The new face of Batwoman has finally been revealed.
Javicia Leslie will take over the title role in season 2 of The CW series, following the exit of the show’s former lead star Ruby Rose at the end of season 1. Leslie will portray a new character named Ryan Wilder who will step into Batwoman’s iconic cape and cowl when the show returns to the small screen next year.
“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,” said Leslie in a statement.
Instead of casting an actress to replace Rose as Kate Kane, executive producers Caroline Dries and Greg Berlanti decided to create a completely new character that will pick up the Batwoman mantle. “I love Kate Kane — she’s the reason I wanted to do the show. We’ll never erase her,” Dries said in June in response to a report claiming that Rose’s character would be killed off on the show. “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.”
According to the official character description, Leslie’s Ryan Wilder is 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. But she’s likable and a little goofy. Though she’s the type of girl who would steal milk for an alley cat, she could also kill you with her bare hands. In fact, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter, as she’s highly skilled and wildly undisciplined at the same time. Living in her van with her plant, Ryan is an out lesbian, athletic, raw, passionate, fallible, and very much not your stereotypical All-American hero.
Rose, meanwhile, took to Instagram to express her approval of Leslie’s casting as the new Batwoman. Check out her post below:
Prior to being cast on Batwoman, Leslie appeared as Ali Finer in two seasons of CBS’ God Friended Me. Her acting credits also include the BET series The Family Business and the film Always a Bridesmaid.
Batwoman season 2 is set to premiere in January 2021 on The CW.