Javicia Leslie Just Became the First Black Actress to Play Batwoman
“For all of the little black girls dreaming to be a superhero one day... it’s possible!”
The new Batwoman is here. Not long after the news of Ruby Rose’s departure, Javicia Leslie has been cast in the CW’s Batwoman in the lead role. The 33-year-old actor will be the first Black woman to play Batwoman on TV, and she’s already spoken out about what that means.
“For all of the little black girls dreaming to be a superhero one day... it’s possible!” Leslie wrote on Instagram alongside a screenshot of an article about her casting.
The God Friended Me star also released a statement about taking on the 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,” she said, according to Variety.
The lead role on the series was previously played by Rose, who has identified as a lesbian and gender fluid. Her character, Kate Kane, was also a lesbian. The show’s producers Greg Berlanti and Caroline Dries are both gay and take LGBTQ representation on the show very seriously — both when casting actors and when it comes to the characters. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, when Rose left the series in May 2020, the producers and studios behind Batwoman said in a joint statement that another member of the LGBTQ community would be cast.
Leslie's new Batwoman character, Ryan Wilder, will be a lesbian, as well.
She’s also, according to a description shared by THR, “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed.” She previously worked as a drug runner and now lives “in a van with her plant.” Surely, many viewers will relate to living alone with a 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,” the description continues. “An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible.” Sounds intense!
Rose is on board for the casting. “OMG!! This is amazing!!” she wrote next to a picture of Leslie on Instagram. “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!!”
Fans will, hopefully, be able to check out the new Batwoman not too long from now. Season 2 is scheduled to premiere in January 2021.