‘Batwoman’ Finds New Lead in Javicia Leslie

“God Friended Me” co-star will play new character Ryan Wilder

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

“Batwoman” has found its new caped crusader. Javicia Leslie will take over the lead role from Ruby Rose, who exited the CW superhero drama after just one season.

Leslie, who co-starred on CBS’ “God Friended Me” for two seasons, will play a new character, Ryan Wilder. She will take over the Batwoman mantle from Rose’s Kate Kane. “Batwoman” is expected to return for its second season in January 2021 on The CW.

Here is the description of 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.

“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.

It is unclear, given Rose’s decision to step down after one season came as a surprise, how “Batwoman” will introduce Wilder and write out Kane, who as the cousin of Bruce Wayne/Batman, was planned to be a major part of the The CW’s “Arrowverse” going forward. The network’s annual crossover next season was supposed to be team up between Rose’s Kane and Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman.

For her part, “Batwoman” showrunner Caroline Dries said she has “no interest” in the “Bury Your Gays” trope of killing off queer characters and vowed to “never erase” the lesbian character played by Rose.

In an Instagram post, Rose addressed reports that said she left the series because of the long hours required of a lead star on a broadcast series. “Don’t believe everything you read by anon sources online,” she told a fan in the comments section. She further said the decision “wasn’t easy” but otherwise left out any concrete reasons for doing so.