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Javicia Leslie Cast As New Batwoman

by : Cameron Frew on : 09 Jul 2020 08:45
PA/The CW

Batwoman has found its next lead following Ruby Rose’s exit: Javicia Leslie, the first Black actress in history to don the cowl. 

The CW’s superhero show is due to return January next year. It was announced back in June that Rose wouldn’t be reprising the role of Kate Kane/Batwoman, after a difficult time filming the first season.

Her successor, God Friended Me star Leslie, will not simply take on the mantle of Kane – she’ll play an entirely new character by the name of Ryan Wilder, who is about to become Batwoman.

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Javicia LeslieJavicia LesliePA Images

In a statement following the casting announcement, Leslie said:

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 ground-breaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community.

Rose has reacted to the news on Instagram, calling it ‘amazing’ and writing that she’s ‘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 two you are going to be amazing,’ she added.

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In its first season, Batwoman was the first superhero series in TV history to feature an avowed LGBTQ+ character as the lead. Ryan is described as ‘likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed’ and ‘nothing like Kate Kane’, as well as ‘an out lesbian, athletic, raw, passionate, fallible, and very much not your stereotypical All-American hero’, as per Variety.

BatwomanBatwomanThe CW

On the decision to replace Kane’s character, showrunner Caroline Dries told Deadline

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Upon further reflection – and Greg [Berlanti] helped me make this call, he is way smarter than me about this sort of stuff – he said, you know, we should just reboot the character in terms of reboot Batwoman as a different character, and also respect everything that Ruby put into the Kate Kane character.

And I just think it helps the audience a little bit too, that we are not asking them to not address the elephant in the room.

Earlier commenting on her departure, Rose wrote on Instagram: ‘It wasn’t an easy decision but those who know, know.. I didn’t want to not acknowledge everyone involved and how big this was for TV and for our community. I have stayed silent because that’s my choice for now but know I adore you all.’

Batwoman’s second season is set to return on The CW in January 2021. 

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, Batwoman, DC, Javicia Leslie, LGBTQ+, Now, Ruby Rose, Superheroes, The CW, TV

Credits

Variety and 1 other
  1. Variety

    ‘Batwoman’ Casts Javicia Leslie as New Series Lead

  2. Deadline

    ‘Batwoman’ Showrunner On Introducing New Character Instead Of Recasting Following Ruby Rose’s Exit – ATX