Tian Richards is set to lead a Tom Swift spin-off at The CW. The series, which went into development in October 2020, has been handed a straight-to-series order by the network. Richards made his first appearance as Swift in Nancy Drew back in May, in the episode “The Celestial Visitor,” which served as a backdoor pilot for the character.
Nancy Drew showrunner Melinda Hsu Taylor and series creators Noga Landau, Josh Schwartz, and Stephanie Savage have all been tapped by the network to work on the series. Tom Swift was created by Taylor, Landau, and Cameron Johnson, who will executive produce alongside Schwartz, Savage, and Lis Rowinski. The new show is set to debut during the 2021-2022 broadcast season, but no official dates have been announced yet.
Tom Swift is based on the eponymous book series, published in 1910 and created by Edward Stratemeyer, who later created classics like The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. Over the course of the series’ long life, heading into the early 2000s, Tom Swift, the Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew all crossed over into each other’s series.
The new TV series follows the adventures of the titular character, a Black queer billionaire inventor, who finds himself thrust into a world of sci-fi conspiracy, following his father’s mysterious disappearance. 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. Tom’s missions will require his genius and flair for innovation guided by love, romance, friendship, and the mysteries of the universe that are yet unsolved.
This is the first major adaptation of Tom Swift in film or television. In the early 20th century, Stratemeyer made attempts to produce a film, followed by subsequent attempts by others to produce radio series and television series about the titular character. Others attempted to adapt the series for the silver screen in 1968 and 1974. Collider previously reported that Barry Sonnenfeld and Ben David Grabinski were set to adapt the Tom Swift series into a film back in 2009, but the project has not made it out of the planning stages.
The Tom Swift series does not have a release date yet, but Nancy Drew returns to The CW for a third season on October 8.