Shortly after Disney released Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, director Destin Daniel Cretton signed on to helm a series adaptation of Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese. The genre-hopping action-comedy series is described as “a great universal story that moves between worlds and explores the impact of culture, identity, and acceptance through the lens of adolescence.” And now, the series has found its cast.
Cretton reunites with Michelle Yeoh, who also starred in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. She joins an international cast that also includes Ben Wang, two-time International Emmy Award nominee Yeo Yann Yann (Wet Season), Chin Han (Mortal Kombat), Daniel Wu (Reminiscence), Ke Huy Quan (Finding ‘Ohana), former Taekwondo champion Jim Liu, and Sydney Taylor (Just Add Magic).
The story follows Jin Wang, an average teenager juggling his high school social life with his home life. When he meets a new international 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.
Per Disney, the following are the character descriptions for the cast:
· Michelle Yeoh as “Guanyin,” an unassuming auntie, who helps her nephew Wei-Chen navigate the challenges of American high school while maintaining her secret identity as the all-powerful Buddhist bodhisattva of Compassion.
· Ben Wang as “Jin Wang,” an American teen whose parents immigrated from Taiwan, who is struggling to carve out exactly who he’s supposed to be socially and culturally.
· Yeo Yann Yann as Jin’s mom, “Christine Wang,” a strong-willed, opinionated woman with a sly wit, who loves her family deeply.
· Chin Han as Jin’s father, “Simon Wang,” a hard-working, devoted father and husband who is bumping up against the “bamboo ceiling” at his job.
· Daniel Wu as Sun Wukong “The Monkey King,” the legendary, all-powerful god of the Chinese epic Journey to the West, who enters our world in search of his son.
· Ke Huy Quan as “Freddy Wong,” a fictional character from a popular mid-1990s sitcom.
· Jim Liu as Jin’s confident friend “Wei-Chen,” a teen who has just arrived in the United States, whose sweet demeanor belies the deeper mystery of his true identity.
· Sydney Taylor as “Amelia,” a friendly “All-American” girl who is Jin’s classmate and crush.
Cretton directs using a script written by Kelvin Yu, who also serves as showrunner. Melvin Mar and Jake Kasdan (both of Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. for Disney+, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Jumanji: The Next Level feature films, Fresh off the Boat), Erin O’Malley (Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.), Asher Goldstein (Short Term 12, Just Mercy), and Gene Luen Yang serve as executive producers.