I was obviously disappointed to hear that Ruby Rose is exiting CW’s Batwoman after a single season. She was born to play Kate Kane, and her amazing portrayal is going to be a hard act to follow.
The CW, not wanting to kill a show with decent ratings after one season, initially said they were going to recast Kate Kane.
Then they abruptly backpedaled, and informed us that instead a completely new character, Ryan Wilder, will be putting on the cowl.
On Wednesday, we found out who will be playing the new lead.
Who is Javicia Leslie?
Javicia Leslie is a 33-year-old German-American actor. She is bisexual (which I believe is a good choice when a key part of the show is that the lead is not straight. Like Kane, Wilder is openly lesbian). Oh, and she’s also Black (is this why the abrupt change? Did they not think we could handle a change of race on a recast?)
She just finished work on CBS’ God Friended Me, a show that didn’t interest me, but which is apparently a dramedy that ran for three seasons. The tagline is “An atheist’s life is turned upside down when God adds him as a friend on Facebook.”
In fact, most of her chops lean towards comedy. This might indicate that the show is going to go in a lighter-hearted direction? Part of me hopes so; the Arrowverse is at its best when leaning a bit towards camp.
So, is she going to be any good? I’m inclined to think yes for one simple reason: The Arrowverse casting has been good since some early missteps, and Brec Bassinger is a perfect Stargirl.
I think they can be trusted to choose an awesome actor.
Who is Ryan Wilder?
I have some concerns revolving around what has been revealed of Ryan Wilder. She lives in a van with a plant. She used to be a drug runner. She’s described as “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed.”
I’m not sure about the switch from a rich white woman to…if they aren’t careful this could be another New Wally West in the comics, where it comes over as “Of course she’s poor, she’s Black.” And “untamed” as a descriptor makes me hesitate too. As does “no one in her life to keep her on track.”
The CW has not been known for missteps recently, though, so I’m willing to give this a try. And very curious how she ends up as Batwoman.
I’m suspecting this will be a less butch character, which is a disappointment.
But I like the idea of “a little goofy.”
We’ll see what happens, but I do trust the casting people over at the CW. They’ve done amazing work lately.
Let’s just not have her throw a grappling hook into thin air and depart a roof upwards, though? No, I’m not letting the show live that down.