Rachel Maddow has been confirmed to have a recurring role on the new Batwoman series. Maddow is the host of the titular daily news and opinion program, The Rachel Maddow Show. Based on her identically-titled radio show, the television series has run on MSNBC to consistently solid ratings since 2008. She also serves as the cable network's special event co-anchor alongside Brian Williams.
Played by Ruby Rose, the character of Kate Kane debuted in last year's Arrowverse crossover, Elseworlds. After venturing to Gotham City in order to seek out the root of their mysterious life-swap, Barry Allen and Oliver Queen encountered the newest masked vigilante on the block at Arkham Asylum. After they were dosed by vials of Scarecrow's fear toxin and set against each other, Batwoman single-handedly incapacitated them. She later assisted them in getting what they needed to help overcome the current threat. She later reappeared at the episode of the multiple-episode saga, helping to set up the next crossover - which will be based on the seminal 1985 comic book storyline, Crisis on Infinite Earths. Rose will next reprise the role in the solo Batwoman show, an episode of which will serve as one part of the ambitious five-episode saga.
News of Maddow's addition to the forthcoming series emerged via THR. The outlet reported that Maddow will take on the role of Vesper Fairchild, who is described by Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries as "the sardonic Voice of Gotham". The character will apparently not actually be seen on-screen (at least, not for the time being). She will, however, be a recurring presence on the show. Dries went on to discuss the left-field casting choice. "We thought she'd be the perfect casting choice because her own hard-hitting journalism wildly contrasts Vesper's penchant for snark, gossip, and criticism of female superheroes."
Maddow has actually worked in DC Comics circles once before, having written an introduction to the deluxe hardcover edition of Greg Rucka's Batwoman story, Elegy. The character of Vesper is equally not a new addition to the world of Gotham City. The character first appeared on the page in 1997's Batman #540. She would go on to become lovers with Bruce Wayne, even learning of the character's dual identities. The character had previously yet to appear in a live-action adaptation. She was, however, referenced in the Elseworlds crossover - albeit as a former flame of Oliver Queen rather than Bruce Wayne. Maddow joins a packed cast that includes Rachel Skarsten as Batwoman's nemesis, Alice and will see Supergirl star Melissa Benoist swing by for a team-up.
Based on the description, it would appear that Maddow's Vesper will serve a similar function as J.K. Simmons' J. Jonah Jameson in multiple Spider-Man films, including the recently released Spider-Man: Far From Home. Equally, she can potentially serve as a meta-reflection of the certain few who have chosen to lash out at the show and its star - as well as express disdain for female superheroes in general. It remains to be seen just how many episodes she features - or how key of a role she plays, even when merely head via the in-show airwaves - but, based on a tweet posted by Maddow herself, she appears to have had a total blast playing her.
Batwoman season 1 premieres October 6 on The CW.