Update 5/28/20: Ruby Rose has broken her silence about her departure from the title role in The CW's Batwoman. After days of speculation, Rose addressed the situation in an Instagram post alongside a fan video dedicated to her former character. Though she didn't give an exact reason for her departure, only alluding to what happened, she did use the post to discuss why she had, up until this point, not commented directly.
"Thank you everyone for coming on this journey. If I mentioned everyone it would be 1000 tags.. but Thank you to the cast, crew, producers and studio," Rose wrote in her caption. "It wasn't an easy decision but those who know, know.. I didn't want to not acknowledge everyone involved and how big this was for TV and for our community. I have stayed silent because that's my choice for now but know I adore you all. I'm sure next season will be amazing also."
Previously 5/19/20: Batwoman is going to look a lot different in Season 2. TV Guide has confirmed that the CW series' leading lady, Ruby Rose, has exited the series after filming just one season.
"I have made the very difficult decision to not return to Batwoman next season," Rose said in a statement "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."
The production companies and The CW shared that it was a mutual decision for Rose and Batwoman to part ways.
"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," Warner Bros. Television, The CW, and Berlanti Productions said in a joint statement.
Neither Rose nor the producers of Batwoman gave a specific reason for her exit, but there are reports that Rose was unhappy with the demanding schedule of shooting a TV series. "Rose was unhappy with the long hours required of her as the series lead, which led to friction on the set. It was thus decided by her and the network and studio, Warner Bros. Television, that they would part ways," Variety reports.
Similarly, Deadline claims, "Rose, whose most extensive previous TV gig was a nine-episode arc on Orange Is the New Black, was not happy, and the show's team was not happy to a point where no one could see this going for another season. It was not a good fit, and the studio and the star opted to part ways."
It's unfortunate that the only solution to this problem appears to be Rose's exit, if only because losing a lead after only one season makes for an unstable foundation for Season 2.
It's unclear whether showrunner Caroline Dries plans to simply recast the role of Kate Kane or launch Season 2's story on the back of a new lead character and a new Batwoman. Minor and recurring characters are often recast on TV series, and audiences usually find it easy to suspend their disbelief and simply accept a new face for an old character. Leads, however, are not often replaced this way, especially after an entire season has aired. It's difficult to say whether Batwoman's devoted audience would welcome this kind of switcharoo.
The only thing we know for sure is that Batwoman Season 2 will have its work cut out for it when it returns in 2021.
Batwoman has finished its first season. It is available to stream on The CW website.