Batwoman Finds New Lead in Javicia Leslie

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Batwoman Finds New Lead in Javicia Leslie

Batwoman finds new lead in Javicia Leslie

Just two months after Ruby Rose departed the titular role of the superheroine series, The CW’s Batwoman has found a new lead in God Friended Me and The Family Business alum Javicia Leslie, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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Leslie has signed on to portray Ryan Wilder, the first Black actress to play Batwoman in a live-action TV or film production, who is described as “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed” and that she is “nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the Batsuit before her.” The rest of the description reads as follows:

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.

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’s departure from the series was announced in May, with the 34-year-old actress not giving any definitive reason as to why she would be exiting the titular role but some sources reporting that she did not like the extended hours required of a lead role on a 20-plus episode series and there being some friction on set, though all official statements from the producers, networks and star assured it was a mutual decision. Showrunner Caroline Dries and executive producer Greg Berlanti assured that Ruby’s character of Kate Kane would not be killed off in the series, but rather her disappearance would be “one of the mysteries of season two” while a new character would be introduced in her place who was also an LGBTQ+ character.

Technically, Kate Kane wasn’t the only character to adopt the Batwoman persona in DC’s comic book universe. Almost 50 years before Kate debuted in 2005, Kathy Kane became the first superhero to use this alias in 1956 during the Silver Age. But since her name is so similar to her modern successor, an appearance by this iteration of the hero was probably never in the cards.

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The first season starred Ruby Rose as Kate Kane/Batwoman, Rachel Skarsten as Alice, Meagan Tandy (Teen Wolf) as Sophie Moore, Camrus Johnson (Luke Cage) as Luke Fox,Nicole Kang (You) as Mary Hamilton, Dougray Scott as Jacob Kane and Elizabeth Anweis as Catherine Hamilton-Kane.

Based on the characters from DC, Batwoman is from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Greg Berlanti, Caroline Dries, Geoff Johns, and Sarah Schechter. David Nutter and Marcos Siega executive produced the pilot.

Season 2 is still expected for a January 2021 premiere date.

(Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)