Batwoman: The CW casts Javicia Leslie as new series lead for season 2

July 16, 2020

Javicia Leslie will be donning the cape and cowl in season 2, as actress Ruby Rose has left the series for health reasons.

The CW has found its new Batwoman. Actress Javicia Leslie (God Friended Me) will take over the lead role in Batwoman Season 2.

As previously reported, The CW isn’t recasting the Kate Kane role following Ruby Rose’s abrupt departure from Batwoman. Instead, Leslie has been cast as a new character named Ryan Wilder.

Here’s The CW’s official description for 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.

Leslie previously appeared on The CW series God Friended Me, as well as the BET series The Family Business. This casting makes her the first black actress to play Batwoman in a live-action role.

“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 Leslie in a statement.

We don’t know much else about Ryan Wilder at this point, as she appears to be a completely new creation rather than an adaptation of an existing DC character. We do know that Rose’s Kate Kane won’t be killed off in between Seasons 1 and 2. Instead, Kate’s mysterious disappearance will be a major plot thread in Season 2.

Batwoman Season 2 is expected to debut in January 2021. The CW previously hinted the next Arrowverse crossover will focus on Batwoman and new series Superman and Lois, though it’s unclear whether those plans may have changed since Rose’s departure. We’re hoping to learn more at DC’s FanDome virtual event in August.