Ruby Rose To Play First Openly Lesbian Superhero in CW's "Batwoman"
Ruby Rose could become the first gay lead character — male or female — of a live-action superhero series. Earlier this year, at the CW’s upfront presentation, they announced details about this season’s upcoming Arrowverse crossover. The highly-rated and anticipated crossover event is an annual late-fall event the involves four of the network’s DC superhero series, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, coming together for three consecutive nights. This year, Arrow star, Stephen Amell, and the CW president, Mark Pedowitz, revealed that a new hero would be introduced during this year’s event.
“This is the first time ever that Batwoman [will] make a live-action appearance on any screen,” Pedowitz said, adding that, along with Batwoman, the City of Gotham also will be added to the ever-expanding Arrowverse for the first time.
Just a few days ago it was reported that Australian actress Ruby Rose (OITNB, xXx: Return of Xander Cage) would be donning the costume of Kate Kane, better known as Batwoman. Batwoman, much like Rose herself, has already has been a trailblazer for LGBTQ+ representation in comics. Following her reintroduction into the DC comic universe in 2006, after a long hiatus, when she was established as a Jewish lesbian, becoming the first-ever lesbian superhero title DC character. Rose, who identifies herself as genderfluid, first came out as a lesbian when she was 13 and in 2015, wrote, produced, and starred in the short film Break Free, a tribute to gender fluidity, which went on to become a viral hit, garnering over 25 million views on YouTube. In 2016, Rose was awarded with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 2016 GLAAD Media Awards, which is presented to an LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance.
The vigilante’s cameo won’t stop at the crossover. With Batwoman, the CW is following the strategy it used for The Flash, whose central character was introduced in a two-episode arc on Arrow in December 2013. While originally the network had planned a third Arrow episode later that season to serve as The Flash backdoor pilot, it ultimately opted for a standalone Flash pilot, which launched the series the following fall; which is exactly what the network plans to do, setting their eyes on a 2019 mid-season premiere. The new series hails from former The Vampire Diaries executive producer Caroline Dries and the architect of the CW Arrowverse, Greg Berlanti.
In Batwoman, written by Dries based on the DC character, armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out 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.
Batwoman would join Arrowverse, which features a number of LGBT characters, including Arrow‘s Curtis Holt, The Flash‘s Captain Singh, Legends‘ Sara Lance and Supergirl‘s Alex Danvers and Nia Nal, who was recently announced to join the latter as TV’s first Transgender superhero.
The character Batwoman began appearing in DC Comics stories beginning with Detective Comics #233 in 1956, in which she was introduced as a love interest for Batman. On TV, Batwoman first appeared in animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which premiered on Cartoon Network in 2008. On film, Batwoman appeared in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, voiced by Kyra Sedgwick, a 2002 direct-to-video animated film based on animated series The New Batman Adventures. Batwoman also made a cameo in direct-to-video superhero film Batman vs. Robin and appeared in 2016’s Batman: Bad Blood, voiced by Yvonne Strahovski.