Javicia Leslie Cast as Batwoman After Ruby Rose Exit, Becoming the First Black Actress to Play the Role

"I am honored to join this groundbreaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community," Javicia Leslie said in a statement

Javicia Leslie
Javicia Leslie . Photo: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

The newest Batwoman is here!

Javicia Leslie has been cast in the role for The CW's Batwoman series — making her the first Black actress to step into the iconic role for a live-action TV show or movie.

"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, 33, said in a press release Wednesday.

Leslie will make her debut as the superhero in January 2021, when the series is set to return to The CW for season 2.

In the new season, Leslie will play Ryan Wilder, described as "likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed."

Warner Bros. official character description said that the new character is "nothing like Kate Kane," who was portrayed in season 1 by Ruby Rose.

Leslie shared the news on Instagram on Wednesday, writing in the caption of the post, "For all of the little black girls dreaming to be a superhero one day... it’s possible!"

Rose, 34, announced in May that she would be stepping away from the show.

"I have made the very difficult decision to not return to Batwoman next season," Rose said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE at the time. "This was not a decision I made lightly as I have the utmost respect for the cast, crew and everyone involved with the show in both Vancouver and in Los Angeles."

Ruby Rose as Batwoman. Liane Hentscher/The CW

Rose added in her statement: "I am beyond appreciative to Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Caroline Dries for not only giving me this incredible opportunity, but for welcoming me into the DC universe they have so beautifully created. Thank you Peter Roth and Mark Pedowitz and the teams at Warner Bros. and The CW who put so much into the show and always believed in me. Thank you to everyone who made season one a success — I am truly grateful."

Later in May, the Orange Is the New Black actress opened up about her decision on Instagram, saying it "wasn't easy."

Rose added that she is "sure next season will be amazing also."

"Xxx *hangs up cowl and cape," she concluded.

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