Tom tom club

There’s a Nancy Drew spin-off coming about a “Black, gay billionaire inventor”

Tian Richards as Tom Swift in Nancy Drew
Tian Richards as Tom Swift in Nancy Drew (Photo: CW)

The CW has commissioned a spin-off series from its successful Nancy Drew show. The Hollywood Reporter says the channel has handed out a straight to order series for Tom Swift, which will focus on a Black, gay billionaire inventor.

As a character, Swift, played by Tian Richards, has already appeared in one episode of Nancy Drew. Richards will reprise the role for Tom Swift.

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Like Nancy Drew, Swift first appeared in the early half of the 20th century in a series of novels aimed at kids and young adults. The books were published by the Stratemeyer Syndicate, with founder Edward Stratemeyer creating the character (although some of the books were later written by ghostwriters). Originally, he was depicted as white, with no indication he was anything other than heterosexual.

Speaking previously to TVLine about his casting as Swift for the Nancy Drew show, Richards said, “The original Tom Swift was great for his time and what he represented. At the time, that was the face of young boys, All-American kids full of possibilities. But in 2021, that can look so different. It can look like someone like me — a Black guy who is chocolate, who is queer, who is all those things that we’re told aren’t the normal or the status quo.”

According to Hollywood Reporter, Swift will find himself “thrust into a world of sci-fi conspiracy and unexplained phenomena after the shocking disappearance of his father. Tom takes to the road on a quest to unravel the truth, leaving behind the comforts of his usual moneyed lifestyle while fighting to stay one step ahead of an Illuminati-scale group hell-bent on stopping him.”

Richards has previously appeared in the movies Dumplin’ and Burden (both 2018), as well as TV shows The Quad and Being Mary Jane.

Nancy Drew showrunner Melinda Hsu Taylor and series creators Noga Landau, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, will all be involved in the spinoff. No transmission date has yet been announced.

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In a series of tweets, Richards thanked many of those involved with bringing the show to fruition.