Batwoman was arguably the sleeper hit of The CW's last TV season. After a shaky start, Season 1 came into its own as a well-crafted and intriguing must-watch. Season 2 was renewed early this year and it seemed Batwoman was finally hitting its stride. However, a few speed bumps threatened to bring things to a halt for a while.
Spoilers ahead for the Batwoman Season 1 finale.
Due to Hollywood-wide production shutdowns, Batwoman Season 1 ended two episodes shy of its 22-episode order. However, the series’ unintended season finale still managed to introduce quite a few storylines that cleverly set up Season 2 and culminated in Alice’s successful transformation of Tommy Elliott, aka the villainous Hush, into none other than Bruce Wayne.
Ruby Rose departed the series in mid-May and Season 2 has since cast Javicia Leslie in her place as Batwoman — not to play Kate Kane, but an original character named Ryan Wilder. With Leslie's casting set and a story laid out, here's everything there is to know about Batwoman's sophomore season, including the anticipated release date and possible plot.
When is the Batwoman Season 2 release date?
Batwoman’s next season will premiere on January 17, 2021. Typically, Season 2 would have launched in October, but The CW pushed back its fall programming schedule due to COVID-19 and the subsequent production delays.
Which cast members will return in Batwoman Season 2?
Other than Ruby Rose, every series regular from Season 1 — including Rachel Skarsten, Camrus Johnson, Meagan Tandy, Nicole Kang, and Dougray Scott — will return next season.
According to Deadline, Rose and the show’s team weren’t happy and mutually decided to sever their working relationship. In a statement, Rose explained stepping down from the iconic role wasn’t an easy choice to make.
“I have made the very difficult decision to not return to Batwoman next season. This was not a decision I made lightly as I have the utmost respect for the cast, crew and everyone involved with the show in both Vancouver and in Los Angeles.”
Later, Rose broke her silence on the matter and posted a fan-made video to her Instagram. She once again thanked the cast, crew, producers, and the studio for the opportunity. She wrote more about leaving, though she only offered enough to hint that there might be more to the story.
"It wasn’t an easy decision but those who know, know.. I didn’t want to not acknowledge everyone involved and how big this was for TV and for our community. I have stayed silent because that’s my choice for now but know I adore you all."
In addition to the Season 1 cast, Shivaani Ghai, Leah Gibson, and Nathan Owens have been cast to play Safiyah Sohail, The Whisper, and Ocean in Season 2, respectively.
Who will play Batwoman in Season 2?
Early reports suggested that The CW would simply recast the role of Batwoman. Same character, different actress. It's happened plenty of times before on television. However, the big plot twist came when it was announced that the role of Kate Kane / Batwoman would not be recast for Season 2 at all.
Instead, Batwoman will have an entirely new character donning the cape and cowl. The CW cast Leslie in the role of Ryan Wilder. Here's a character description for this mysterious new character, which you can read below.
"She’s likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the batsuit before her. With no one in her life to keep her on track, Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the GCPD and masking her pain with bad habits. A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical All-American hero."
A first look revealed what Leslie will look like in the Batwoman costume! Take a peak at what it looks like below!
The official image is that of Leslie wearing Batwoman's trademark red wig and mask and a full-body costume leak revealed that the Batsuit is very much Kate's from Season 1. Not long after, The CW released two new posters of Leslie wearing her own unique Batwoman costume. Gone is the red hair, with Ryan letting her natural curls frame her mask. Red highlights are visible on the tips of her hair, seemingly there to honor Kate's Batwoman. Check out Leslie in the new Batsuit below!
Speaking at ATX TV's virtual festival (via Deadline), showrunner Caroline Dries addressed the choice to replace Kate instead of recasting Ruby Rose.
"To be honest with you, I did consider the soap opera version for a hot minute, selfishly because we had already a couple of episodes written, and transition-wise it would be seamless. Upon further reflection — and Greg helped me make this call, he is way smarter than me about this sort of stuff — he said, you know, we should just reboot the character in terms of reboot Batwoman as a different character, and also respect everything that Ruby put into the Kate Kane character. And I just think it helps the audience a little bit too, that we are not asking them to not address the elephant in the room."
Shortly after Dries discussed the decision to introduce an entirely new character in Season 2, rumors began circulating that, not only would Kate be replaced as Batwoman, but that the writers were planning on killing her character off. The showrunner took to Twitter to address the rumors, assuring that Kate would not die.
What’s the plot of Batwoman Season 2?
Season 1 left off with Alice making plans to acquire Kryptonite — yes, the very same green rock that can kill Superman and Supergirl — by sending Tommy Elliott in the visage of Bruce Wayne to retrieve it from the billionaire’s company. She planned on using the meteor rock to kill Batwoman, so expect Season 2 to pick back up with that storyline.
Now that Kate won't be around, Season 2 will seemingly begin with Kate's disappearance. According to Dries' Twitter post, Kate's absence will be "one of the mysteries of" Season 2. Batman also vanished from Gotham City years before, but it sounds like Kate's disappearance will be more pivotal to the plot.
What’s more, there will be a love triangle involving Luke, Mary, and a third, as yet unknown character. In the same interview, Caroline Dries also described Kate and Sophie as “endgame,” so fans should probably expect more development in the romance department overall.
As for how Ryan, the new Batwoman's introduction will shake things up for other characters. During the DC FanDome panel, Dries confirmed that Ryan will unite the Kate family and that, while she and Sophie won't get along at first (Sophie will be mourning Kate's sudden disappearance), Ryan will help pull Sophie out of her shell. Interestingly, Mary and Alice will interact more now that Kate is absent, though Alice will be peeved that Kate's disappearance ruins her well-plotted plans for revenge.
Who is the villain of Batwoman Season 2?
Julia Pennyworth is being hunted by Safiyah Sohail, a mysterious character who murdered Alice’s Wonderland Gang. In the comics, Safiyah is the leader of the fictitious Coryana, a pirate island nation. Safiyah’s arrival in Gotham has been hinted at for several episodes in the back half of Season 1 and she’s clearly being set up as the big bad of Season 2.
Speaking with EW, Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries shared some intriguing clues about Safiyah's role in the story ahead:
“What I loved about this season was seeing this huge chunk of Alice’s backstory where she went from this innocent girl to this woman who learned how to stand up for herself and face your abuser. But then we see Alice in present day as this woman who’s in charge of this Wonderland Gang and kills without mercy. So it’s like, how did she become that person? That’s sort of the next chapter of Alice’s story that I’m looking forward to exploring, and we’ve decided to make Safiyah an intimate part of that.”
What's more, actress Shivaani Ghai has been cast in the role of Safiyah and will officially be making her debut in Season 2. Safiyah is described as the "fiercely protective ruler of a small community on the island of Coryana." Read the rest of the character details below:
"A woman with as many enemies as aliases, she is compassionate and charismatic with both physical and psychological prowess. She is beloved by her people and will stop at nothing to protect what’s hers. No one goes unnoticed by Safiyah, specifically when it comes to those who have encountered the Desert Rose.”
Is there a trailer for Batwoman Season 2?
No, not yet. However, production on Season 2 has already begun, so fans should expect a trailer by late fall at the earliest. Historically, the first trailers for the Arrowverse shows have debuted during San Diego Comic-Con. Since the event didn't happen as planned and there was no new footage to show anyway, the trailer was also delayed. Watch this space.
Where can I watch Batwoman Season 1?
While the other Arrowverse shows, like The Flash and Supergirl, have been made available on Netflix a week after their season finales, The CW has a different deal for newer shows like Batwoman. That sadly means no Netflix.
Batwoman Season 2 will premiere on January 17, 2021 on The CW.