Out actress Javicia Leslie has been cast as the new Batwoman in the CW series, following Ruby Rose’s departure after just one season in the titular role.
“I am extremely proud to be the first Black actress to play the iconic role of Batwoman on television,” she said in a statement. “And as a bisexual woman, I am honored to join this groundbreaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community.”
She will be playing Ryan Wilder, a different character from Rose’s Kate Kane. She’s described as “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed.” Ryan was previously a drug runner and spent years evading the police, living in her van with her plant.
While Ryan is “nothing like Kate Kane,” the new character is also a lesbian.
“I’m inventing a whole new character who in her past was inspired by Batwoman, so she will take on the mantle and is completely maybe not the right person at the time to be doing it, so that’s what makes it fun,” said co-executive producer Caroline Dries.
Earlier this year, Rose announced that she was leaving the show after just one season. This week, she congratulated Leslie for getting the role in a post on Instagram.
“This is amazing!” Rose wrote. “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!”
Leslie is known for her work on the CBS series God Friended Me. She previously appeared on the BET series The Family Business and in the film Always a Bridesmaid.
Season two of Batwoman is expected to premier on the CW in January.