Just two months after Ruby Rose departed the titular role of the superheroine series, The CW’s Batwoman has found a new lead in God Friended Me and The Family Business alum Javicia Leslie, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Leslie has signed on to portray Ryan Wilder, the first Black actress to play Batwoman in a live-action TV or film production, who is described as “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed” and that she is “nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the Batsuit before her.” The rest of the description reads as follows:
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.
“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.
The superhero drama previously starred Ruby Rose in its first season, but in May, the 34-year-old actress confirmed that she had exited the show.
“I have made the very difficult decision to not return to Batwoman next season. This was not a decision I made lightly as I have the utmost respect for the cast, crew and everyone involved with the show in both Vancouver and in Los Angeles,” the statement from Rose read.
It continued: “I am beyond appreciative to Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Caroline Dries for not only giving me this incredible opportunity, but for welcoming me into the DC universe they have so beautifully created. Thank you Peter Roth and Mark Pedowitz and the teams at Warner Bros. and The CW who put so much into the show and always believed in me. Thank you to everyone who made season one a success – I am truly grateful.”
A Reddit casting notice last month had encouraged actors within the LGBTQ community to audition.
In an Instagram post, Leslie shared her excitement.
“For all of the little black girls dreaming to be a superhero one day… it’s possible!” she wrote.
Rose also praised the actress in an Instagram post on Wednesday.
“OMG!! This is amazing!! I am so glad Batwoman will be played by an amazing Black woman,” the “Orange Is the New Black” actress wrote. “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!!”