The CW television network has approved a pilot episode for the new a standalone “Batwoman” series in which the superheroine and lead character is an “out lesbian and highly trained street fighter.”
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, a pilot order was handed out last Thursday in which the Batwoman character will be played by Australian actress Ruby Rose. The 32-year-old Rose describes herself as “gender-fluid” and is attracted to women.
If picked up by the network, the series would be directed by David Nutter, who in the past has directed episodes of “Game of Thrones,” “Shameless,” “The Sopranos,” and “ER.” The executive producer will be Greg Berlanti, who has produced other projects such as “God Friended Me,” “Supergirl,” “The Flash,” and “Arrow.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Batwoman” could become the first ever live-action superhero series to be led by a lesbian character and played by an openly gay actress.
"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,” the show’s description reads. “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."
Rose has also played the role of “Batwoman” for Berlanti’s series of Arrowverse shows on the CW that include series like “Supergirl,” “Arrow” and “The Flash.”
Although Rose’s casting to play Batwoman has been praised by many, others have criticized the selection.
Some fans questioned whether or not Rose was “gay enough” to play the role, while others pointed out the fact that Rose is not Jewish and the hashtag #RecastBatwoman was created.
According to The Washington Post, DC Comics reintroduced the Batwoman/Kate Kane character in 2006 as being of Jewish descent and a lesbian.
The backlash over Rose’s selection last fall led Rose to take a “break from Twitter.”
“Where on Earth did ‘Ruby is not a lesbian therefore she can’t be Batwoman’ come from — has to be the funniest most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read,” the actress tweeted before taking down her page. “I came out at 12? And have for the past 5 years had to deal with ‘she’s too gay’ how do y’all flip it like that?”
The news of the “Batwoman” pilot order has also been criticized by some conservatives. Hannah Bleau, who writes for the conservative blog “Chicks on the Right,” admitted in a blog post that she stopped watching CW shows a while ago.
“I’m glad to know that I made the right call on ditching most shows on CW,” she wrote. “CW is introducing a Batwoman series. But it’s not just ANY Batwoman series. This is a LESBIAN Batwoman series.”
“They lost me at ‘armed with a passion for social justice,’ she added.
On Instagram, Rose called the opportunity to play “Batwoman” a “childhood dream,” adding that the “Bat is out of the bag.”
“This is something I would have died to have seen on TV when I was a young member of the LGBT community who never felt represented on tv and felt alone and different,” Rose wrote in her post.
Rose has also starred in the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.” She has also acted in movies such as “The Meg,” “Pitch Perfect 3,” and “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.”
Even though “Batwoman” is being described as the first live-action superhero show starring a lesbian character, the CW’s other superhero shows include many other LGBT characters.
Last year, the CW made history by introducing television’s first transgender superhero with the introduction of Nia Nal in the fourth season of “Supergirl.”