While he did not have any day to day involvement in the Batwoman series, Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim, who has served as the showrunner on The CW's DC crossover events, was key in introducing Ruby Rose's take on Kate Kane during 2018's "Elseworlds" storyline. Rolling from "Elseworlds" right into her own show, and then into the Guggenheim-produced "Crisis on Infinite Earths" event. Earlier this week, Rose announced that she will be stepping away from the role of Kate Kane, while Warner Bros. TV and The CW said that the series will continue without her, with the role of Kate being recast.
Replacing a lead actor is tricky business even in the best of times. Replacing the sole, title lead of a high profile show during a pandemic-caused production shutdown is about as unique a scenario as you're going to get -- but Guggenheim remains optimistic that they can make the best of it.
"I was talking to one of the Batwoman writers the other day, and we were saying how, in this, is a great creative opportunity," Guggenheim told Collider. "I think there'll be people who come to the show, quite frankly, just to see how the writers choose to handle this. I'm a big believer that anytime you face a production challenge -- and sometimes it's in cast while sometimes it's just logistics, in that challenge -- lies a creative opportunity. I was actually talking about that with Beth Schwartz the other day. We were talking about how, once production presumes post-pandemic, how are we going to work with all these different limitations? And it's the exact same thing, which is that, in those limitations and in those challenges lie the chance to do something new and different, and come up with a clever creative solution. That, to me, is the fun part of the job."
Fans have speculated what kind of DC Universe, super-science, alternate-Earths explanation might be employed to explain a change in Batwoman's appearance from one season to the next -- and while that's a fun conversation to have, it's also worth remembering that, DC Universe or not, Batwoman took Arrow's place as the "grounded" show in the Arrowverse.
"After we did 'Elseworlds,' I said to the powers that be, 'I feel like I just introduced my wife to her new boyfriend,'" Guggenheim once joked, "because in many ways, Batwoman is carrying on the grim and gritty mantle of Arrow now that Arrow's going away. It was very surreal."
It's entirely possible that, like Bewitched or Cagney & Lacey, the Batwoman writers will decide it's best not to comment on the changes to Kate. Of course, that leaves the door wide open for the cast of the irreverent DC's Legends of Tomorrow during the next crossover...!