Fresh off once again stealing the show in Disney+’s WandaVision, Randall Park has set his sights on doing the same behind the camera. The prolific actor will make his feature directorial debut by adapting Adrian Tomine‘s graphic novel, Shortcomings.
The book is a comedic drama that follows a trio of young Bay Area urbanites – Ben Tanaka, Miko Hayashi, and Alice Kim – as they navigate a range of interpersonal relationships, traversing the country in search of the ideal connection. In cafes, bars, and bedrooms, their stories collide and intertwine with Tomine’s typical naked candor and humour.
Shortcomings is widely considered an iconic work of contemporary Asian-American fiction, deftly examining racial politics, sexual mores, and pop culture. Tomine is one of the most beloved cartoonists of the last two decades. He’s also published works such as Sleepwalk and Killing And Dying, while his comic book series Optic Nerve has ran since 1991.
Tomine will adapt his own work for the screen and also executive produce the movie for Imminent Collision, who are developing the project alongside Roadside Attractions. Park said in a statement:
“I am such a huge fan of Adrian’s work, and I’m very excited to team with him and Roadside Attractions on this updated, modern take of Shortcomings. In these characters, I see versions of Asian Americans in my own life – the ones I love and the ones I just kind of tolerate”.
“Shortcomings is a book that’s very close to my heart, and I have long resisted the idea of any adaptation that didn’t feel true to the style and spirit of the material”, Tomine added.
“Randall, Roadside Attractions, and Imminent Collision immediately impressed me with their passion, insight, and vision for this film. They have been invaluable partners in the process of translating Shortcomings both to the screen as well as to the current time, and I’m honored to be a part of this collaboration”.
Park has dabbled in directing recently, helming the series finale of sitcom Fresh Off The Boat, which ended its six-season run last year. He also co-wrote and starred in the very fun Netflix romcom Always Be My Maybe alongside Ali Wong, had a supporting role in post-modern romcom Straight Up, and played the principal in last year’s Valley Girl.
It’s always a treat when he pops up in a film, and it’s great that he’s not only becoming a leading man, but getting the chance to direct his own projects too. It will also be exciting to see Tomine’s personal, existential work finally get a big-screen adaptation.
Imminent Collision was founded by Park and his longtime creative partners Hieu Ho and Michael Golamco. The production company is dedicated to creating distinct, universal, and comedy-forward stories about Asian Americans for all audiences. They have several other high-profile projects in the works, including shows under their first-look TV deal with 20th Television/Disney Television Studios.