In the upcoming second season of The CW’s Batwoman, Javicia Leslie (God Friended Me, The Family Business) will replace Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black, John Wick: Chapter 2) as the show’s titular hero and promotional photos released Monday on Twitter show-off her transformed look as the crimefighter. Rose unexpectedly departed the series and her role as Batwoman after the show wrapped its first season leaving shoes to fill as the show’s vigilante lead. The 33-year-old Leslie was announced as Rose’s replacement in July, making her the first Black actress cast as this iconic member of DC’s Bat Family.
— Batwoman (@CWBatwoman) October 26, 2020
The first peeks at Leslie on-set in September showed her donning the familiar cowl and red wig of her season one predecessor, Kate Kane. However, on Instagram Leslie teased that her character, Ryan Wilder, was to “put her own spin on the Batsuit.” That spin was revealed to fans on Monday and, according to Variety, will become Wilder’s official costume by the third episode of season two.
Representation has been of the utmost important to Leslie in taking on the role of Batwoman. “I feel like there are so many little Javicias that don’t have voices…I feel honored to be able to be a voice for my community,” Leslie said at a DC FanDome event in September, via Deadline. The actress has discussed the importance of playing a Black bisexual woman like herself on-screen and how she’s excited to have the details of the show, including wardrobe, reflect her identity. The Hollywood Reporter describes Leslie as a Batman fan who has been “invested in her character’s look” from the moment she was cast in the role.
“I felt it was important that viewers could tell by the silhouette that Batwoman was a Black girl,” Leslie commented on her hopes for the crimefighter’s costume, via Variety. In many ways Leslie feels the mantel of Batwoman has nothing to do with her personally and instead “has everything to do with my people and with little Black girls” (The Hollywood Reporter). Leslie wanted to ensure this community felt represented in Batwoman’s character design.
When speaking about the costume with DC FanDome in September, Leslie expressed her desire for a look that, specifically, “celebrate[s] her natural hair and curves” (Deadline). The result, shared with fans on Monday, delighted Leslie who gushed “the form-fitting suit and beautiful Afro, we definitely nailed it” (Variety). Leslie’s upgraded Batsuit was brought to life by the Warner Bros. production team of Maya Mani, Janice Workman and Cory Roberts as well as Ocean Drive Leather.
A new-and-improved Batsuit will be far from the only element that differentiates Leslie from Rose’s interpretation of the caped crusader. Warner Bros. described Leslie’s character, Ryan Wilder, as “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed” and “nothing like” Rose’s Kate Kane, Bruce Wayne’s cousin who previously held the mantle of Batwoman, via People.
For those eager to meet Ryan Wilder and see Leslie’s new Batsuit in-action, Batwoman season two will premiere on The CW in January 2021.