EXCLUSIVE: The CW pilot Kung Fu has found its star in Legacies‘ Olivia Liang. She will headline the reimagining with a female lead of the 1970s David Carradine-starring TV series, which comes from Christina M. Kim, Martin Gero, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Warner Bros TV, where Kim, Gero and Berlanti Prods. are under deals.
Written by Kim and inspired by the original series created by Ed Spielman, in the new Kung Fu, 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.
Liang joins previously cast Tzi Ma and Kheng Hua Tan, who play her parents, as well as Jon Prasida, Shannon Dang and Eddie Liu.
Kim and Gero executive produce via Gero’s Quinn’s House Production Company, which produces in association with Berlanti Prods. and Warner Bros TV. Berlanti and Schechter executive produce for Berlanti Prods.
Chang’s casting in the CW/WBTV pilot Kung Fu pilot comes on the heels of her joining the network and studio’s drama series Legacies as a recurring earlier this season. She plays Alyssa Chang on The Vampire Diaries offshoot.
Liang’s previous credits include Dating After College and guest shots on Grey’s Anatomy and One Day at a Time. She guest stars on the current second season of Hulu’s Into the Dark. Liang is repped by Abrams Artists Agency.