Ruby Rose Is Done With Being Batwoman Now

In what’s nothing short of breathtakingly shocking news, Ruby Rose has departed as the title role of The CW’s Batwoman following the series’ first season. Warner Bros. TV has announced that the role will be recast.

The breaking news comes to us just as Batwoman concluded its Season One finale on Sunday night. There’s no set timeline yet for when a new actor will take on the famous bat cowl. As all you superqueeros sitting at home will remember, Batwoman was renewed for its season season back in January along with the rest of the Arrow-verse shows. It was (and we assume for now, still is) planned to anchor the network’s Sunday night lineup starting in 2021.

Here’s the statement from Rose:

“I have made the very difficult decision to not return to Batwoman next season. This was not a decision I made lightly as I have the utmost respect for the cast, crew and everyone involved with the show in both Vancouver and in Los Angeles. I am beyond appreciative to Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Caroline Dries for not only giving me this incredible opportunity, but for welcoming me into the DC universe they have so beautifully created. Thank you Peter Roth and Mark Pedowitz and the teams at Warner Bros. and The CW who put so much into the show and always believed in me. Thank you to everyone who made season one a success — I am truly grateful.”

Batwoman made Television history as the first TV series to feature a lesbian superhero as its lead character, and that importance only increased after producers expressed desire for the role to be cast with a lesbian actor. (The recasted role will similarly go to an lesbian, queer, or bisexual actor, per the producers’ wishes).

Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions released the following joint statement, congratulating Rose and discussing the show’s future:

“Warner Bros. Television, The CW and Berlanti Productions thank Ruby for her contributions to the success of our first season and wish her all the best. The studio and network are firmly committed to Batwoman’s second season and long-term future, and we — along with the show’s talented creative team — look forward to sharing its new direction, including the casting of a new lead actress and member of the LGBTQ community, in the coming months.”

So far, no one has spoken directly about Rose’s decisions to leave the series so early in its life (and with such a bright future ahead of it!). Of course, Ruby Rose famously faced backlash on social media following their casting (eventually causing them to leave Twitter, though they remain active on Instagram). However, it’s also possible that their accident earlier in the year, almost causing paralysis, might have also weighed on their decision. They posted about their surgery on Instagram. A Batwoman production assistant was also left paralyzed this year following a stunt. That said, Deadline appears to have sources that indicate Rose’s decision is not related to their on-set injury. I suppose only time will tell what’s up behind the scenes! Sadly I’m just a human drinking a beer on my couch, so I have no inside information for you at this time.

Also, holy unfortunate timing Batman! Within an hour after announcing their departure from Batwoman, it turns out Ruby Rose appeared as part of a Jeopardy clue about the show they just literally left.

Like so many other series near and dear to our hearts, Batwoman was forced to end its season early due to the coronavirus pandemic. The super-powered hour finished 20 of a planned 22 episodes, with last Sunday’s installment serving as the impromptu season finale. Our TV Editor, Heather Hogan, will be back here very soon to give you a review of the finale!

Until then, on behalf of everyone at Autostraddle, we wish Ruby all the best.

Carmen is Autostraddle's Deputy Editor and a black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 211 articles for us.

69 Comments

  1. I’m glad they want to cast another lgbtq actress but I am worried a recast will change the whole feel of the show.

    On the whole though I am worried about the amount of injury that seems to be going on behind the scenes and I hope they are taking steps to make sure people are safe working on the show.

  2. I was surprised by how much I liked Ruby Rose in the role. And early on Kate Kane had my haircut—that happens a lot on tv, but usually with 12 year old boys or annoying dudes.

    Also, those injuries sound terrifying. As much as i want the perfect actor In the role, I hope they prioritize figuring out the safety side of things first.

    • I think I came from the other side of the spectrum, as I was excited for Ruby since she cam off of action franchises and was convincing as a fighter badass there, so I was open to see her more tradional acting side, but I feel thoroughly whelmed by her portrayal, its not bad by any means, but with the spectacular work Rachel Skarsten is delivering imo it highlighted that there was a lot of room to grow – and Ruby probably would have gotten better with time as I think she already did in Season 1.

      • I’ve long stopped comparing Rachel Skarsten with anyone who has to try to keep up. She’s incredible. But watching scenes with Sophie (who I adore) and Julia really highlighted for me how nice it’s been to have a short-haired hero with an aesthetic firmly on the more masc side.

        • Yeah, I think they really need to continue their butch interpretation of Kate Kane, not only for the butch representation, but also because it fits the show and would kinda destroy the character building they did for Kate this far.

  3. We’ve been through a lot of shitty things to get this season of Batwoman. Rose was not my first choice for Kate but I was willing to give her a chance to grow into the part. But we not only had sexist MRA assholes trying to sabotage the show at every turn we also had a significant backlash to her being cast from queer people. Put it all together and there has been review bombing, targeted harassment of the writers and cast and several videos a week on YouTube to trash every new episode. It’s been exhausting for someone like me who loves the character so much and is really invested in the show succeeding.

    But despite all their efforts the show has done great ratings and gotten better with every episode. As you mentioned we got a second season already announced so even with the shortened season I was pretty happy and then THIS happens. ☹️ Hearing that they will recast is the only thing helping me get through this. I’m fine with a new actress taking over as long as we keep everything else.

    • I was actually looking forward to Ruby’s portrayal because of her fighting chops, but I was thoroughly whelmed by her acting – even as it has gotten better over the season and would probably continued in that trend.

      As for MRA scum and backlash from queer people I think it was bullshit, but the statistics for views and such I heard online did sound positive nontheless.

      What hurt the show the most in my opinion were the first two episodes, the first being the worst, which I would put on any worst season starter lists as, and again just my opinion, I felt the writing and especially pacing in both these episodes was atrocious!

      I am also really curious about who they are gonna cast, since their options are seriously cut done this time with this Batwoman having to be in the same age, race, and butch range as Ruby Rose as to make the recast as seamless as possible.

      • I mean, even on this page right there, there’s still, well I almost want to call it trash talk done on Ruby’s work and character. Which, in addition of being simply rude (but I guess some people just reserve tact for face to face situation…), is frankly very uncalled for, considering the situation.

  4. I guess the bright side is that they have a villain who’s whole thing is literally giving people new faces, so there’s an easy way to explain the recast. I’m very interested to see what route they take for the new Kate Kane. Is it too soon to start talking who we’d like to see?

      • The first person that came to my mind was Cara Delevigne.
        As down as I would be for Kristen Stewart, I think she’s too big for a CW show. I could actually kind of see that happening if they ever add Batwoman to the current DCEU though…

        • Kristen Stewart could be too big true, but I don’t think Cara is smaller and she also still has Season 2 of Carnival Row to film.

          Also, and this is personal, Cara doesn’t have the same butchy vibe too me that Ruby and Kristen have.

    • Bex Taylor-Klaus (which is pretty much my response to all casting questions). Since Deputy wasn’t picked up for s2, they’re available, and they’re a Jewish queer (like Batwoman) with fighting chops.

        • Assuming they’re not recasting any of the supporting roles, and aren’t switching the characters out completely, it has to be someone who will have at least some chemistry with Sophie and Julia, too. Just saw Stephanie Beatriz express interest on Twitter, that would be a very interesting choice.

          • I think just as important as chemistry with Sophie and Julia is chemistry with Beth/Alice.

            As for Beatriz, it could work, it would require quite the recon though and isn’t as seamless as other solutions even if Beatriz where to play white.

        • I saw this earlier and my initial reaction was that “it’s too late for April Fools, what’s going ?”

          I just… I was having a hard time watching because of the horror movie levels of child abuse in Alice’s backstory + the abuse victim becomes insane murderer interpretation of the character. But I loved Ruby’s interpretation of Kate, even if she didn’t actually look like Kate Kane, I loved her performance.

          I only hope she is okay.

    • I agree that Bex Taylor-Klaus is the best choice here, they do read a bit younger, shorter, and probably more masc than Ruby, but not to such an extent that it couldn’t be fixed with costuming/makeup/camera angles. Also seems like a great opportunity to cast someone Jewish, which I know many felt they should’ve done to begin with. If they want to go older/taller then I think Clea DuVall could pull it off— she’s been working for a lot longer, but is really not much older than Ruby, and although I’m sure the action sequences would be challenging for anyone they have stunt doubles and whatnot to figure them out

      • I think both are great actors, I am just skeptical both can convince us they are supposed to be 30 years old.
        As for height atleast to google Bex TK is 1.6m and Clea DV is 1.65m with Ruby R being 1.7m and in relation to that Megan Tandy 1.73m and Rachel Skarsten 1.78m. The height difference between Bex or Clea and Rachel would be noticeable.

  5. She wasn’t the worst actress, but compared with what Rachel Skarsten was bringing to her role as her sister, I felt like she kinda fell short. Maybe Beth was written as more fun/interesting, but imho the difference in skill when they shared scenes was pretty stark.

    • But then it’s the writers fault. I didn’t really see any difference when they shared scenes.I just think she wasn’t able to do the job on a physical basis. If it were just for the acting competence a lot of people would be without a job.

  6. This is such a bummer! I loved seeing Ruby Rose in her butch tattooed glory as Kate Kane! We better get another butch actress! Ruby Rose wasn’t the strongest actor but she had grown so much through the season and brought such fun to the role. Wishing her the best! Ugh really don’t Batwoman casting discourse part 2.

  7. Wow, this news showed up on my Facebook newsfeed and at first I thought it was fake news, but then saw that it linked to Autostraddle. I’m really shocked; like many, I didn’t think Ruby Rose was great at the beginning, but she really grew into the part. Nowhere near as electrifying as Rachel Skarsten in the role of Alice, but still, I really enjoyed RR’s Batwoman.

    As Julie mentioned above, it’s rather fortuitous that the show has a ready way to explain Kate Kane’s new face given the plotlines this season. I’m really curious how it will play out, when we finally get this show back on the air …

  8. This is sad and stressful!! I love this show so much and am anxious about anything that could alter it. Echoing everyone who is asking for Batwoman to have the same look. Anyone have pitches for who should replace her?

  9. I just saw someone on twitter recommending Wallis Day and she replied saying it’d be a dream job. I think she would be great. She actually looks like Rachel Skarsten’s androgynous twin sister, she has the acting chops, she can handle action scenes and she’s 1.74m. Only problem is she’s 8 years younger than Ruby Rose.

    • I think we have to look at Kate Kane’s age, which is thirty atm, rather than Ruby’s age. And I could buy Wallis Day as thirty/early thirties, because she doesn’t have the same babyface Bex and Toboni have in my opinion.

      She has a very similar body time and butch vibe to Ruby imo so thats a plus.

      She also was on another DC show with Krypton and with that being done with and her already having a relationship with WB could give her a leg up.

      She might actually be my new favorite contender for Kate Kane.

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