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.
— Michael Ausiello (@MichaelAusiello) May 19, 2020
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.