The show being developed by an American network would be the first live-action superhero series with an openly gay lead and is based on the DC Comics star Kate Kane aka Batwoman.
“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,” said a brief for the show.
The new Batwoman will be executive-produced by Greg Berlanti, who recently inked a four-year, $400m extension with Warner Brothers and currently helms a record 14 different scripted series, six of which air on the CW. It will be written and co-executive-produced by Caroline Dries, best known as the executive producer of The Vampire Diaries. Dries has also worked with the network on shows such as Melrose Place and Smallville, another DC Comics property.
The lead character, who will be introduced this December at the CW’s annual DC Comics crossover event, is described as a woman “armed with a passion for social justice and flair for speaking her mind”.
Kate Kane is an out lesbian who has arrived in Gotham to handle a citywide resurgence in crime. “But don’t call her a hero yet,” reads the show’s synopsis. “In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope.”
The show’s creators are reportedly hoping to find a lesbian actress to play the lead role, though that has not been confirmed.
The US charity GLAAD, which campaigns for LGBT representation in the media, welcomed the prospect of more gay characters on television.
President Sarah Kate Ellis said Berlanti had “amassed a track record of telling diverse and powerful LGBTQ stories, so it is not surprising he is a driving force behind Batwoman”.
The number of gay characters in comics has risen steadily in recent years, both through the introduction of new LGBT figures and by adding to backstories of established stars to reveal a gay back story.
Batwoman first appeared in the comics in 1956, but was only “outed” as a lesbian by writer Greg Rucka in 2009.
“Yes, she’s a lesbian,” Rucka told the Comic Book Resources website at the time. “If people are going to have problems with it, that’s their issue.”