Disney+ teams up with Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton for American Born Chinese, a series based on Gene Luen Yang’s acclaimed graphic novel.
Disney+ is teaming up with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton for a series based on Gene Luen Yang’s acclaimed 2006 graphic novel American Born Chinese.
The streamer has given a series order to the show, with Cretton set to act as both director and executive producer. Kelvin Yu (Bob’s Burgers) and Charles Yu (Westworld) are writing and executive producing the series, with Kelvin Yu serving as showrunner. Melvin Mar and Jake Kasdan (Doogie Kamealoha, MD) are also executive producing, along with Asher Goldstein (who produced Cretton’s films Short Term 12 and Just Mercy).
Both authored and illustrated by Yang (with Lark Pien handling the coloring), American Born Chinese won numerous awards upon its release, including the Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album. Described as a “genre-hopping action-comedy that explores issues of identity, culture, and family,” the Disney+ series 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, even more worlds collide as Jin is unwittingly entangled in a battle of Chinese mythological gods.”
“Reading Kelvin’s riveting adaptation of Gene’s incredible novel had me laughing and crying and jumping out of my chair on every page” said Cretton. “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.”
Cretton is coming off his success with Shang-Chi, a film that introduces the eponymous superhero to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition to being the first movie to cross the $200 million mark at the domestic box office since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began, Shang-Chi has received positive reviews, with critics praising its martial arts battles and nuanced portrayal of Asian and Asian-American culture and families. “A synthesis of superhero action and martial arts derring-do, Shang-Chi works best when it remembers to keep its own story and characters moving forward rather than obscuring the stakes with intrusive CG trickery,” wrote CBR‘s Sam Stone in his review.
Disney+ has yet to announce a cast or production start date for American Born Chinese. Elsewhere, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is currently playing in theaters.
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Shang-Chi Director, Disney+ Team Up For American Born Chinese Adaptation