary, as well as a dangerous enemy from Alice’s past who “knows exactly how to prey on her vulnerabilities.”

Again, it’s possible these details could be tweaked or changed given the radical story alterations that season two will need, but they give us an indication of where things could go next.

Batwoman is available to stream on All 4. If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide. 

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Rebecca Queen
Rebecca is a freelance writer and games reviewer and a member of the Flick team. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three cats and a dog in a house with no right angles and a basement gaming lair.

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