Earlier this month, Ruby Rose revealed that she’s open to returning to Batwoman to wrap up Kate Kane’s story. But recent casting news suggests that fans may never see the actress back on the show again.
After last night’s season 2, episode 8 of Batwoman, showrunner Caroline Dries revealed that they have recast Kate with British actress Wallis Day, instead of bringing Rose back to the CW series. Day, who is best known for her role as Nyssa-Vex on Syfy’s Krypton, will appear in the back half of season 2 as an altered version of Kate, who was first seen at the end of the most recent episode.
Day herself didn’t appear in the episode, but the final scene of the installment revealed that Kate is alive even after sustaining serious injuries in the plane crash. Being held prisoner somewhere in Gotham City, a seemingly unconscious Kate was unrecognizable beneath heavy bandages — save for her tell-tale red necklace.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dries shared that Day first auditioned for the role of Ryan Wilder, which ultimately went to Javicia Leslie. “I met her via Zoom audition — those super awkward Zoom auditions — she was super cool and had great swagger and poise, and I just really liked her,” recalled Dries. “At the same time, I believe there was sort of like this internet campaign — I don’t know how widespread it was, but it got my attention — that Wallis should be Kate Kane, and she does sort of look a lot like Kate Kane, so it drew me to her. And ultimately when we were going through the audition process again, her name rose to the surface, and she just killed her audition, so we went with her. But it helped that I had known her previously just from those past auditions.”
Dries admitted that she initially thought of recasting Kate immediately after Rose exited Batwoman at the end of season 1. But after realizing that “it would have been a clunky transition between season 1 and season 2 if we had just full-blown recast Kate with no organic story behind it,” Dries ultimately decided to introduce a new character, Ryan, who ended up taking up the role of Batwoman.
Though Kate is back on the show, Ryan will remain Gotham’s Batwoman, as the returning character will have her own storyline recurring throughout the rest of the second season. Without giving too many details away, Dries told Variety that Kate has a “complicated, mysterious, [and] tough” journey in the rest of the show’s sophomore run. Dries also teased that what Kate has gone through has changed not only her physical appearance but also her personality.
Of course, Kate’s storyline will eventually diverge into Ryan’s. And when the latter finally discovers that the original Batwoman is alive, Dries revealed that Ryan will again question whether being Gotham’s protector is really her purpose.
“When Kate comes back, and when they discover Kate’s back, [Ryan’s] confidence will be rattled a little bit, and she’ll start to wonder, ‘Well, where do I fit?’” said Dries. “And so while the city believes in her, full-heartedly, Ryan will go through her own journey of learning to believe in herself, and that’s really something we focus on towards the latter part of season 2.”
Day’s other TV credits include Jekyll and Hyde, Casanova, and The Royals. On the movie front, Day will be next seen in the sci-fi thriller Infinite, which will star Mark Wahlberg, Dylan O’Brien, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Batwoman airs every Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.