Javicia Leslie announced as TV’s first Black Batwoman

The actress is replacing Ruby Rose, who exited the series at the end of season 1.

(Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

Actress Javicia Leslie has been tapped as the new series lead on the CW’s Batwoman.

The casting makes her the first Black actress to play the DC Comics superhero in live-action. She is replacing Australian-born actress/model Ruby Rose, who exited the series at the end of season 1.

“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, per Entertainment Weekly

She also shared a screenshot of the Deadline article announcing the news, and she captioned the post: “For all of the little black girls dreaming to be a superhero one day… it’s possible!”

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The civilian alter ego of Leslie’s Batwoman, Ryan Wilder, is described as the complete opposite of Rose’s Kate Kane. The one thing they have in common, however, is representing the LGBTQ community.

Here’s the official character description of Batwoman/Ryan Wilder, per EW:

“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.” As of right now, it appears as though Ryan is an original character and doesn’t have an analogue in the comics.

Read More: CASTING NEWS: Zoe Kravitz to play Catwoman in new Batman flick

Rose, who identifies as gender-fluid, became the first out gay superhero on a TV show when she was cast as Batwoman.

In May, she took to social media to share a cryptic message about her departure from the series. 

“It wasn’t an easy decision, but those who know, know…” Rose wrote in an Instagram post.

“I didn’t want to not acknowledge everyone involved and how big this was for TV and for our community,” she captioned a video montage from the show, New York Post reported. “I have stayed silent because that’s my choice for now but know I adore you all. I’m sure next season will be amazing also. Xxx *hangs up cowl and cape.”

An source spilled that Rose’s exit was more like a “breakup.”

“It was a breakup. She wasn’t happy working on the show, and did that make her fun to work with? No. So everyone decided it would be in the best interests of the show, and for all concerned, if they parted ways. It just wasn’t a good fit,” the insider said.

Batwoman is slated to return in January on the CW.

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