I’m Selina, Awards Circuit’s queer Girl Friday for everything LGBTQIA+ on film & TV! In great, if unsurprising, news The CW has officially picked up the “Batwoman” solo project to series, after a well-received pilot. Ruby Rose will be the first actor to play a gay lead character (male or female) in a superhero TV series, making TV history as one of the most visible LGBTQIA+ superheroes of all time. Here’s everything we know about the solo “Batwoman” series and a look at the brief but exciting teaser trailer for the show.
New Details About Batwoman’s Pilot & Pickup To Series
“Batwoman’s” greenlight comes just a few days before The CW’s annual upfronts on May 16, where the network will confirm its fall schedule. The series’ pickup was confirmed alongside the “Riverdale” spinoff/fellow Archie inspiration “Katy Keene” and 50’s teen sleuth “Nancy Drew.” The CW and “Batwoman” star Rose shared the news on their social media accounts, along with a new teaser for the series, where we see Batwoman responding to the call of a lit Bat-Signal. The trailer doesn’t confirm an official premiere date, but we’ll likely be getting one at The CW upfronts in a few days.
The pilot, of course, hasn’t been aired for public viewing to gauge interest, as the DC crossover “Elseworlds” drummed up more than enough buzz for the Gotham heroine. But according to Deadline, the pilot (written by Caroline Dries) was a frontrunner for a greenlight throughout production and was very well-received when finished. And per the Mary Sue, Arrowverse boss Greg Berlanti said at the INTV conference that the Kate Kane origin story will predate the crossover and includes a fully assembled cast of characters, with Rachel Skarsten (“Lost Girl”) playing the villainous Alice, Dougray Scott (“Mission: Impossible II”) as Kate’s dad Colonel Jacob Kane, and Elizabeth Anweis (Twin Peaks), playing Kate’s step-mother. As for Kate’s friends, Meagen Tandy (“Charmed”) will play a former friend, and possibly future love interest, of Kate’s alongside Camrus Johnson (“Luke Cage”) as Luke Fox, son of Wayne Enterprise’s R&D director Lucius.
Dries will act as executive producer and writer, alongside fellow executive producers Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Geoff Johns and David Nutter; Marcos Siega will direct and produce. “Batwoman” will be produced by Berlanti’s production banner in association with Warner Bros. Television, based on the characters from DC.
The official logline for the new series suggests audiences be following Rose’s Batwoman in the beginning of her superhero career, struggling with her new duties under the scowl and her dark past:
Armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane (star Ruby Rose) soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff off the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope.
How Batwoman Moved From DC Crossover “Elseworlds” To Her Own Primetime Spotlight
Batwoman’s road to the small screen has been relatively short and paved with gold. Buzz about Batwoman began last year during The CW’s May upfronts, where her appearance in the DC crossover “Elseworlds” was announced. Within a few months, Rose of “Orange Is The New Black” fame was selected to play Gotham’s lesbian heroine, to mixed reactions (see my own thoughts on her casting here).
Rose quickly silenced any of her doubters with her appearance in “Elseworlds,” which also gave audiences a peek at Kate Kane’s mansion home in Gotham City. Her appearance was so warmly received that The CW soon gave the project a pilot order, with Dries penning the script and Nutter (“Game of Thrones, “Arrow”) asked to direct. As fans now know, that pilot was also well-received, and is now going to series. In under a year, a new badass superhero was cast, introduced to the Arrowverse and spun off into her own show, in one of the fastest developing projects I’ve seen in recent years. Sure, Batwoman’s has support in Arrowverse head honcho Berlanti, but it’s still a rapid success.
Who is Kate Kane, Why Is She Important, and Who Else Could Show Up in Gotham City?
Ultimately, Batwoman’s rise through the ranks of The CW’s Arrowverse can be chalked up to the lesbian superhero’s LGBTQIA+ supporters behind the camera. In the comics, Kane is a past military hopeful, forced out of West Point in the time of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” With a dark childhood story rivaling her cousin Bruce Wayne’s, she’s a depressed, alcoholic and incredibly rich lesbian, living without purpose until she decides to step into Batman’s shoes and defend Gotham from wayward malcontents.
The lesbian superhero was awesome, queer and less than supported by DC, with “Batwoman” co-writers J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman quitting after higher-ups prevented the pair from showing Kate and her main squeeze, cop Maggie Sawyer, from marrying. But Berlanti, one of the most powerful LGBTQIA+ voices in Hollywood, has made a point of diversifying the Arrowverse he’s created, and clearly pushed for the heroine to see the small screen. Dries, a lesbian herself, came onboard the project and specifically looked for an out lesbian actress to portray Batwoman. Rose, one of the most widely known gender fluid and lesbian actors working today, then signed on to play this superhero, and clearly understands how powerful it will be for young LGBTQIA+ fans to see an out, proud queer superhero on TV, kicking ass and taking names. This kind of support and love for a character, from members of our community, in an effort to provide a visible role model for LGBTQIA+ youth, is simply incredible, and deserves more praise than I can express. I’m so excited to finally see a gay superhero get top billing, and it’s about damn time.
So that just leaves one question. Who else could be coming to Gotham? Judging by those tapped for the pilot, Kate will have her friends and family, but it’s likely we’ll be learning more about her lovers from the comics – cops Renee Montoya and Maggie Sawyer, maybe her first love back at West Point? As for bigger players, I won’t be holding my breath for a Batman appearance, as it would take away too much attention and plot momentum from Kate. I can, however, see the chance for some flashbacks to times with her cousin, and maybe a little more about what caused his absence from Gotham. There’s also Supergirl, who bonded with Batwoman during “Elseworlds;” I know it’s wishful thinking, but I really just want to watch them fall in love and take down bad guys together. Let me know who you think will show up in the “Batwoman” series in the comments below.