The new Batwoman has been found.
Javicia Leslie will be stepping into the title role on the CW drama, the first Black woman to ever don the the batsuit. Leslie is best known for playing Ali on God Friended Me, the CBS drama that ran for two seasons, as well as starring in Family Business on BET.. She's also bisexual.
"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.
This new Batwoman will not be Kate Kane, and in fact will be pretty much the opposite of the character Ruby Rose played in the first season.
"Ryan Wilder is about to become Batwoman," reads the official character description. "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."
Ruby Rose's exit was announced in May, with a statement from WB and The CW promising to cast another member of the LGBTQ+ community, and from Rose herself.
"I have made the very difficult decision to not return to Batwoman next season," she said in her statement. "This was not a decision I made lightly as I have the utmost respect for the cast, crew and everyone involved with the show in both Vancouver and in Los Angeles. I am beyond appreciative to Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Caroline Dries for not only giving me this incredible opportunity, but for welcoming me into the DC universe they have so beautifully created. Thank you Peter Roth and Mark Pedowitz and the teams at Warner Bros. and The CW who put so much into the show and always believed in me. Thank you to everyone who made season one a success—I am truly grateful."
Show creator Caroline Dries later explained on Twitter that it was not Kate Kane who was being recast, but the role of Batwoman, and Kate is not being killed off.
"Like you, i love Kate Kane—she's the reason I wanted to do the show," she wrote. "We'll never erase her. In fact, her disappearance will be one of the mysteries of season two. I don't want to give away any of our surprises, but to all our devoted fans, please know that LGBTQ+ justice is at the very core of what Batwoman is and we have no intention of abandoning that."
Ruby Rose seems thrilled by her successor. She weighed in on Instagram after the news was announced, saying she's "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!!" she wrote.
Batwoman will return along with the rest of The CW's usual fall slate in January 2021.