EXCLUSIVE: Daredevil and The Defenders alumna Élodie Yung has been tapped as the lead of Fox’s drama pilot The Cleaning Lady in a recasting.
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In the pilot, written by Miranda Kwok and to be directed by Michael Offer, she replaces Shannyn Sossamon, who had been originally cast in the title role, Reyna Salonga. She exited after the pilot’s table read just a couple of days before all pilot production was grounded over the coronavirus pandemic.
Yung’s casting is an indication that Fox intends to film The Cleaning Lady, which I hear is currently the plan for all of the network’s four drama and two comedy pilots, one of which has been partially shot.
With Yung on board, the ethnicity of the Reyna character, originally a Philipina, has been changed to match Yung’s background (she is the daughter of Cambodian father and French mother), while keeping the darkly aspirational character drama’s focus on Philippine culture.
Reyna is a whip-smart Cambodian doctor who was working in a top medical center in Manila, Philippines, where she met her Pilipino husband Marco Salonga. After their son was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening immunodeficiency disorder, Reyna comes to the U.S. for a medical treatment to save their ailing son. But when the system fails and pushes her into hiding, Reyna refuses to be beaten down and marginalized. Instead, she becomes an on-call cleaning lady for the mob, while keeping secrets from her undocumented Filipina sister-in-law Fiona Salonga (Ginger Gonzaga) and dodging the FBI. Willing to do anything to save her son, Reyna walks the tightrope of morality, breaking the law for all the right reasons — and eventually forges her own path in the criminal underworld as she starts playing the game by her own rules.
In addition to Ginzaga, Yung joins previously cast Adan Canto and Vincent Piazza.
Kwok executive produces with Shay Mitchell, Melissa Carter and Offer. The pilot is slated to film in New Mexico.
Yung, probably best known for her role as Elektra Natchios on Marvel’s Netflix series Daredevil and The Defenders, was recently cast in the upcoming feature thriller Hunters In the Dark, based on Lawren Osborne’s novel of the same name.
The French actress, who has a law degree, made her Hollywood debut in David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and has starred in Gods Of Egypt, GI Joe 2: Retaliation and The Hitman’s Bodyguard.
She is repped by Industry Entertainment, ICM Partners, and Gang Tyre.
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