This Batwoman article contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 2’s “Survived Much Worse.”
While you may or may not have guessed it from last night’s episode, Batwoman has officially recast the role of Kate Kane in Season 2. The news broke via several entertainment outlets last night during the airing of “Survived Much Worse,” right before the on-screen reveal that someone wearing Kate’s red necklace lies seemingly unconscious in the sewers of Gotham. (As you do.) According to TVLine, Krypton‘s Wallis Day will be taking over the role of Kate Kane, previously held by Ruby Rose in Season 1, in the second half of Season 2.
What Does This Mean For Ryan?
The CW publicity department made sure to emphasize in the release of the recast news that Javicia Leslie’s Ryan Wilder, who took over the Batwoman mantle for Season 2, is still very much Batwoman. This is great news as Ryan/Javicia have been killing it in Season 2. Having a Batwoman who isn’t a white billionaire has led to some rich explorations of this character and story, and it would be a shame to lose that after what has been a surprisingly successful transition from one main character to another. That being said, it’s going to be interesting to see how Batwoman navigates that balance upon Kate’s return, especially as so many of this series’ supporting characters were specifically chosen because of their strong connections to Kate Kane.
As our reviewer Nicole Hill put it: “My hope is that however Kate returns to Gotham, her reintroduction doesn’t take any time, energy, or focus away from Ryan. I love creative solutions to a cast member leaving but I don’t want that to come at the expense of other characters. Kate is important, but Ryan wears the Batwoman mantle now, and she has earned the right to stand on her own.”
Who is Wallis Day?
If you are a superhero TV fan, then you may recognize 26-year-old British actress Wallis Day from her excellent turn as Nyssa Vex on Krypton. She has also previously appeared in Jekyll and Hyde, The Royals, Casanova, and Will and will feature in Antoine Fuqua’s upcoming film Infinite, starring Mark Wahlberg and Chiwetel Ejiofor. You can see her practicing one of her Krypton fight scenes below:
What Happened to Kate Kane?
While Kate may be alive, she is not yet kicking and is very badly burned, presumably from the plane crash that left everyone (understandably) thinking she is dead. While the recast announcement didn’t go into details about Kate’s post-crash journey, showrunner Caroline Dries did tease that Day would be coming on as “our altered version of Kate Kane.”
“Wallis Day is going to be playing our altered version of Kate Kane, and she’s an amazing actress,” Dries told TVLine. “I’m excited for you guys to see the journey that she endures.” Presumably, this will also clear up how body parts matching Kate’s DNA were found?
It’s unclear, at this point, how many episodes Day’s Kate may appear in, but the level of the recast implies that this will not be a one-off episode appearance.
Why Isn’t Ruby Rose Returning?
Ruby Rose had previously left the door open to potentially return to Batwoman in some kind of guest role, telling Comic Book Movie earlier this month: “I would totally [return to the show]. I don’t think it would serve the story because I think building the new Batwoman is more important than going back too far into Kate Kane, but of course I would, I would absolutely do anything they wanted as far as that.”
Following the announcement of Day’s recast, Rose voiced her support for the actress and show via Instagram Stories, writing: “I’m sorry I didn’t congratulate Wallis Day yesterday. I knew about the casting beforehand and didn’t know when [the episode] aired so I forgot to. But I’m stoked for her! I’m seeing all the things I’m tagged in, with people sad or wondering how I felt… I feel great, I have nothing but good vibes.”
Rose originally left Batwoman because of the wear and tear of being a superhero lead. “Being the lead of a superhero show is tough. [Laughs] Being the lead in anything is tough,” Rose told Entertainment Weekly back in August 2020. “But I think, in that particular instance, it was a lot more difficult because I was still recovering from my surgery.”
Rose was injured while performing stunts during production on the first season of Batwoman. According to the actor’s Instagram post, Rose herniated two discs and the injury came close to severing her spinal cord, leaving her in “chronic pain” and unable to feel her arms.
“I had my surgery and then 10 days later I went to work,” Rose recounted to EW, “which maybe wasn’t the best idea. Most people take about a month or three off before they return to work, so it was definitely made more difficult by that. But as far as being a lead of a show or a film — regardless if it’s action or if it’s emotional — in whichever ways it’s taxing.”
What are your theories about Kate Kane’s post-crash journey? What are your hopes for Ryan’s role in Kate’s return? Let us know in the comments below…