Warner Brothers continues to struggle with how next to turn the DC universe of films into a cash cow like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. First a report that Ben Affleck′s replacement will be Robert Pattinson, an actor known for both the lucrative Harry Potter franchise and Twilight franchise, was then followed by a report that Nicholas Hoult was being considered. Hoult, co-star of the X-Men movies as Beast, among other roles, makes more sense, as first–he has the charisma and look to be both Batman and alter ego Bruce Wayne, and second,–because he’d follow that common casting preference that already has seen two dozen actors playing superheroes flip from DC characters to Warner characters or vice versa. These reports were followed by word that two other actors were on the Batman shortlist: Aaron Taylor-Johnson (who already portrayed both Quicksilver in the MCU and Kick-Ass in his own series) and Armie Hammer. Why wouldn’t they just stop with Armie Hammer? If the studio has already ruled out Denzel Washington (just watch him in the Equalizer franchise, he’d be perfect!), then the closest to how Batman and Bruce have been drawn in the comics for 80 years is Armie Hammer. He has that John Hamm suave manner and he’s already shown he can play a great hero opposite Superman Henry Cavill in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. With the next new comics adaptation it does seem like Warner Brothers may be doing something right. It’s on television instead of at the movies, where the Arrowverse group of series has seen greater success than the studio’s movie efforts. It’s the new Batwoman series, and the CW released the first trailer for the series late this week (check it out below).
For whatever reason, Warner Brothers, the CW, etc. are hesitant to put their prime DC character–Batman–on the small screen. Just like they were hesitant showing Superman on Smallville back in “the WB” days, or giving Batman his due within the Gotham series continuity. But this new Batwoman series looks like it could be the closest viewers are going to get to a TV bat-hero. Series star Ruby Rose proved she has the charisma and physicality for a major superheroine/action role in The Meg, Resident Evil, Vin Diesel’s XXX series, and the John Wick series. Her character of Kate Kane aka Batwoman in last August’s CW Arrowverse crossover “Elseworlds,” the highlight of the event (along with John Wesley Shipp donning his 1990 Flash costume), was received well by viewers. The new trailer seems as “Batman” in look and feel as anything Warner has produced for TV–or film.
Even better, the great Rachel Skarsten (former Black Canary of Birds of Prey and star of Lost Girl and Reign) plays a villain named Alice–Batwoman’s twin sister who took on the persona of an evil Wonderlander in the comics–who looks like she can run circles around Harley Quinn.
Batwoman has been one of DC Comics′ most fascinating characters since she was re-designed by Alex Ross for DC’s 52 series in 2006, but she really came into her own in 2009 in the Justice League: Cry for Justice mini-series written and drawn by Eisner Award nominees James Robinson and Mauro Cascioli, and she was fleshed out further in 2010-2013 in the award-winning Batwoman solo series written and drawn by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman.
Take a look at the first trailer for CW’s Batwoman:
Camrus Johnson (Luke Cage) will play a young Lucius “Luke” Fox, Dakota Daulby (iZombie, Wayward Pines, Falling Skies) will play a villain called Cheshire Cat, and Scottish character actor Dougray Scott (Ever After, Doctor Who, The Woman in White) will play Kate’s father.
Like Iron Man was a less popular character in the comics who became “big” because of the movies, maybe Batwoman will get her day in the spotlight, too?
Look for Batwoman on the CW network airing Sundays this Fall.