Javicia Leslie (God Friended Me) will become the new Batwoman in The CW’s second season of Batwoman. Leslie takes over the title role from Ruby Rose, who abruptly departed following the show’s first season.
Rather than recast Kate Kane aka Batwoman, showrunner Caroline Dries and executive producer Greg Berlanti opted to create a new character named Ryan Wilder.
In a press release, Leslie 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 groundbreaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community.”
Batwoman made history in 2019-20 as the first scripted live-action TV series to feature a lesbian superhero as the lead. It was important to the production and openly gay producers Berlanti and Dries that the part went to a member of the LGBTQ community.
Warner Bros’ press release goes on to describe Ryan Wilder:
Ryan Wilder is about to become Batwoman. She’s 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 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.
It’s going to be interesting — potentially leaving the door open for Rose to make an appearance sometime in the future, while making sure that Lesli carves her own path.