Disney+ has given the greenlight on an adaptation of the Gene Luen Yang graphic novel American Born Chinese. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton has signed on to direct the action-comedy series.
According to Deadline, Written and executive produced by Bob’s Burgers exec producer Kelvin Yu and his brother, Charles Yu (Westworld), the series is executive produced by Melvin Mar and Jake Kasdan (Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.). Asher Goldstein (Just Mercy) and Gene Luen Yang are also executive producers. Kelvin Yu serves as showrunner on the series, which will start casting soon.
American Born Chinese tells the story of three apparently unrelated characters: Jin Wang, who moves to a new neighborhood with his family only to discover that he’s the only Chinese-American student at his new school; the powerful Monkey King, subject of one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables; and Chin-Kee, a personification of the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype, who is ruining his cousin Danny’s life with his yearly visits. Their lives and stories come together with an unexpected twist in this action-packed modern fable. American Born Chinese is an amazing ride, all the way up to the astonishing climax.
“We are delighted to continue our relationship with Melvin Mar and Jake Kasdan and thrilled that Destin Daniel Cretton is set to direct,” said Ayo Davis, president, Disney Branded Television. “The team are visionaries in bringing character-driven adventures to life, and we cannot wait for our audience to experience this fantastically memorable and imaginative adaptation of the graphic novel. This is a great universal story that moves between worlds and explores the impact of culture, identity, and acceptance through the lens of adolescence.”
American Born Chinese is the winner of the 2007 Michael L. Printz Award, a 2006 National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature, the winner of the 2007 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album: New, an Eisner Award nominee for Best Coloring, a 2007 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, and a New York Times bestseller. Gene Luen Yang was the fifth the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and is a MacArthur Fellow, a recipient of what’s popularly known as the MacArthur “Genius” Grant.