In shocking news, the 34-year-old actress announced Tuesday she is vacating the iconic DC Comics role of Kate Kane aka Batwoman on The CW superhero drama after just one season, leaving the series temporarily without a star.
Due to Rose's abrupt departure, the network and studio will recast the role with a new lead actress when Batwoman returns for a second season in 2021. The series, which just aired its early freshman finale two days ago, is expected to again anchor Sunday nights for The CW.
“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," Rose said in a statement. "I am beyond appreciative to [executive producers] 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.”
“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,” the studio, network and Berlanti's production company said in a joint statement.
Batwoman was the first primetime comic book TV drama to feature a lesbian superhero at the helm. The casting of Rose, who is openly gay, was met with huge fanfare in August 2018, though the backlash forced the Australian actress to delete her Twitter account.
Rose made her onscreen debut as Batwoman months later as part of The CW's annual Arrowverse crossover event in December 2018 before transitioning into her own star vehicle with Batwoman. Just last week, The CW formalized plans for next year's DC crossover event, which would feature Batwoman and a new series, Superman & Lois.
At the time of her casting, Rose expressed gratitude and excitement over the historical implications of the role. "The Bat is out of the bag and I am beyond thrilled and honored. I’m also an emotional wreck.. because this is a childhood dream. This is something I would have died to have seen on TV when I was a young member of the LGBT community who never felt represented on TV and felt alone and different."
She also spoke at length about the significance of bringing the character to life as a member of the LGBTQ community when she sat down with ET last summer.
"I get the gravity of it, I totally understand. It's enormous and it's groundbreaking, and it's all of these things -- ticking all these boxes that haven't been ticked before," she said at the time. "But I kind of remove myself from that external idea of it -- of what it is beyond the show -- and just kind of [think], I'm in the character right now, and I'm in the show right now."
"I think the thing that Caroline and I share the same thread in is, we wish that there was a show like this when we were young. And there wasn't," Rose continued. "So for me, it's like, when I go to work every morning -- or every night, depending on our schedules -- I'm reminded that this is a show that I wish existed when I was young. And that gives me the purpose to go to work and that gives me that extra drive."
"But once I'm at work, I'm just thinking about Kate and I'm thinking about Batwoman and I'm thinking about all different kinds of things. It's larger than that for me, but at the same time, I'm so thrilled that we're at a place in the world where this is even a possibility. Because five years ago, 10 years ago, it wouldn't have been."
It is incredibly rare for a TV drama to lose its main star after one season, but The CW has weathered the storm before when primetime soap Dynasty parted ways with its female star, Nathalie Kelley, after one season in 2018. As a result, the series embraced its larger-than-life soap opera antics with a revolving door of new characters and leads. It surely will be a different story on Batwoman.
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