After Ruby Rose’s surprising exit from Batwoman several months ago, the CW series announced actress Javicia Leslie would take over the lead role as the superhero.
Leslie, who is making history with the role, will replace the show’s former star as the new Batwoman for the second season.
The new cast announcement has many people curious why Ruby Rose originally left the show.
Javicia Leslie to take over Batwoman role
The CW made history when it announced Ruby Rose would be the first LGBT actress to portray Batwoman. She starred as a character named Kate Kane, who adopts the superhero moniker in the series.
They’re now making history again. Javicia Leslie, who starred on CBS’ God Friended Me, becomes the first Black actress to portray Batwoman.
She’ll take over on Season 2, but as a new character named Ryan Wilder, described as “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed.”
Variety describes that character as “an out lesbian, athletic, raw, passionate, fallible, and very much not your stereotypical All-American hero.”
She has a history as a drug-runner who had to dodge the Gotham City police. She’s also “highly skilled and wildly undisciplined” capable of killing with her bare hands.
“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,” Leslie said in a statement following the news.
Leslie took to her IG after the announcement and captioned a photo of Variety’s report with: “For all of the little black girls dreaming to be a superhero one day… it’s possible!”
Ruby Rose also posted on Instagram, congratulating Leslie on landing the role as her replacement.
“OMG!! This is amazing!! I am so glad Batwoman will be played by an amazing Black woman,” Rose said in her caption.
“You are walking into an amazing cast and crew. I can’t wait to watch season 2 you are going to be amazing !!” Rose also said in her congratulatory message.
Javicia Leslie has appeared in several TV series, including Chef Julian, The Family Business, and on two seasons of God Friended Me.
She held the starring role as Corina James in the 2019 rom-com Always a Bridesmaid.
Why did Ruby Rose leave the role?
This past May, actress Ruby Rose surprised many people when she left the role of Batwoman after just one season. Rose played the part for a total of 20 episodes.
The show received favorable reviews by a collection of critics at Rotten Tomatoes with a 79 percent. However, it was bombed with many negative audience reviews, resulting in a 13 percent audience score.
The exit still seemed abrupt. Without any real explanation from the actress, many fans remained confused about why she left the series.
In May, a Variety report cited multiple sources saying it was due to friction between Rose and production as the actress was unhappy with the long hours she spent on set.
Some speculated Rose left due to emergency surgery for two herniated discs that left her in pain. However, a source close to the situation told Variety Rose’s decision “had nothing to do with her health or injury.”
Last October, Rose opened up on Instagram about her mental health struggles, including depression and previous suicide attempts.
While Rose left the Batwoman role, she isn’t leaving her acting job. The same month as her Batwoman exit, she portrayed Viola in a live-streamed table-read of Twelfth Night.
The online event was to help raise money to go towards COVID-19 pandemic relief.
Per Collider, Rose is also set to appear in an action-comedy called Three Sisters.