‘Batwoman’ Breaks Another Barrier as Javicia Leslie Takes Over the Lead

Javicia Leslie Batwoman
Say hello to the new Batwoman – Javicia Leslie (Photo Courtesy of The CW)

The question of who would don the cape and cowl to take over the titular character on The CW’s Batwoman has been answered. Javicia Leslie (God Friended Me, The Family Business) has been cast as Batwoman for season two of the comic book-inspired series, as just announced by Warner Bros. Television, The CW, and Berlanti Productions.

Season two of Batwoman will mark the first time in history the character will be portrayed by a Black actress in either a live-action television series or feature film.

“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,” said Javicia Leslie.

In addition to announcing the new lead, The CW released a description of Javicia Leslie’s new character, Ryan Wilder:

    “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.”

Batwoman fans will be introduced to Leslie as Ryan Wilder when the series returns for season two in January 2021. Episodes will air on Sundays at 8pm ET/PT.

Season one of the action series made history when it cast Ruby Rose, making Batwoman the first scripted live-action series to feature a lesbian superhero in the lead role. Rose stepped down from the series in May 2020 after playing Kate Kane/Batwoman for 20 episodes.

Rose reacted to the news of Leslie’s casting by posting a congratulatory note on Instagram:

“OMG!! This is amazing!! I am 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 2 you are going to be amazing !!”

Batwoman was developed for TV by Caroline Dries. Dries, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Geoff Johns served as season one executive producers.