With less than two months to go until The CW's Batwoman returns to the streets of Gotham with a new dark knight defender in Javicia Leslie's Ryan Wilder (Sunday, January 17, 2021), the cast and crew are hard at work making sure there will actually be episodes to watch when the new year arrives (always a good thing). Now as much we're digging the casting news and the suit reveals, we tend to be huge fans of when someone on the show heads to social media to share behind-the-scenes looks at the production. When it's Leslie sharing another example of just how good real-life stuntwork looks and can never be fully replaced by CGI, that much the better- and that's exactly what we got on Tuesday.
Taking to Instagram on Tuesday, Leslie posted a video of a scene with Nicole Kang (Mary) where Wilder's Batwoman clearly needs to make one of those classic caped crusader "straight-up-and-out" exits. "I can't get over this! Every morning I wake up and say "wow, I'm really a freaking superhero!" This is literally my dream job! May there be many more "f*ck yeah!"s each time I fly!!! Shout out to my amazing stunt team for bringing the kid out of me every single time we work! Follow your dreams people… this is real," Leslie wrote in the caption accompanying the video.
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With a second season that finds Shivani Ghai (Dominion, The Catch), Leah Gibson (Jessica Jones), Nathan Owens (Devious Maids), and Alex Morf (Gotham) joining the cast, the biggest news of the pre-season so far has been Leslie's new Batwoman suit. The redesign was conceptualized by costume designer Maya Mani and created by Ocean Drive Leather, with the wig was created by Janice Workman and makeup styled by Cory Roberts. Two major differences of note from Kate's suit: a new cowl featuring natural, curly hair with red streaks, red gauntlets over the forearms, and shorter boots; and an overall redesign with new materials, featuring laser etching to create more visual depth and a stronger silhouette.
"I love the fact that Ryan is becoming her own Batwoman — it's her style, her swag, and her moment! It was an honor to be able to collaborate with Caroline and Maya," said Leslie in a statement. "I felt it was important that viewers could tell by the silhouette that Batwoman was a Black girl. With the form-fitting suit and beautiful Afro, we definitely nailed it!" Leslie's Ryan Wilder is about to become Batwoman. She's relatable, messy, loyal, a little goofy, and apart from being a lesbian, she couldn't be more different than the woman who wore the Batsuit before her, billionaire Kate Kane. Ryan, who we meet living in her van with only her plant for company, has been made to feel trapped and powerless by the system her whole life and believes the Batsuit is the key to breaking out of it. But what she'll come to discover is that it's not the suit that makes Ryan Wilder powerful, it's the woman inside of it who finds her destiny in changing Gotham City for good.
"I was asked by Caroline Dries to design a Batsuit that was unique to the character of Ryan Wilder; as she is a highly-skilled fighter, encapsulating her raw, athletic, and passionate nature was imperative," explained Mani. "As Batwoman, Javicia Leslie not only brings a fresh perspective but physical strength to the role. It was important for the new suit to define Javicia's commanding presence while showcasing her athleticism and allowing her the freedom to express the physical nature of Batwoman, all while looking ultra-cool in the process!"
For executive producer Caroline Dries, the new suit is also a reflection of the journey Ryan will find herself on as she embraces her new role. "Ryan's journey starts from a place of 'What can this Batsuit do for me?' But it's not long before she realizes the power of its symbol and what it can do for everyone else in Gotham City. As Ryan embraces everything that makes her special, she adjusts the suit to fit her physically and figuratively. This meant creating a new body design and new cowl that was undeniably a statement that screamed 'powerful.' Maya Mani sent me her drawings and I loved it. The wig was something we never perfected in season one, and Janice Workman crushed it with this new take. Javicia and I saw various prototypes of styles and red ombres, and at one point we were trading our own iPad-doodled versions. Janice translated that into what we are looking at now. When I see it, I smile. It makes me feel inspired," Dries explained.