Details are starting to come together for Hulu’s miniseries adaptation of Charles Yu’s novel Interior Chinatown. Jimmy O. Yang has signed on to star in the 10-episode drama, and Taika Waititi is set to direct the pilot and serve as an executive producer, as reported by Variety.
Interior Chinatown was immediately acclaimed upon its release in January 2020 for its dark humor and unique storytelling, going on to win the National Book Award. Written in the format of a script, it interrogates Asian stereotypes in Hollywood and the American dream. Penguin Random House’s official synopsis reads:
Willis Wu doesn’t perceive himself as the protagonist in his own life: he’s merely Generic Asian Man. Sometimes he gets to be Background Oriental Making a Weird Face or even Disgraced Son, but always he is relegated to a prop. Yet every day, he leaves his tiny room in a Chinatown SRO and enters the Golden Palace restaurant, where Black and White, a procedural cop show, is in perpetual production. He’s a bit player here, too, but he dreams of being Kung Fu Guy—the most respected role that anyone who looks like him can attain. Or is it?
Yu will be adapting the novel himself and serving as showrunner. He also has previous experience as a TV writer, working on shows including Legion, Westworld, and Lodge 49. Recently, he helped adapt Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel American Born Chinese for the forthcoming Disney+ miniseries.
Actor and stand-up comedian Yang is best known for his roles in Silicon Valley and Crazy Rich Asians. He was also in the cast of Space Force and starred in the Netflix Christmas catfishing rom-com Love Hard.
Waititi has so much going on that it’s no surprise that he’s only working on one episode of Interior Chinatown. The Thor: Ragnarok director was, as of this summer, “trying to write” his secretive Star Wars movie. He is also writing and directing for Apple TV+’s Time Bandits series and has appeared both in front of and behind the camera on Our Flag Means Death, which was recently renewed for a second season.