Javicia Leslie Cast As First Black 'Batwoman' Show Lead

Batwoman has found a Batwoman in Javicia Leslie.

The God Friended Me actress has been cast as the leading lady on the CW’s Batwoman, EW has confirmed. With this role, Leslie makes history as the first Black actress to portray the DC Comics heroine in live-action. As viewers know, the titular role was left open after actress Ruby Rose exited the series after its first season.

Some of Leslie’s other acting credits include MacGyver, The Family Business, and the rom-com Always a Bridesmaid.

"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.

Rose also congratulated Leslie on Instagram, writing, "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 !! ❤️"

In addition to the new casting, the CW has also offered a completely original civilian alter ego for the 33-year-old’s character, called Ryan Wilder in the upcoming season, who will deviate from Rose’s Kate Kane.

Here’s Wilder’s character description, per EW:

"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."

Fans of Rose’s character needn’t be worried as showrunner Caroline Dries said “we’ll never erase” Kate Kane and that “her disappearance will be one of the mysteries of season two.”

Batwoman is slated to return in January 2021.

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