Of all the Arrowverse shows currently in production, fans have been awaiting the second season of Batwoman with the most curiosity, due to its major status quo shake-up.
Original main character Kate Kane has been written out of the story moving forward after star Ruby Rose decided to move onto other projects, with an all-new character now being introduced to fill her shoes (or should that be bat-boots?).
Javicia Leslie will play Ryan Wilder in season two of the DC Comics drama, a local Gotham resident (introduced in the recent Batwoman trailer) who stumbles upon an opportunity to fight back against the rampant crime in the city.
She’ll have her work cut out for her with no less than three major villains to contend with, including the mysterious Safiyah (referenced in season one), gang leader Black Mask (a different version to Ewan McGregor’s Birds of Prey interpretation) and, of course, the utterly unhinged Alice (Rachel Skarsten).
It has also been revealed that a familiar face from elsewhere in the Arrowverse will reappear in Batwoman this season, perhaps laying the groundwork for more crossovers down the line.
You can find out more on these latest developments below as well as everything you need to know about the new season of Batwoman.
Batwoman season 2 release date
The CW has announced that season two of Batwoman will premiere on Sunday 17th January 2021 in the US.
The Arrowverse shows are returning later than usual this year due to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but production on each of them is now well underway.
E4 will remain the home of Batwoman in the UK, with the broadcaster set to debut season two at an unspecified point in the Springtime.
According to Deadline, Warner Bros was looking to resume production on several TV shows in late August, as Batwoman and many others are filmed in Canada, where COVID-19 cases are significantly lower than in the United States.
The August start date never came to fruition, but production was eventually allowed to restart in early October, following delayed COVID-19 tests for the cast and crew, according to Deadline.
Batwoman season 2 cast
While the series had intended to continue the story of Kate Kane’s crimefighting across Gotham City, the writers have decided to introduce an entirely new character following the resignation of Ruby Rose.
The producers have cast Javicia Leslie in the role of Ryan Wilder, who will take over the mantle of Batwoman from season two onwards, after being inspired by the vigilante’s actions in the past.
While Kate Kane will be written out of the show, her friends and family are set to return – meaning fans won’t have to bid farewell to every character they got to know over the course of season one.
Camrus Johnson and Nicole Kang will still have major roles as tech whizz Luke Fox and medical student Mary Hamilton, which suggests they could help Ryan Wilder find her footing as the new Batwoman.
Kate’s troubled father Jacob (Dougray Scott) will also return as well as her psychopathic sister Alice (Rachel Skarsten), but it will be interesting to see how their dynamic shifts with Kate out of the picture.
We can also expect more from Meagan Tandy as Kate’s ex-girlfriend Sophie Moore, who is a protector of Gotham in her own right as one of the Crows’ leading operatives.
In September 2020, Leah Gibson was confirmed to be joining the Arrowverse as “The Whisper”.
Gibson has previous experience on a superhero franchise, having previously starred in Jessica Jones.
She will be playing the villainous Tatiana who, according to Deadline, will be a deadly assassin who is “unflappable and cold as ice in the face of danger”.
And also in September, it was revealed that Devious Maids star Nathan Owens would also be joining the series, playing Ocean, a zen gardener and thinker with a complicated past who is described as “a loyal soldier and fighter” who “moves to Gotham for a new beginning”.
Meanwhile, former EastEnders actor Shivani Ghai joins the cast in the recurring role of Safiyah, who was previously leader of the pirate island of Coryana and is a prominent figure in Alice’s traumatic past.
“She’s not what we expected from season one,” Ghai told Entertainment Weekly. “She does come across as someone who is quite charming and kind. She has a definite soft spot for Alice. You will learn as we go on that there’s definitely a much deeper relationship there.”
Finally, longtime followers of the DC Comics television universe will be thrilled to see David Ramsey return as a guest star in his role of John Diggle, who was a major player on the show that started it all: Arrow.
“To say I’m excited beyond belief to return to the Berlantiverse would be an understatement. I can’t wait to continue telling these stories,” he said in a statement.
Who is new Batwoman actress Javicia Lesley?
It was announced earlier this year that Javicia Leslie will be taking over the role of Batwoman from Ruby Rose, an American actress best known for her role on comedy-drama series God Friended Me.
She said: “I am extremely proud to be the first Black actress to play the iconic role of Batwoman on television, and as a bisexual woman, I am honoured to join this groundbreaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community.”
Previously, RadioTimes.com readers had voted for Stephanie Beatriz to be cast in the role, but it’s unclear whether this would have been possible due to her existing commitment to hit sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Former star Ruby Rose took to Instagram to congratulate Leslie on getting the gig, saying: “I am so glad that Batwoman will be played by an amazing Black woman. I want to congratulate Javicia Leslie on taking over the bat cape.
“You are walking into an amazing cast and crew. I can’t wait to watch season two you are going to be amazing.”
Leslie’s character Ryan is described as “likeable, messy, a little goofy and untamed”, but has a chequered past as a former drug runner who has spent years on the run from Gotham City’s police department.
She’s a “highly skilled and wildly undisciplined” fighter as well as an out lesbian, ensuring that Batwoman’s groundbreaking LGBTQ+ representation remains at the heart of the show.
Showrunner Caroline Dries addressed the decision to abandon Kate Kane, a character who has a sizeable comic book fanbase, during a Q&A for ATX Festival At Home.
She said: “To be honest with you, I did consider the ‘soap opera version’ [of recasting] for a hot minute, because selfishly we already had a couple of episodes written, and transition-wise it would be seamless.
“But upon further reflection – and I think Greg [Berlanti] helped me make this call – he’s like, ‘I think we should just reboot Batwoman as a different character.’”
Recently, Dries explained how the new characters fit into the series “At first, she doesn’t fit,” she explained while speaking at the Legacy of the Bat panel at DC FanDome. “She doesn’t fit literally. She makes it fit her.
“In making it fit her, she makes the Bat accessible to this whole other world of people who normally might not have a hero to look up to. So, she puts her stamp on the legacy.”
What could happen in Batwoman season 2?
Prior to Rose’s departure, The CW released a synopsis for season two of Batwoman, which included that Jacob Kane would be waging war against Batwoman and her vigilante activities.
That could still be the case, only with Ryan as the woman behind the mask rather than his own daughter Kate, but that’s not the only thing our incumbent Batwoman has to worry about.
There is also the small matter of Bruce Wayne’s former friend Tommy Elliott, who has adopted the super villain persona Hush to wreak havoc across Gotham City.
Other details that were teased by The CW include a romance between Luke and Mary, as well as a dangerous enemy from Alice’s past who “knows exactly how to prey on her vulnerabilities”.
Again, it’s possible these details could be tweaked or changed given the radical story alterations that season two will need, but they give us an indication of where things could go next.
Meanwhile, at the Batwoman DC Fandome Panel, Dries explained how Kate Kane’s departure would be addressed.
“We have two major stories, as we come into season two,” she said. “The first one is ‘Where’s Kate?’ What happened to Kate? Is she alive? Did she die? Is she missing? Is she on the run? Is she held captive? Is she lost? … And, then we are obviously just diving into Javicia. We have a new hero rising into Gotham.
“Ryan will ironically, ultimately, unite the Kane family. There are all of these strands of connection that she brings to them.”
Batwoman season 2 trailer
The first full trailer for Batwoman season two was unveiled by The CW in December, showing Javicia Leslie’s Ryan Wilder in the batsuit for the first time ever.
Check it out below:
Batwoman is available to stream on All 4. If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide.