Small Screen: Gender-fluid Ruby Rose cast in upcoming series

In a triumph for both the CW and LGBTQ inclusion, rising action star Ruby Rose has been cast as Batwoman in the network’s upcoming Arrowverse crossover.

Rose will debut as Kate Kane in December when storylines from the CW’s numerous DC shows — The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow — intersect for the annual hero team-up, the CW announced Tuesday.

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After that, the gender-fluid star will likely play Batwoman in the eponymous series being developed for the 2019-2020 TV season.

Both the crossover and Batwoman series plan to feature Rose as the Gotham City vigilante, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter “with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind,” according to the network.

The original Batwoman went by Kathy Kane and debuted in “Detective Comics #233” in 1956. She was reintroduced in 2006, and that iteration turned the character into Bruce Wayne’s cousin, Kate Kane, a lesbian army brat who was expelled from West Point because of her sexuality.

Last month, the CW announced its script-development deal with Smallville and Vampire Diaries alum Caroline Dries, who has been tapped to write under the auspices of Berlanti Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Geoff Johns will serve as executive producers.

The spinoff is still in early development, but a pilot is being planned for mid-season, CW president Mark Pedowitz said Monday during the Television Critics
Association summer press tour.

Rose, 32, scored her breakout role as Stella Carlin on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black and has since appeared in Pitch Perfect 3 as well as the action flicks John Wick: Chapter 2, XXX: Return of Xander Cage and Resident Evil: Final Chapter.

She can next be seen in Warner Bros.’ sci-fi horror film The Meg, due in theatres today.

Charmed crew takes on critics 

The cast and producer of CW’s new Charmed are defending the reboot as a story for its time.

The drama series about three young half-sisters who are witches will confront modern issues including the #MeToo movement, executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman told a TV critics’ meeting Monday.

The varied ethnicity of the sisterly trio — white, Latina and African-American — also gives the reboot more currency, Urman said. The women have the same mother but different fathers.

Most people she’s talked to are in favour of the switch to characters of colour, said Urman. She also produces CW’s Latino family comedy Jane The Virgin, which will end after its upcoming fifth season.

“We’ve had the chance to see three white witches. And obviously coming off Jane, I know so much more about what it means to be on screen, to see yourself represented, to see yourself being the hero of the story,” Urman said.

The varied backgrounds of the witches played by Sarah Jeffrey, Melonie Diaz and Madeleine Mantock also allows the show to explore witchcraft as it exists in different cultures, she said.

Urman acknowledged there’s been fan unhappiness with the fact Charmed is a reboot and not a revival of the original series. The drama debuted in 1998 with Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano and Shannen Doherty as the three Halliwell witch-sisters. Rose McGowan joined the series in 2006.

Combs has expressed annoyance as well, posting tweets in which she derides the series remake as “capitalizing on our hard work.”

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