The CW has cast Aussie actor Ruby Rose as Batwoman, "an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter," the network announced Tuesday.
Rose, who was introduced to US audiences in Orange Is the New Black, will make her first appearance as the superhero in the annual December crossover event in the CW's DC shows: Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl.
A separate Batwoman show is also in development for the 2019–20 season.
In the show's log line, the network emphasized that it won't be hiding the character's sexuality:
Armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope.
Rose, who identifies as gender-fluid, said she hopes the role will inspire LGBT youth.
"The Bat is out of the bag and I am beyond thrilled and honored. I’m also an emotional wreck.. because this is a childhood dream," she wrote on Instagram. "This is something I would have died to have seen on TV when I was a young member of the LGBT community who never felt represented on tv and felt alone and different. Thank you everyone. Thank you god."
In addition to Orange Is the New Black, Rose has appeared in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, John Wick: Chapter 2, and XXX: The Return of Xander Cage. She is also appearing in the shark film The Meg, which is set for release this week.
"We struck gold with @RubyRose for Batwoman. No one better," tweeted executive producer and writer Caroline Dries.
"I struck gold with you guys!" responded Rose. "Thank you for giving me such an amazing character to play."