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Batwoman in the Media: Send the Bat Signal

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BTS photos of 1.17, "A Narrow Escape", and some commentary from the director at EW:

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After a month-long hiatus, Batwoman finally returns this coming Sunday with a fresh episode directed by The Vampire Diaries alum Paul Wesley, and EW has your exclusive look at him working behind-the-scenes.

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"I have directed and worked on a lot of supernatural/heightened series but I had never done anything in the DC world. There is something quite exciting about being a small part of such a massive franchise. I am actually not a big comic book type of guy, but I love Batman, particularly Christopher Nolan's version. I also thought Joker was one of the best films of last year, I watched it several times. So to be involved in this world, so to speak, was extremely appealing and very humbling," he says. "I have also been wanting to work with [executive producer] Greg Berlanti and his team for a while, so I was thrilled to have the chance to do so. I have known Greg for many years, back when I had a part on Everwood well over a decade ago. The [Batwoman] showrunner Caroline Dries is also a good friend of mine from the The Vampire Diaries days, very talented, and we have always had a great relationship. The first episode of television I ever directed was actually a script Caroline wrote and we had a great experience together."

 

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Ask Ausiello:

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Question: Any idea what we can expect from Batwoman’s finale? — Deb

Ausiello: In addition to what he teased in our recent Q&A, Camrus Johnson said that Episode 20 — which is expected to be the last original of Season 1 — ends with a moment that is “a big reveal, a big surprise, a big turn. It’s something that I never considered, and while I don’t want to give too much away, it’s really awesome so I’m psyched to see how everyone reacts to it.”

 

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New promo art:

 

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"Grateful" promo with the Batwoman cast:

 

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'How 'Batwoman' Star Nicole Kang Is Shattering Asian Stereotypes and Paving Her Own Way':

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“I have the drawing and the illustration for Mary and she’s really blonde and [has] blue eyes,” she says in a recent phone interview with ET for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. “I really give it to [executive producers] Sarah Schechter, Greg Berlanti and Caroline [Dries]. From the beginning, they’ve looked towards challenging [those norms] and diversifying what we see onscreen. How is this Gotham going to be different? We’ve seen Gotham so many times, we’ve seen what it looks like. It’s dark, but who are the people that make up that city? We have control in pushing those boundaries.”

While Mary and her mother, Catherine Hamilton-Kane (played by Asian American actress Elizabeth Anweis), weren’t written specifically to be Asian, Kang says producers sought out actors who subverted expectations for a superhero show and more accurately represented the real world. But after Kang was cast, she had a fleeting moment of doubt -- that she was there to fill an invisible diversity quota. “I remember Marcos [Siega], our director, he was like, ‘Nicole, you were cast because you were perfect for the role. You were cast because you’re good.’ He took a second to empower me and tell me that. I must’ve said something sort of flip, like, ‘I check a box or something.’”

As Kang tells it, Mary seemed tailor-made for her, which has translated seamlessly to the small screen. Deep into the first season, the character has become an early fan favorite. “When I read Mary, I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is me,’” the actress remembers. “It was almost so easy, and I had so much fun with her, and I continue to have so much fun. I love being the heart of the show. I love bringing levity to the show. And it means that much more when bad things happened to Mary Hamilton.” 

 

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'Batwoman boss dishes on Hush's 'crazy' debut''

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What conversations have you had with Gabriel about his performance as he goes from Tommy to Hush?

He goes through a few changes. So when we meet him, [he’s] the cliché douchebag rich guy, just like your typical unlikeable guy. And it was important for us to say to Gabe like, “You are a privileged jerk, but you're also Bruce Wayne's best friend and we like Bruce Wayne, so there has to be something likable about you for him to sort of tolerate you at least through his adolescence.” But then of course we revealed the layers of Tommy's bleak backstory with his mom and trying to kill his parents. Gabriel was really good in terms of being this Gotham City villain, which is a little bit more heightened, but also he still exists in the real world.

Then when we met him in Arkham, I wanted to show some character growth for him that had happened between episodes 3 and 17. His big thing in the comics is his obsession with Bruce Wayne, which we obviously hinted at. But now it's like, this is somebody who's been getting his brains zapped for the last however many months, and so he should be at a different level of psychosis at this point. So he’s now really off his rocker when we meet him in 17. Then now what's great about when we see him as Hush is he has a very, very, very clear drive: He wants a face, and he's going to stop at nothing to get it. So it brings out all of his crazy and impulsive instincts.

 

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'Batwoman boss explains the latest 'Crisis'-inspired twist'

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So it's a way for you to incorporate weirder elements from the shared universe while using Batwoman's language?

Exactly. I sort of didn’t want to do the crossover, which was so successful, and just pretend like that didn’t happen. What happened was that this relationship came out of it and that’s what we can glob onto.

 

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Meagan Tandy and Nicole Kang on DC Daily:

 

 

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CW 2021 schedule

The CW plans to start its new season in January 2021 with Batwoman on Sundays at 8PM.

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That is all if there is not further major production disruption from the coronavirus pandemic next year. While “we take an optimistic view at the moment,” Pedowitz acknowledged the CW also continues to look at acquisitions of English-language scripted series and is in discussions on multiple projects as a contingency, in case Hollywood production does not resume by fall.

 

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Sam Littlefield interview - 'Batwoman star on what it's like to join the DC Universe'

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Still, Littlefield reveals, there's something appealing about helping to create a character from the ground up. "It's freeing," he says, "but it's also intimidating because there was no source material to draw from, other than some loosely based characters that they pulled together to manufacture Mouse. It was a liberating and somewhat scary cocktail trying to basically create this character out of thin air."

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"The first time I put on that makeup," Littlefield reveals, "I remember looking in the mirror and just feeling so sad about a little boy having his face totally marred and being told that he's not fit for society. It's so tragic. Life is hard enough just trying to figure out who you are in this world and how to get through it. When I think about that and about the relationship that Mouse and Alice develop over the course of their time in the basement, the two things I connect to most are the trauma and experience of trying to overcome that trauma."

 

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Another Sam Littlefield interview, also via video, at Nerd Reactor: http://nerdreactor.com/2020/05/15/batwoman-sam-littlefield-interview/

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We’re pretty sure there’s a hashtag for their relationship somewhere.

Malice. We came up with Malice (Mouse and Alice).

Is that a real thing?

I tried to make it a thing, but it didn’t really seem to take off. Gabriel Mann (Thomas Elliot) came up with the idea for Malice, and I embraced it. We’re both like, “Yeah, that’s awesome.” But it didn’t seem to take off. Maybe after today. I think they just have a very complex dynamic. Alice has her own goals outside of Mouse, and I think that Mouse sometimes thinks that he owns her. I think that sort of lays the groundwork for a complex dynamic between the two of them.

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As an actor, could you describe a little bit about working with prosthetics? What’s it like acting through that, and do you have to over articulate your stuff? Do you find it challenging in any way?

I remember in the very beginning when they first flew me up there. I’m normally blonde – blonde short hair. Within the first week of getting the job, I’m flying up to Vancouver, and it was a 10-hour process of putting hair extensions in my head, and then the makeup test. There were around eight hair tests and something like six or seven makeup tests. At first, I was kind of intimidated about trying to act through the makeup. After a while, it really just becomes second nature. And I had such a close-knit relationship with my makeup team, Jen, Sam and Felix in particular. We had our own trailer that was just for us. It was basically the B unit trailer, but it ended up being sort of our makeshift trailer.

And so every day, there are two and a half hours of makeup that I do, and I’m able to download the scenes with them and work through lines. “How do I say this line,” or “What do you think of this part?” And so it just became second nature, but also it’s really informative. When you think about an eight-year-old boy getting his face completely marred, and immediately being treated as someone who is not fit to exist in society. A little boy like that, that’s just so devastating. I remember looking in the mirror after our first makeup test, and I was just so struck with how sad that is.

 

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Finale post-mortem with EP Caroline Dries at TV Line:

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TVLINE | Turning to “Bruce Wayne,” you have to be very satisfied with the accidental season-ending cliffhanger you left us with.
I know! We are really so lucky. The fact is if we had broken [the season] off at [last week’s] Episode 19, or [the unfilmed] Episode 21, we would have had the same feeling, because we try to end all of our shows with an intense cliffhanger. I would have maybe tried to done a little bit more, cliffhanger-wise, with a romance, but I think we made good headway with Sophie and Julia, and teeing up that their relationship is about to get more complicated.

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TVLINE | Other shows on The CW seem to have ended their abbreviated seasons with 19 episodes. Did you just barely get 20 done? Did it take some crafty moves?
We honestly just got a little bit lucky. When I saw the writing on the wall and saw that production would be shutting down, our last day was the Alice/Mouse storyline, and I was like, “As long as we get this in the can, we have an episode.” It’s an important storyline. We ended up dropping only one day of shooting, the way our schedule fell ahead of the pandemic. Losing one day of shooting sucks — I would have loved to have had those scenes in there — but at the end of the day we had a really solid episode.

 

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Interview with showrunner Dries, at EW (spoilers, if you haven't seen the finale):

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Why was it important for Alice to kill Mouse?

To me, it’s Alice crossing this point of no return. It was a way of dramatizing how deeply important this drive is for her and how all-consuming it is; it’s just the way her psyche works. She sees what she wants and then it’s blinders to everything else and nothing’s going to stand in her way — and it’s what makes her such a scary villain. There’s really no negotiating with her. If she wants something, she’s going to find a way to get it at any cost.

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How has this sudden ending impacted your plan for season 2?

It’s kind of easy to just take the two episodes that we didn’t shoot and roll them into season 2. But at the same time, it’s our responsibility as creators to tee-up season 2, to make it feel like it’s its own thing. We lucked out because the end of the episode is such a cliffhanger and it feels like a season-ending cliffhanger. Obviously we know that that drama is going to play out. But, I mean I’m going to keep some of the elements we’ve already prepped — they take a long time to develop, so I’m really excited about that — and then other things we’re going to shift around dynamics to make it feel like this is a new season [with] new dynamics, new drama.

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CW President Mark Pedowitz announced that there were talks for a Batwoman and Superman & Lois crossover. What made those the right pairing?

I don’t know because I had heard rumors of it, but hearing it from The CW yesterday was the first time I was like, “Oh, okay, I guess this is happening.” So, I’m just as excited as everyone else and I love working with Todd Helbing, so I’m sure we’ll cook up something really special and you know, our finale touches on Kate and Kara and Kate is obviously very intimately knowledgeable about the Super-mythology. It’ll be interesting for them to work together. I’m obsessed with Lois Lane, so I’m really excited about that.

 

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Another interview with Dries at TV Insider, but as two articles:

Part 1, Part 2.

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Can you talk about casting Bruce Wayne's face because yes, you're casting Bruce, but he's Tommy.

That was obviously a huge undertaking in terms of making sure we get it right. We weren't really trying to cast Tommy Elliot 2.0. We were just casting in our minds Bruce Wayne, and so we needed to find an actor who looked like he could be Bruce Wayne and also was talented enough to fluctuate between stoic, charming Bruce and crazy, irrational Tommy.

When I saw Warren Christie's name on our list of actors, I was like, "Uh, am I seeing this right? Is this a joke? Yeah, we definitely want him." So we convinced him to join the family. We have a lot of fun left to have with him.

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I've really enjoyed watching Kate and Mary bond as sisters. What does that relationship, especially the trust they have in each other showcased in this finale, mean to both of them and for the show?

What we lucked out with the finale is that relationship really seemed to hit its maturity point and it felt like finally — when they toast and say "to sisters" — Kate has opened her eyes and her heart to Mary, who has done literally nothing but prove herself to her over and over and over and over, so that is such an important relationship. Moving forward, always in Mary's heart, that's going to be her touchstone and now what we get to explore in Season 2 is there's a third point to that sister triangle, which is Alice, and how do Alice and Mary continue to clash moving forward?

 

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Dries interview at Culturess: 'Batwoman showrunner breaks down season finale, what’s to come in season 2'

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Culturess: Does that mean we’ve officially snuffed out the good that is in Alice? We have snuffed out whatever little bit of Beth was left? 

Dries: No, it just means that we’re just piling on more of her delusion and more of the evil sides of her. She’s just going darker and darker and darker. But I think for any character, especially somebody as complicated as Alice, there’s always going to be that beating heart. It’s just buried deeper now.

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Culturess: With Alice’s skill of swapping faces, you’ve said before that Batwoman, for you, is an urban horror. How do you find the line, in terms of being gory, when crafting these storylines?

Dries: We don’t want to be gratuitous with the gruesome. There were two shots in the show where every time I watched them in the cut I was like “eughhh.” It was when Kate was staple-gunning Cartwright’s wound together and when Alice was pulling the thread out of her stitches at Arkham. And both times I was like, “Oh God.” But if you think about it, in the scope of the show, where you have Alice as a child, as Beth, learning to cut human skin apart, it’s pretty tame. So I think it’s just a matter of taste and also, it’s using the macabre not just to dazzle people or to just be gross for the sake of being gross, but to make the villain scarier somehow. And also to make these things feel realistic.

 

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Interview with Nicole Kang, at Culturess:

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“At the culmination of this whole season, [showrunner] Caroline [Dries] sort of told me, like, [Mary’s] the heart, you know? She’s like the heartbeat of this show,” Kang recalls. “And, I don’t know, being given that sort of crown or being given that responsibility has been — the payoff has been incredibly worth it. It’s been really special.”

In particular, Kang recalls her amazement at being chosen as the character to give Batwoman a pep talk.

“I keep on thinking, wow, it could’ve been the head of Crows security, it could’ve been her ex-girlfriend, it could’ve been her twin sister, it could’ve been anybody else,” Kang marvels. “But to have it come from the voice of the people almost, was … I thought, so beautiful.”

 

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Rachel Skarsten interview at CBR:

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Throughout the season, whether she wants to reconcile with them or she wants to kill them, Alice's one consistent trait is this obsession with her family, especially with her twin sister, Kate. How do you keep that fresh and interesting?

I think the thing for Alice is it is always her central focus and obsession, but the overall goal changes. So, in the beginning, you know, she was obsessed with this idea of bringing Kate to be on-side with her and that they would be reunited… and they would run Gotham together. And she was obsessed with that. Well, then, of course, Kate leaves her in Arkham, and I felt at that point her obsession shifted, and she was still equally as obsessed with Kate but it became an obsession to destroy her. And so I haven't felt that I’ve had to play the same tone in terms of how that obsession plays out for Alice, just the fact that it is, in fact, there.

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Can you tease anything we might be able to expect from Alice next season?

I can. ...Obviously, we really delved into the backstory of what happened to Beth after the accident, and how she kind of went through her psychological break and when that break happens. So, she blowtorches the Queen of Hearts, and it stops there. But there's still the whole backstory, which Caroline is going to delve into next season, for Alice with how did she actually become Alice, how did she become the leader of the Wonderland gang? It's one thing to stand up to a grandma but it's another thing to have the physical capabilities, the fighting capabilities that she does and all that.

 

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55 minutes ago, Trini said:

Interview with showrunner Dries, at EW (spoilers, if you haven't seen the finale):

 

Well....that's awkward to be told that you're crossing over with a show you never thought of through the media....Ill laugh if they had MG come up with the idea.

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Caroline Dries quotes at Den of Geek: https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/batwoman-season-finale-ending-explained/

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“The second he said he was leaving her panic senses kicked in, and she knew she had to take control of the situation,” she says. “Alice is obviously all about controlling everything.”

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Dries says, “He will always kind of feel like he’s in his dad’s shadow because who wouldn’t when you’re that smart and you come from that legacy…Luke is really hard on himself.”

Looking to the future she says, “intellectually, season one he came into his own and now Season Two, now it’s all about him finding his courage and physical strength.”

 

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2 minutes ago, Primal Slayer said:

Well....that's awkward to be told that you're crossing over with a show you never thought of through the media....Ill laugh if they had MG come up with the idea.

I know, right?! MG has already said that he pitched the next crossover idea to the network/etc., months ago. (I think it's TVLine who has the quotes.) In any case, they've got half a year to figure out something.

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Holy smokes Batman! Was not expecting that to happen....AT ALL. She seemed to be winning people over, had a hit show on her hands, got along with everyone in the Arrowverse......I'm nosey so I need to know what happened. Something bad about to come out in the press that she trying to get ahead of?

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Damn. And she was good. Now I'm imagining Kate bandaged and in a coma, with a fed-up Alice sewing up a new face.

Edited by Lantern7
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When was the last time something like this happened? The series lead quitting after one season and actually having to recast the role itself, not just replacing them with a new character.

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Oh this is interesting. Was it her decision or the network? 

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2 minutes ago, ruby24 said:

When was the last time something like this happened? The series lead quitting after one season and actually having to recast the role itself, not just replacing them with a new character.

The Dynasty reboot has been doing that for a while now, but it’s not the same since it’s an ensemble.  

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2 minutes ago, ruby24 said:

When was the last time something like this happened? The series lead quitting after one season and actually having to recast the role itself, not just replacing them with a new character.

Dynasty with a new Crystal every season lol. But I'd equate to this Shannen Doherty levels even though didnt recast her. 

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Holy shit. I've never been the biggest Ruby Rose fan (and was actually wavering on whether or not I'd even watch Batwoman when I learned she was cast), but I've come to like her in the role -- she was just starting to settle in; she seemed less stiff and she had good chemistry with her castmates, especially Rachel Skarsten. I wonder what happened... and who the hell they're gonna find to replace her! Looks like they're still requiring an openly queer actress, which narrows the pool down somewhat.

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Just now, GSManiac said:

Stephanie Beatriz should replace her. 

Hell NO.

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Of course this kind of things bring speculation and now this is running rapidly that these two comments are in connection to Ruby

 

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What the holy hell??? I had a really shitty day and this doesn’t make me any happier!!!! Completely blown away. 😩😩

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Um. Wow. Didn't see that coming! I wasn't a big fan in the beginning but she was just starting to settle into the role. 

I do wonder if it's because she suffered a couple of injuries at least, one of which was pretty serious and she didn't feel able to continue with a stunt heavy show for another few years and now is the best time to exit if this is the case. 

I also wonder if this was a shock to everyone or something that had been talked about in advance. Well they have a nice long hiatus to cast a new lead. 

Or the million and one other reasons scandalous and not that there might be but:

17 minutes ago, Primal Slayer said:

Of course this kind of things bring speculation and now this is running rapidly that these two comments are in connection to Ruby

I have no idea what these two are going on about but I'm not sure I'd trust anything they might say even though obviously Carina is a showrunner with the CW and has friends in the Arrowverse. They love trolling.

ETA: Cast a mature Bat you cowards? As in older woman or more mature personality wise? I'd guess the latter from the glee but cowards seems like a jab at the CWs 20 something casting for 90% of leads. 

But it does seem a mess. Yikes. 

Edited by Featherhat
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Just now, Chaser said:

Come on, spill the tea.

If somebody spills it, I'm not cleaning it up.  You guys can use your own cleaning supplies.

Sorry, had to do it.  But what the hell is going on?

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Wow, just WOW. This has to be for personal reasons, and not professional, right? (So we might not find out the real reasons for years - if ever.) I mean, Ruby had improved throughout the season, and this was the highest-rated new show on CW for this last season. It's already renewed. And they just announced the crossover with Superman & Lois.

I was wondering the other day why I haven't found much (if any) press/interviews with Ruby Rose. Nearly all the other main cast have done a few.

From Deadline's reporting:

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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.

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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.

In a joint statement, Berlanti Prods. and WBTV reaffirmed their commitment to Batwoman and to casting another LGBTQ actress in the groundbreaking role.

“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.”

 

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This had to be out of the blue since just last week TheCW was promoting Ruby and the crossover.....

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Replacements... I wouldn't mind seeing Bex Taylor-Klaus or Brianna Hildebrand. Both are openly gay and good actors, and could handle the physicality of the role. The latter looks a little more like Ruby. I feel like they're going to need a bigger name than Ruby, though, because they're going to have to get the audience on board right off the bat, which would be harder to do with a smaller name or an unknown.

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15 minutes ago, Featherhat said:

ETA: Cast a mature Bat you cowards? As in older woman or more mature personality wise? I'd guess the latter from the glee but cowards seems like a jab at the CWs 20 something casting for 90% of leads. 

I did wonder if they meant older because if someone her age is having trouble doing the stunts...and what would that then do to Alice? Have to recast her to make sense that they're twins. Go older with Jacob. So you just recast the whole cast?

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