Javicia Leslie makes history as the new Batwoman. She becomes the first Black actress to portray the superhero in a live-action television show or film production. She is replacing Ruby Rose, who decided to quit as the lead in The CW’s Batwoman series this year.
However, Leslie won’t be taking over Rose’s role as Batwoman/Kate Kane. The CW created a new DC Comics character named Ryan Wilder for Leslie to play on the show and according to the character description, Ryan Wilder, the new vigilante is “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed” as well as “nothing like Kate Kane.” With no one in her life to keep her on track, Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the GCPD and masking her pain with bad habits.
Today Ryan lives in her van with her plant. A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat and could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical all-American hero.”
Since the news made waves on Wednesday (July 8), the actress who is best known for her role in God Friended Me, The Family Business, and Always a Bridesmaid, was very elated to share the news.
“I am extremely proud to be the first Black actress to play the iconic role of Batwoman on television, and as a bisexual woman, I am honored to join this groundbreaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community,” Leslie said in a statement.
She continued on Instagram, “For all of the little black girls dreaming to be a superhero one day… it’s possible!”
Ruby Rose surprised fans in May when she revealed she was leaving the titular role after one season. The actress called the decision “very difficult” at the time but noted that she was “beyond appreciative” for the opportunity. And it was no hard feelings from Rose of this announcement, who praised the casting of Leslie on her Instagram on Wednesday.
“OMG!! This is amazing! I am so glad Batwoman will be played by an amazing Black woman. I want to congratulate Javicia Leslie on taking over the bat cape. You are walking into an amazing cast and crew. I can’t wait to watch season 2. You are going to be amazing!”
“I love Kate Kane — she’s the reason I wanted to do the show. We’ll never erase her,” showrunner Caroline Dries said. “In fact, her disappearance will be one of the mysteries of season 2. I don’t want to give away any of our surprises, but to all our devoted fans, please know that LGBTQ+ justice is at the very core of what Batwoman is and we have no intention of abandoning that.”
Season 2 of Batwoman is supposed to debut on The CW in January 2021, however, with COVID-19, that may change.