Javicia Leslie has become TV’s first black Batwoman. She is the new lead actress in the CW TV show’s second season. Leslie will play Ryan Wilder, a new character who will take over from Kate Kane.
The announcement follows the departure of Ruby Rose, who played Kate Kane alias Batwoman in the first season of the superhero drama.
Leslie’s casting makes her the first black actress to portray the character in a live action TV show or film.
— Batwoman (@CWBatwoman) July 9, 2020
“I am extremely proud to be the first black actress to play the iconic role of Batwoman on television,” said the actress, who previously starred in the US comedy-drama God Friended Me.
“And as a bisexual woman, I am honoured to join this groundbreaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community.”
Leslie, whose other credits include the BET drama The Family Business, 2019 romantic-comedy “Always a Bridesmaid” and God Friended me will make her debut on the series in January 2021.
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According to producers, the new Batwoman would be “nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the Batsuit before her” and “not your stereotypical all-American hero”. The character is a former drug runner who now lives in a van.
Set in Gotham City, Batwoman follows the rise of a new crime-fighting hero in the years after Batman’s disappearance. Season two is expected to premiere early next year.