Yesterday, in a shocking turn of events, Ruby Rose announced that she was exiting the lead role of Kate Kane on The CW show Batwoman. She stated that it wasn’t an easy decision to make, but for undisclosed reasons, she won’t be returning in the titular role for Season 2.
Regardless of the reasoning, it is certainly an unprecedented decision. No lead on a CW Arrowverse show has ever quit. All titular roles from The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and more, have kept the same lead actor or actress in it. But it isn’t the first time a role has been recast in the Arrowverse. It’s happened a few times before, and it was only commented on once.
Remembering the very first episode that Oliver Queen graced fans’ screens might be tough; it was a long time ago. Well, only 2012, but still long enough to forget that Sara Lance wasn’t always played by Caity Lotz. Before Sara Lance became White Canary and lead her own team in Legends of Tomorrow, she was played by Jacqueline MacInnes Wood.
Wood only appeared in one episode in the first season, so it was easy to forget her role by the time she showed up in Season 2 in a more substantial part. The reason for the recasting was due to scheduling conflicts since Sara would be more of a lead on the show going forward. So the show didn’t comment on it at all; it acted like it was Lotz from the beginning. And, as we know, Lotz’s Lance went on to be her own lead character in the Arrowverse.
Back in Season 1 of Supergirl, when Kara Danvers was still sort of pining after James Olsen, she had a bit of competition. Lois Lane’s military, lawyer sister, Lucy, was well-established with Jimmy. But a shocker for the Girl of Steel was that Lucy and her dad, General Lane, would have a big part in her Supergirl endeavors.
In that first season, General Lane was played by Glenn Morshower on a reoccurring basis, but it wasn’t that often. Lucy Lane was portrayed by Jenna Dewan. Now, for the upcoming Superman & Lois show, General Lane is going to be portrayed by Dylan Walsh according to Deadline. There’s no reason stated, but it’s likely because the character is a regular on this show with much more screentime. And, odds are, they won’t comment on the change in appearance.
The troublesome fifth-dimensional Mxyzptlk was recast on Supergirl as well. In Season 2, the role was played by Peter Gadiot who was great as the lively character. He caused so much trouble for Kara and her love interest Mon-El, even trying to force Kara to marry him. She defeated him in a clever Rumplestiltskin way.
In Season 5, the role was recast with Thomas Lennon as Mxyzptlk in the 100th episode when a ton of familiar faces returned. This recast was actually addressed on the show, since Mxy is a magical being known for shapeshifting. Apparently his form in Season 2 wasn’t his real face, this newer one was. But with Mxy, who knows what the truth is.
Lastly, Alura Zor-El’s recasting is probably the biggest and most significant on this list. In Season 1 of Supergirl, Alura — Kara’s mother — and her twin sister Astra, were portrayed by Laura Benanti. Astra was the main villain of that first season and Kara’s beloved aunt. She turned to the evil side, even if it was for somewhat good reasons. And as for Alura, Kara found out her mother made some questionable decisions before sending her to Earth.
Fast forward to Season 3, and the role was recast with Erica Durance, who played Lois Lane in Smallville. Even though Durance had a major connection to this story, the recasting was noticeable because of how big it was in the beginning. Benanti’s schedule didn’t allow for her to return, though, so the legacy casting was able to happen. Her change in appearance wasn’t mentioned on the show.