Batwoman: Javicia Leslie Becomes the First Black Actress to Play Lesbian Superhero

She replaces Ruby Rose in the DC Comics role.

Batwoman: Javicia Leslie Becomes the First Black Actress to Play Lesbian Superhero

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Javicia Leslie

  • Rose left the Batwoman role due to workload, reportedly
  • Leslie will play a new character called Ryan Wilder
  • She is known for God Friended Me, on Prime Video in India

Javicia Leslie is your next Batwoman. Less than two months after Ruby Rose left the DC Comics role reportedly due to being burnt out, the makers have found a new actress to replace her. Leslie is best known for playing Ali Finer, a main character on the as-yet two seasons of the CBS comedy-drama God Friended Me (available on Amazon Prime Video in India). In taking on the Batwoman mantle, Leslie also becomes the first black actress to play the superhero in a live-action film or series.

In a mailed statement, Leslie said as much: “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 honoured to join this ground-breaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community.” Batwoman is a lesbian and the producers had promised they would cast another LGBTQ actress in the role, when looking for a replacement for Rose.

As had been revealed earlier, Kate Kane — Rose's character — won't be part of the show anymore. Instead, Ryan Wilder — to be played by Leslie — will step into Batwoman's cape and cowl. The announcement describes Wilder as “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She's also nothing like Kate Kane. 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.”

Behind the scenes, it's business as usual, with Batwoman creator Caroline Dries continiuing as head writer, and executive producer alongside Arrowverse architect Greg Berlanti, Berlanti Productions chairwoman Sarah Schechter, and former DC Entertainment president Geoff Johns. Batwoman is a production of Warner Bros. Television, The CW, and Berlanti Productions.

Leslie will be seen as Batwoman when the DC series returns for season 2 in January 2021, expectedly, unless the ongoing coronavirus pandemic ruins those plans.

Batwoman airs on Colors Infinity in India. It's not available on streaming.

Can Netflix force Bollywood to reinvent itself? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS. You can also download the episode or just hit the play button below.


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Akhil Arora
Akhil Arora covers entertainment for Gadgets 360, interviewing stars such as Christian Bale and Anurag Kashyap, covering series premieres, product and service launches across the globe, and looking at American blockbusters and Indian dramas from a global socio-political and feminist perspective. As a Rotten Tomatoes-certified film critic, Akhil has reviewed over 150 movies and TV shows in over half a decade at Gadgets 360. When he is not completely caught up with new film and TV releases, Akhil ...More
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