Legacies’ Olivia Liang to lead CW’s Kung Fu reboot
The CW’s upcoming reboot pilot of the iconic David Carradine (Kill Bill)-led martial arts series Kung Fu has found its lead star in the form of Legacies alum Olivia Liang, with her casting coming a week after the additions of Tzi Ma (Mulan) and Kheng Hua Tan (Crazy Rich Asians), according to Deadline.
Ma and Kheng are set to play the roles of Jin Chen and Mei-Lei, who are the young female lead’s parents. They’re described as restaurateurs whose secrets threaten to destroy their lives just as they deal with the return of their estranged daughter.
In the Kung Fu reboot series, a quarter-life crisis causes a young Chinese-American woman, Nicky Chen (Liang), to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. But when she returns to find her hometown overrun with crime and corruption, she uses her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice…all while searching for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her.
The original series was created by Ed Spielman, Jerry Thorpe and Herman Miller which ran on air for three seasons from 1972-1975. It starred late veteran actor David Carradine, who portrayed the role of Kwai Chang Caine. The Kung Fu series was also adapted into a film in 1986 titled Kung Fu: The Movie and it also spawned off two spinoff series: Kung Fu: The Next Generation and Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.
Co-created by Blindspot‘s Christina M. Kim and Martin Gero, the new Kung-Fu series is written by Kim and will be executive produced by Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter through their Berlanti Productions along with Kim and Gero through Gero’s Quinn’s House Production banner. The project was first introduced at FOX and was given a pilot commitment in 2018 but the deal fell through and it never went to pilot.
Berlanti, a master of superhero TV shows, has helmed series including All American, Arrow, Black Lightning, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Riverdale, Supergirl, Blindspot, God Friended Me, The Red Line, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, You, and Titans.