Less than twenty-four hours after Warner Bros. Television, The CW, and Berlanti Productions announced that Javicia Leslie (God Friended Me, The Family Business) would be taking on the role of Ryan Wilder and the mantle of Batwoman, fans are learning how Gotham City's previous protector feels about the matter. With her casting, Leslie becomes the first Black actress to portray Batwoman in a live-action television or film production. It's an honor not lost on her: "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." It's also one of the reason's why Ruby Rose (first season's Kate Kane) is so excited about the move.
Taking to Instagram shortly after the casting news was revealed, Rose heaped praise on Leslie's casting and said she "can't wait to watch" the second season: "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 !! ❤️"
Based on the official description of Leslie's Ryan Wilder, we know that she's likable, messy, a little goofy, and untamed- and 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."
Batwoman takes place three years after the mysterious disappearance of Batman, with Gotham a city in despair. Without the Caped Crusader, the Gotham City Police Department is overrun and outgunned by criminal gangs. Armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane (Rose) becomes what her father loathes: a dark knight vigilante, soaring through the streets of Gotham as Batwoman. Joining Rose on the series were Dougray Scott, Rachel Skarsten, Meagan Tandy, Nicole Kang, Camrus Johnson, and Elizabeth Anweis. Executive Producers include Greg Berlanti, Caroline Dries, Geoff Johns, and Sarah Schecter. Filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, the series is produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.