"Batwoman" has found its new series lead in Javicia Leslie, known for TV shows like "God Friended Me" and "The Family Business", for the second season of the superhero series at The CW. Leslie's casting comes a month after the makers announced they will introduce a new title character following Ruby Rose's departure from the show. The actor will play Ryan Wilder, who also hails from the LGBTQ community like Rose's Kate Kane/ Batwoman.
Leslie said she is "extremely proud" to be the first black female actor to play the iconic role of Batwoman. "As a bisexual woman, I am honored to join this groundbreaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community," she added. Ryan is described as a woman in her mid-20s who "is about to become Batwoman". She is "nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the batsuit before her", as well as a "former drug-runner" who is now reformed, sober, and living in a van.
Former Batwoman Rose congratulated Leslie on boarding the show. "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!" she wrote on Instagram.
Rose, who was the first lesbian live-action superhero on TV, exited the series in a shock announcement in May. There were reports that the Australian actor was not happy with the long hours required on the show, which led to some friction on the sets. "Batwoman" premiered on The CW last October, but its first season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. The series was renewed for a second season in January.