Batwoman casts former Bird of Prey star as main foe


The primary villain who will likely serve as the Joker to Ruby Rose’s Batwoman is cast and she was once a member of the Birds of Prey.

Rachel Skarsten will play Alice in The CW’s Batwoman series which is still in development, reports Deadline. Alice has a close tie to Batwoman (Ruby Rose), real name Kate Kane (matrilineal cousin to Bruce Wayne) in the comics; they are twin sisters. Thought dead, Elizabeth Kane adopted the Carrollian identity of Alice and formed the Wonderland Gang in a Hatter-like bit of madness. Elizabeth’s only purpose now is to destabilize the order her sister tries to keep as the only vigilante left in Gotham.

Skarsten, a Canadian, is an accomplished character actress and has a history with Batman-based dramas. In fact, her casting in a CW Arrowverse show will be a kind of homecoming for her. She played Dinah Lance on Birds of Prey from 2002-2003.

Airing on The WB, a precursor to The CW, the short-lived serial based on the comic was developed by Laeta Kalogridis (Altered Carbon). It chronicled Dinah, the runaway daughter of Black Canary, teaming with Huntress (Ashley Scott) and Oracle (Dina Meyer) to rid New Gotham of Harley Quinn (Mia Sara). Much like in Batwoman, Batman retired and split from Gotham City, leaving the group of heroines as its protectors. 

Skarsten kept busy from there, showing up, years later, as a rough-and-tumble but jaded valkyrie, Tamsin, on the cheeky fantasy investigative soap opera Lost Girl, which aired on Canadian channel Showcase and Syfy for five seasons. After that, she popped on CW’s period drama Reign as Queen Elizabeth I.

Batwoman is groundbreaking as the first openly gay live-action superhero. She made her Arrowverse debut in the Flash episode of the “Elseworlds” crossover. So far, only a pilot has been ordered. Caroline Dries wrote the script being directed by David Nutter. It is produced by Arrowverse kingpin Greg Berlanti and his company Berlanti Productions in concert with Warner Bros. Television.

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Dries, Nutter, and Berlanti executive produce with Geoff Johns, former president of DC Entertainment and caretaker of WB’s DC Extended Universe. Johns formed Mad Ghost Productions before coming aboard the Batwoman pilot.