Destin Daniel Cretton’s American Born Chinese Announces Cast
It’s not the unspecified Marvel series he’s been attached to, but Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton‘s other comic adaptation for Disney+ is taking shape. American Born Chinese, adapted from the multiple award-winning graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang, just added some big names. Including a major Shang-Chi alumnus. The story combines the Chinese legend of the Monkey King with modern-day Asian-American identity struggles.
Per Deadline, Ben Wang will play young second-generation immigrant Jin, with Into the Badlands‘ Daniel Wu as the Monkey King. Michelle Yeoh stars as the aunt of Jin’s friend Wei-Chen, and ’80s favorite Ke Huy Quan will play fictional sitcom star Freddy Wong. Other cast include Yeo Yann Yann as Jin’s mother Christine, Jin Han as his father Simon, Jim Liu as Wei-Chen, and Sydney Taylor as Jin’s crush Amelia. Author Yang has also worked on the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics and DC’s New Super-Man.
American Born Chinese intertwines real-life Asian identity struggles with mystical traditions in a three-part story. While the series may not necessarily follow the same structure, the first part of the book deals with the legend of the Monkey King. The second focuses on young Jin Wang, who longs to assimilate and not be different. The third follows all-American boy Danny and his annoyingly stereotypical Chinese cousin Chin-Kee. Both of whom have big secrets. There’s no word yet on the casting of Chin-Kee, a character depicted deliberately as an offensive racial caricature. It’s hard to imagine Disney fully going there.
Kelvin Yu (Bobs Burgers) will serve as executive producer, showrunner, and writer, while Cretton will direct.
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Recommended Reading: American Born Chinese Hardcover – Illustrated
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