There were Batman hints galore in Part 2 of the DC crossover: 'We created it with a bigger story in mind,' says EP Caroline Dries.
Ruby Rose's arrival on The CW as Batwoman was months in the making -- and it was well worth the wait.
The Australian actress' anticipated appearance was teased in the tail-end of The Flash's first hour of the three-night DC crossover event, "Elseworlds," on Sunday, but the bulk of the action took place Monday on Arrow -- all a precursor to a potential spinoff series next season. With Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) still stuck in each other's bodies, Cisco's vision leads them to the much darker, much more unsafe Gotham City after Oliver zeroes in on an iconic building in the background: the one and only Wayne Enterprises. See, they're desperate to locate John Deegan (Jeremy Davies), the man responsible for their Freaky Friday switcheroo, and he's holed up somewhere in town. Turns out, Arkham Asylum.
But Barry, Oliver and Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist), who comes along for superhero support, are unwelcome in Gotham, as evidenced by the enigmatic presence of Batwoman's everyday persona, Kate Kane. She implores them to do whatever they have to do to finish their mission and then, get the hell out.
"We all, as a group, knew who the character was when we were breaking the story, so our goal was trying to create a setup story-wise where we could meet her, be intrigued by her, introduce Gotham a little bit, plant little visual things that are curious [to the viewer] and then have people wondering what is this world she’s part of," Batwoman executive producer Caroline Dries told reporters during a recent screening of the crossover. "We just realized the best story for that would be if our guys went to Gotham. She helped out with their story and then shooed them away. We knew who the character was going into it; the question for us was how to make her mysterious."
Rose brings a striking look to Batwoman, who in the Arrowverse is an out lesbian (she would be the first gay lead in a live-action superhero TV show), and Dries -- who co-wrote Monday's episode -- shared that the 32-year-old actress brought a uniqueness to her performance that evolved the DC Comics character to another level.
"Ruby has a really strong, silent presence. Her look is so powerful that you don’t want to take your eyes off of her, so she brings so much to the plate, we realized, with just standing there and absorbing what the other guys are talking about," Dries said. "One of my favorite moments was when they show up at Wayne Enterprises and they’re all bickering about Batman and she’s just standing there waiting for them to figure out this stuff."
While Batwoman eventually finds herself helping the trio fend off bad guys and take down John Deegan at Arkham Asylum, in impressive style (just watch the clip above), her ice-cold exterior thaws when it comes to Kara. Almost immediately, the two connect and Kara lets Kate in on the fact that she's well aware of who Kate moonlights as at night.
"It was important for us to humanize Kate in a way that made her relatable to the other characters in the Arrowverse, even though we were creating an enigmatic character. We wanted an in to her," Dries explained. "In our minds, Kara has a cousin [and] she’s in his shadow and her story was getting out of his shadow. That’s exactly Kate’s story. So it was important for us to find a moment for them to bond. I thought, Kara has X-ray vision. She can figure these things out pretty quickly. It felt like the right moment, the right move."
Rose's introduction sets the table for a potential Batwoman series, which Dries revealed has been in the works since the early part of this year. In fact, they cast Rose in August without a script. Though there hasn't been any official word on a series order (we're betting it'll only be a matter of time), Dries dropped hints that Easter eggs like Bruce Wayne/Batman's years-long absence, the abandoned Wayne Enterprises building and Kate's plans to redo it and Kate saying "World's finest" (a hint at more team-ups to come) are seeds planted for a larger story should Batwoman come to fruition.
"Nothing really that would stand out, but in hindsight might resonate," Dries confirmed when asked about significant Batwoman clues.
Speaking more specifically to Kate's frequent comments about fixing up the skyscraper, Dries coyly teased that that could play out in a potential Batwoman series: "Yeah, we created it with a bigger story in mind, for sure."
It's clear from the time spent in Gotham, which borrows a Chicago cityscape, that it is a far cry from Central City and even Star City.
"It's a darker vibe. When they went to Gotham, we were trying to create -- with music and the exteriors and the alleys and the grime -- a sort of uncomfortable city," Dries said. "Being mugged instantaneously is a great way to personify the vibe we're going for."
So why did Bruce Wayne leave town several years back? It's a mystery that will remain a mystery -- for now. And now that the producers been able to feature key Batman locations and characters, like Gotham, Arkham Asylum and Nora Fries, what is the likelihood of Batman actually appearing on the spinoff?
"That’s the one where they cut you off," Dries said with a laugh. "Maybe a hologram? Slowly but surely we’ll just keep kicking away at it."
The three-night DC crossover event concludes with an episode of Supergirl, airing Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.