Javicia Leslie to Become New 'Batwoman' Lead
The first Black actress to portray the character.
With Ruby Rose‘s brief tenure on the CW’s Batwoman, fans worried that the Warner Bros. series would be left in limbo without a star. However, they can now rest easy, as the company has brought on Javicia Leslie, a talented actress poised to lead the franchise into a new era.
Leslie will become the first Black actress to portray Batwoman, though she won’t be taking over Rose’s role as Kate Kane, the superhero’s alter-ego. Instead, Leslie has signed on as Ryan Wilder, a new character, while Kane’s disappearance will be reflected in an in-universe mystery. Prior to Batwoman, Leslie starred in God Friended Me and The Family Business.
According to Warner Bros., Wilder is “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the Batsuit before her. With no one in her life to keep her on track, Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the [Gotham City Police Department] 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 in a statement.
“This is amazing!! I’m so glad Batwoman will be played by an amazing Black woman,” Ruby Rose exclaimed on Instagram. “I want to congratulate Javicia Leslie on taking over the bat cape.”