After season one of the CW’s hit DC superhero show Batwoman, lead actor Ruby Rose, who literally played the Batwoman, shocked everyone when she announced she was leaving the show. As speculation ran rampant, and showrunner Caroline Dries spoke on the decision, the question on everyone’s minds was a simple one: Who’s gonna be Batwoman next? Now, Dries, Warner Bros., the CW, and Greg Berlanti‘s production company have our answer. Meet your new Batwoman: Javicia Leslie.
Leslie starred for two seasons on the CBS dramedy God Friended Me, and has also starred in the BET drama The Family Business and feature film Always a Bridesmaid. The decision to cast Leslie in the role marks a huge victory for positive representation in the superhero cinema space, which Leslie spoke to in her statement:
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.
Warner Bros. Television also shared the official character synopsis for Leslie’s take on the role, and buddy? I’m excited!
Ryan Wilder is about to become Batwoman. 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.
Ryan Wilder is notably not an existing character in DC Comics lore, and I am thrilled to see this team create a brand new hero for a brand new season. This description sounds like an unbelievably juicey role for Leslie to sink her teeth into, and dang it, I think I have to start watching Batwoman now!
For more on the show, check out Dries’ comments on how she might deal with Kate Kane’s exit.