The CW’s Reboot of Kung Fu is getting ready to head to pilot and the studio just revealed the name of the actor who will be filling the shoes of David Carradine’s Kwai Chang Caine. In a move that has become very common in the last few years, The CW has opted to go for a gender-swap in the reboot and Olivia Liang will be playing series lead, Nicky Chen. The Kung Fu series has always been problematic for some as it has long been reported that the role of Caine was supposed to go to Bruce Lee before it was eventually given to Carradine, a white actor. We’re happy to see the new show will bring the role back to an Asian actor, but we expect some people online will have a lot to say about the gender-swap.
In the new show, 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.
Kung Fu is not the only gig Liang currently has at The CW, as Deadline reports, she’s also recently become a recurring character on the Vampire Diaries spinoff, Legacies.
When production starts on Kung Fu, Liang will join a previously announced cast that includes Tzi Ma and Kheng Hua Tan, Jon Prasida, Shannon Dang and Eddie Liu.