News of Batwoman‘s cancellation after three seasons had barely set in when that Arrowverse series’ star, Javicia Leslie, received an unexpected invitation from The Flash showrunner Eric Wallace.
“Eric first called me when the show was cancelled, and he gave me his thoughts on that,” Leslie tells TVLine with a chuckle. “Afterwards, he said, ‘Don’t you worry, I’ve got something planned for you,’ and I said, ‘OK.’ And then maybe a month-and-a-half later, in June or July, he calls me and tells me about Red Death.
“We’re both comic book geeks, so we geeked for a second about it,” she notes.
That geeky cred notwithstanding — and given that Wallace has made clear, “We’re not doing the Metal Knights storyline from the comic book, or any Metal- or Dark Metal-related storyline” that saw Bruce Wayne evolve into the bat-speedster — Leslie said she purposely avoided a deep dive into previous Red Death incarnations.
“That can be limiting,” she explains, “but I did take a look at some [source material], to get an idea for the fullness of the character. And I also watch The Flash, so I do understand dark speedsters and their goals, and where their rage comes from.”
Speaking of rage…. Leslie says that the more Red Death roared at foes and minions alike, she kept hot water with lemon handy on set to (mostly!) keep from losing her voice. “But I did feel a little Bane-ish at times,” she recalls, “so if anything I made sure to not let that be too much of my influence. But sometimes I could hear that Bane voice and be like, ‘We don’t want to go there.’”
WHAT IS RED DEATH’S NEXT MOVE?
When last we tuned into The Flash, Barry and his band of (good) rogues succeeded in destroying the cosmic treadmill that Red Death aimed to use to pursue her evil agenda, though they did have to leave Chillblaine for dead, as they hurriedly hopped a portal back to STAR Labs.
This is by no means a significant setback for the bat-speedster, however. “Well, you know that I’m not going to take it lying down,” Leslie previews in character, “so Red Death has to go back at it and get what she came here for!
“She has a very solid Plan B, and the Plan B is going to be a lot of fun,” Leslie says with a laugh. “That’s what I’m excited for fans to see.”
As the Red Death/”Bad” Ryan Wilder arc continues, Leslie says that Batwoman fans are “definitely going to find out” what the deal is with the Ryan Wilder they know and love from the last two seasons of the Gotham City-set series. In fact, they might get a certain amount of closure, as Leslie herself did in revisiting at least one version of Ryan.
“I said that to Eric [Wallace], that this feels like a good goodbye — and not just a goodbye to Batwoman but a goodbye to The Flash and a lot of the Arrowverse,” the actress shares. “I’m really happy that Eric was able to being a lot of us back to give our real farewells.”
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