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'God Friended Me’s Javicia Leslie replaces Ruby Rose as 'Batwoman'

Guy D’Alema/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Javicia Leslie, formerly of the CBS show God Friended Me, will take over the title role in the CW series Batwoman when it returns for season two, replacing Ruby Rose, who left after the show’s first season.

Leslie will become the first Black actress to play Batwoman in a live-action TV or film production.

“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 statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

Leslie’s character, Ryan Wilder, is described by the network as “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.”

Rose, who broke ground by playing television’s first on screen lesbian superhero, shocked people back in May with her announcement that she was leaving the series after just one season.

Soon after the announcement on Wednesday, Rose took to Instagram to praise the casting, writing in part, “This is amazing!! I’m so glad Batwoman will be played by an amazing Black woman.”

Batwoman is scheduled to return in early 2021.

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.