Actress Javicia Leslie is set to be the first black Batwoman on the upcoming second season of the CW show. 

Leslie will play a new character named Ryan Wider who will take over as Batwoman from Ruby Rose’s role Kate Kane. Producers explained the new character by saying, “nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the Batsuit before her” and “not your stereotypical all-American hero,” as her character will be a drug runner who lives in a van.

Sharing her excitement of the role Leslie said, “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.”

Rose had suddenly quit her leading role in the Batwoman series in May. She stated, “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.”

Rose congratulated Leslie on Instagram, “OMG!! This is amazing!! 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 !! ❤️”

Batwoman’s showrunner Caroline Dries explained in a statement that she did not want to recast the role of Kane out of respect for Rose. She added, “[Kate’s] 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.”

Leslie, who is best known for her roles on BET’s The Family Business and the 2019 film Always a Bridesmaid, will appear for Batwoman’s second season in January 2021.

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