The CW’s Nancy Drew spin-off has found its lead. Actor Tian Richards (Being Mary Jane, Dumplin) has been cast in the titular role of Tom Swift.
Based on the classic book series of the same name, Tom Swift is part of the network’s plan to establish an expanded “Drew-niverse,” and will debut as a backdoor pilot in the upcoming season of Nancy Drew.
The CW series will center on the titular Tom Swift, a gay Black man and billionaire inventor who is thrown into the world of sci-fi conspiracy and unexplained phenomena after the shocking disappearance of his father. As Tom goes on a quest to unravel the truth, he will fight to stay one step ahead of an Illuminati-scale group hell-bent on stopping him. The CW’s casting differs from the book, which features a straight, white, blonde Tom.
In Nancy Drew, Tom will cross paths with Nancy during one of her investigations that see them coming to very different conclusions about the case — with Nancy leaning supernatural and Tom more paranormal.
Tian Richards, represented by APA, Stride Management, and Goodman Genow, recently appeared opposite Forest Whittaker in the 2018 film Burden. His other credits include The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and A Bad Mom’s Christmas.
If picked up to series, Tom Swift will be originate from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire, and is co-created, written, and executive-produced by Nancy Drew’s Melinda Hsu Taylor and Noga Landau, along with Empire’s Cameron Johnson. Schwartz, Savage, and Lis Rowinski will also serve as executive producers.