Michelle Yeoh Reuniting With Destin Daniel Cretton For Disney+ Series ‘American Born Chinese’

Disney+ has ordered a series adaptation of Gene Luen Yang‘s graphic novel, American Born Chinese, and has hired Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12, Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings) to direct. He’ll reunite with one of his Shang-Chi stars, Michelle Yeoh, on the project.

American Born Chinese revolves around Jin Wang, an average teenager juggling his high school social life with his immigrant home life. When he meets a new foreign student on the first day of the school year, Jin is unwittingly entangled in a battle of Chinese mythological gods.

Yeoh will play Guanyin, Jin’s aunt who helps her nephew get through high school while hiding her true identity as the all-powerful Buddhist bodhisattva of Compassion.

Cretton will also executive produce alongside the show’s writers, Kelvin Yu (Bob’s Burgers) and Charles Yu (Legion, Westworld).

Yang’s book has been praised for its mix of genres, frequently jumping from action to comedy to tragedy while exploring issues of identity, culture, and family. Cretton spoke highly of the adaptation’s script:

“Reading Kelvin’s riveting adaptation of Gene’s incredible novel had me laughing and crying and jumping out of my chair on every page. I feel deeply connected to the characters in this story and the brilliant team bringing it to life. This show is going to be unlike anything we’ve experienced on TV, and I can’t wait for the world to see what we’re cooking up.”

American Born Chinese is one of many projects Yeoh has in the works. She’s also working on the next four(!) sequels to James Cameron‘s Avatar, The School For Good And Evil, prequel miniseries The Witcher: Blood Origin, while also doing voice work for Minions: The Rise Of Gru.

Ben Wang has been cast as Jin. He made his acting debut in the MacGyver reboot series and has since guest starred in The Last O.G., Search Party, and the Hulu film Sex APPeal. The cast also includes Daniel Wu, Ke Huy Quan, Jim Liu, and Sydney Taylor.

Cretton has already proved himself to be an incredibly empathetic filmmaker with Short Term 12, so he’s a great choice for the gig. And the graphic novel is also frequently used in schools to help academically struggling students with social-cognitive disabilities, so this adaptation should be a great fit for Disney+.

Production on the show will begin later this month. A release date has yet to be announced.


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