Leslie will play Ryan Wilder, a new ‘likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed‘ character who will take over from Kate Kane, alias Batwoman.
Kane was played by Ruby Rose, who shocked fans by quitting the show – the first superhero series to have a gay lead character – back in May.
This means that Leslie will be the first black actress to play Batwoman in a live action TV show or film.
“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.
Batwoman has found its new lead actress for the TV show’s second season on US network The CW.
Javicia Leslie has been cast as the Crimson Knight on Batwoman and will be the first black actress to play the DC Comics heroine in live-action, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Ruby Rose congratulated her successor on Instagram, writing: “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 !!”
Other actors took to social media to praise the decision, with Stargirl actress Anjelika Washington writing: “THIS IS THE GOLDEN AGE OF BLACK FEMALE SUPERHEROES”.
Meagan Tandy, who stars as stars as Sophie Moore on the show, said: “I’ve literally watched your star rise over this past year and you just shot to the top @JaviciaLeslie What a dream opportunity this is. YOU are our ancestors wildest dream. Congratulations”.
I’ve literally watched your star rise over this past year and you just shot to the top @JaviciaLeslie ? What a dream opportunity this is. YOU are our ancestors wildest dream. Congratulations ? https://nailspot.info/00000/YuURmWsVZ3
– Meagan Tandy (@meagantandy) July 9, 2020
Javicia Leslie previously starred in the US comedy-drama God Friended Me.