After a groundbreaking first season on The CW, Batwoman will be continuing on some unexpected new footing when it returns with new episodes in 2021. Series star Ruby Rose stepped down from playing Kate Kane/Batwoman shortly after the Season 1 finale, and the show will now be following a new character, Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie), as she takes on the iconic mantle. In the months since Rose's departure was first announced, fans wondered how Batwoman would deal with the nature of writing out Kate Kane, and it sounds like it will become a pretty pivotal mystery on the show. During the show's panel at the DC FanDome: Explore the Multiverse virtual convention, showrunner Caroline Dries teased that the exact nature of Kate's disappearance will consume a lot of the show's other characters.
"We have two major stories, as we come into season two," Dries revealed. "The first one is 'Where's Kate?' What happened to Kate? Is she alive? Did she die? Is she missing? Is she on the run? Is she held captive? Is she lost? These are all huge mysteries that push us in deep into the season, and all of our characters are going to have different perspectives on that. Different conspiracy theories, different points of view, and it will create a lot of drama, tension, mystery, and intrigue. It will be shocking and awesome and amazing."
"And, then we are obviously just diving into Javicia," Dries continued. "We have a new hero rising into Gotham. Javicia can tell you about her, but she's a new character to the world in DC, and she has a lot going against her. She was a girl who was a statistic of injustice the moment she was born, and the system was not built for this person, and she will constantly battle against the system. All throughout, she's battled through it her whole life, and she will continue to battle against it as Batwoman."
While there's still no telling exactly how Kate is going to be written out of the show, the ambiguity of that has caused a bit of confusion among the Batwoman fandom in recent months. In particular, some worried that the show would essentially be "burying its gays" by writing Kate out of the show, but Dries reassured that that wouldn't be the case.
"Being the lead of a superhero show is tough. [Laughs] Being the lead in anything is tough," Rose said of her exit in an interview earlier this year. "But I think, in that particular instance, it was a lot more difficult because I was still recovering from my surgery. I had my surgery and then 10 days later I went to work, which maybe wasn't the best idea. Most people take about a month or three off before they return to work, so it was definitely made more difficult by that. But as far as being a lead of a show or a film — regardless if it's action or if it's emotional — in whichever ways it's taxing."
"The challenge is sort of outweighed," Rose continued. "The accomplishment and the trust that people put in you to do that role and then there's also the vibrancy of being able to come on set and set the mood and the tone and the trust being put into it is something that's been such an honor. And I love my experience in [Batwoman]. I'm so grateful that we got to achieve everything that we did and I'm proud of everyone that worked on it. I'm proud of myself for working under sort of interesting circumstances, you know, with the recovery and all. I would definitely do [TV] again. I just think that it was also time for me to take a break to fully heal and then return."
Batwoman is expected to return with new episodes in 2021 on The CW.