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Javicia Leslie cast as first Black 'Batwoman' show lead

Leslie replaces Ruby Rose, who abruptly exited the show after the first season.
The CW
/ Source: TODAY

Batwoman has a new lead actor!

Javicia Leslie has been tapped to take over the titular role for the upcoming season of the show on The CW.

“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.

The show is slated to return to The CW in January of next year and air on Sundays at 8 p.m.

Javicia Leslie as Ali Finer in an episode on "God Friended Me."David Giesbrecht / CBS via Getty Images

Leslie will portray Ryan Wilder, who was described as “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed” in a press release. She takes over for Ruby Rose, who played the previous Batwoman, Kate Kane. Rose left the show at the end of the first season amid reports that she was unhappy with the long hours required of her as the series lead.

Ruby Rose as Kate Kane in Batwoman. Elizabeth Morris / The CW

Javicia is no stranger to the television industry — she starred for two seasons on the CBS show “God Friended Me” as Ali Finer before the show was canceled. She also starred in the BET drama “The Family Business” and the film “Always a Bridesmaid.”