Javicia Leslie will play the iconic superhero role following Ruby Rose's exit. She will be introduced as an all-new character for CW's Batwoman season 2.
Javicia Leslie is taking over the bat cape following Ruby Rose's exit in the CW superhero series, Batwoman.
Leslie is the first Black actress to play the iconic female superhero role. Batwoman is set to air its second season in January next year, and CW scurried to find a new leading actress following Ruby Rose's resignation in May.
CW broke television history by producing the first superhero series that features an out and proud LGBTQ+ lead character.
With Ruby Rose's departure, the television network stayed true to its promise of casting a member of the LGBTQ community for the lead role.
In a statement following the casting announcement, the 33-year-old actress said: "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 ground-breaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community."
While Leslie is meant to play the superhero role, she is set to play an entirely different character behind the mask. She will be introduced as Ryan Wilde, who will eventually become Batwoman as the season progresses.
The decision to introduce Leslie as a new character came from executive producer Greg Berlanti.
In an interview via Deadline, showrunner Caroline Dries says: "He (Greg) said, you know, we should just reboot the character in terms of reboot Batwoman as a different character, and also respect everything that Ruby put into the Kate Kane character."
Ruby Rose took to Instagram to congratulate Leslie on the "amazing" news.
The former Batwoman posted a picture of Leslie and wrote: "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 !!"
Leslie's character, Ryan, will be very different from Ruby's Kate Kane. Ryan spent years as a drug runner, avoiding Gotham City police and using bad habits to mask her misery, Variety reports.
She's described as an extremely dangerous all-out lesbian fighter, highly skilled, and untamable.
Regarding her casting, Leslie wanted to use this success as an inspiration for young girls who wanted to be superheroes.
Sharing a snippet of the news on her Instagram page, the actress wrote: "For all of the little black girls dreaming to be a superhero one day... it's possible!
Fans, particularly members and supporters of the Black and the LGBTQ+ community, celebrated Leslie's casting for the role.
Countless people went to social media to express their support on Leslie.
Javicia Leslie is now Batwoman. Must applaud the choice. 🙌🏿🙌🏿🙌🏿 pic.twitter.com/KLdlM5eQSY— journey to the past©️™️ (@femfilmrogue) July 8, 2020
queer black kids are going to get to see a black lgbtq+ superhero on tv & i was never able to have that growing up bc i never got to see queer & poc rep together, im so glad javicia leslie was cast as #Batwoman this means the world to me— ʟᴀʏ. ✿ (@softlcorp) July 8, 2020
Batwoman season 2 is set to return on CW on January 2021.