CW has its new "Batwoman."
Javicia Leslie ("God Friended Me," "The Family Business") will become the first Black actress to play Batwoman in a live-action film or TV production when the superhero drama returns for Season 2, which is scheduled to premiere in January. She succeeds Ruby Rose as the famed superhero of DC Comics lore.
“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,” Leslie said in a statement. Leslie's character of Ryan Wilder, who will don the cape and cowl, is a lesbian, as was Rose's Batwoman.
Leslie acknowledged the announcement in an Instagram post: "For all of the little black girls dreaming to be a superhero one day... it’s possible!"
Rose expressed delight at Leslie's casting in her own Instagram post: "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!!"
Rose played Kate Kane and her superhero alter ego, Batwoman, during the first season of the series, produced by Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions.
News broke of Rose's departure in May when she thanked cast, crew and producers in an Instagram post without detailing why she was leaving: "It wasn’t an easy decision but those who know, know," Rose wrote. "I didn’t want to not acknowledge everyone involved and how big this was for TV and for our community."
Although Leslie will now portray the superhero, her character arrives as Ryan Wilder, described in Wednesday's announcement as "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."
A post shared by Javicia Leslie (@javicia) on Jul 8, 2020 at 3:55pm PDT
As the character arrives, "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” is based on characters created for DC by Bob Kane with Bill Finger.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Javicia Leslie to become first Black 'Batwoman,' succeeding Ruby Rose