Javicia Leslie Cast As New Batwoman
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.
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.
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.
On the decision to replace Kane’s character, showrunner Caroline Dries told Deadline:
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.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]