Nobody expected Ruby Rose to quit Batwoman. Her casting was announced with great fanfare when the show was being developed and despite rumors of unhappiness on set, most expected her to stick it out for a little longer than a single season. But I guess if you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go. Her departure left The CW in an awkward spot: do you recast the role and carry on like nothing’s happened or write the lead character out of the show? Whatever the case, they had to think fast, as Batwoman‘s second season is still scheduled for January 2021.
In the end, they chose to go with a new Batwoman and earlier this week it was announced that God Friended Me star Javicia Leslie will be playing new lead Ryan Wilder, who’s described in the casting call as:
“She’s likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the bat suit 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. A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat 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.”
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Yesterday, Leslie spoke about her excitement for playing the role, saying:
“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 continued those statements over on Instagram, too, where she posted a picture of the Deadline story announcing her casting and said:
“For all of the little black girls dreaming to be a superhero one day… it’s possible!”
The first season of Batwoman was a bit uneven, but found its groove in later episodes and despite COVID-19 complications resulting in a sooner-than-planned finale, ended with a bang. The show even introduced the Arrowverse’s Bruce Wayne, albeit by Hush getting plastic surgery to look like him. Who knows, if the Javicia Leslie Batwoman is a smash hit, then maybe the first season will come to be considered as a false start before things really kicked off?
In any case, Batwoman should resume filming soon, so let’s hope it’s not too long before we get some pictures of Leslie in her new batsuit.