This is a shocker: Ruby Rose, the star of the CW’s freshman drama series Batwoman, is leaving the Warner Bros. TV/Berlanti Prods. drama after one season. The series, which already has been renewed for a second season, will continue with the title role getting recast.
“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.”
Neither Rose, nor the Batwoman producers would speak to the reasons for the actress’ exit so early into the series’ life, though sources indicated that it is not related to the stunt injury she sustained during filming of Season 1, which left her facing paralysis and needing emergency surgery.
I hear the two sides mutually decided to part ways after recently reflecting on the first season and its challenges. Shot in Vancouver, Batwoman produced 20 episodes of its 22-episode Season 1, cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, with the makeshift season finale airing this past Sunday.
Doing a network drama is one of the hardest acting jobs, and not everyone is well equipped to handle the intensity and long hours involved. I hear 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 noone could see this going for another season. It was not a good fit, and the studio and the star opted to part ways.
Rose, a movie actress and a DJ, was a major get when she was cast as Batwoman in summer 2018, originally for the 2018-19 Arrowverse crossover, and later for a full-fledged pilot, written by Caroline Dries based on the DC characters, which went to series, executive produced by Dries and Berlanti Prods.’ Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. Rose acknowledged the series’ creative team as well as the heads of the CW, Mark Pedowitz, and Warner Bros.’ TV operation, Peter Roth.
“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,” she said. “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.”
In a joint statement, Berlanti Prods. and WBTV reaffirmed their commitment to Batwoman and to casting another LGBTQ actress in the groundbreaking role. Because the CW is delaying the launch of their regular lineup, including Season 2 of Batwoman, until January over the coronavirus-related production shutdown, the producers have time for an extensive recasting process.
“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 two companies said. “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.”
Orange Is the New Black alumna Rose returned to the small screen with Batwoman, playing the first gay lead character — male or female — of a live-action superhero series. Her character came out to Gotham City in an episode of the series’ freshman season.