Javicia Leslie Is CW’s New Batwoman, First Black Actress To Play The Superhero

A couple of months ago Ruby Rose abruptly exited CW’s Batwoman, leaving the Arrowverse show in the lurch. Shortly thereafter, we learned the role of Kate Kane wouldn’t be recast, but that an entirely new character would take over the series. That meant a new lead actress, as well, and producer Greg Berlanti has found the woman who will take over the cape and cowl: Javicia Leslie.

The CW has confirmed (via Deadline) that Javicia Leslie will take over as the new Batwoman beginning with season two. She’ll play Ryan Wilder, a ” “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed” 20-something who used to be a drug runner and now lives out of her van.  Descriptions have gone a long way in pointing out how much she isn’t like Kate Kane, perhaps trying to get as much distance from Rose’s run on the show as possible.

Leslie becomes the first black actress to play Batwoman in a live-action production, and the young star recognizes her place in superhero result. She said in a 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.”

Leslie’s previous credits include a couple of seasons of the CBS series God Friended Me, and the 2019 film Always a Bridesmaid.

Showing there was no ill will between her and The CW, Rose left a celebratory message about Leslie’s casting on Instagram…

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.