The CW has found its new Batwoman: Javicia Leslie, who recently stared in the CBS series God Friended Me. She’ll replace Ruby Rose, who departed Batwoman abruptly in May.
Variety reports that Leslie will take over for Rose starting next season as Ryan Wilder, described as a woman who’s “likable, messy, a little goofy, and untamed.”
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. She is an out lesbian, athletic, raw, passionate, fallible, and very much not your stereotypical All-American hero.
The series is one of the latest additions to The CW’s Arrowverse franchise, initially following Kate Kane, Bruce Wayne’s cousin who steps into the role of caped crusader to protect the streets of Gotham City. The CW renewed the series earlier this year, but in May, Rose announced that she would be leaving the show after just one season. Shortly thereafter, showrunner Caroline Dries said that it wouldn’t recast the role, and it wouldn’t kill off the character, but instead have her disappear, forming a central mystery for the upcoming season.
That’s the role that Leslie will step into, and it sounds like her character will be well-equipped to take on the character. She’ll also pick up the show’s progressive legacy, saying in a statement that she is “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.”
The show is expected to return in January 2021, provided the film industry resume production in the near future.