While Marvel, Star Wars, and The Little Mermaid might have been the main takeaways from this year’s D23 Expo, Disney still has plenty of other projects in the pipeline. The studio also shared a first look at American Born Chinese, a miniseries adaptation of Gene Luen Yang’s acclaimed graphic novel of the same name.
The featurette goes behind the scenes of the upcoming Disney+ show, which follows Jin Yang (Ben Wang), a Chinese-American teenager whose efforts to fit in at his predominantly white school get derailed when a new student arrives from Taiwan. Soon, he finds the mythological world of the Monkey King (Daniel Wu) bleeding into his own.
“The show wants to be what we are, which is our own version of American,” says showrunner and executive producer Kelvin Yu, a veteran Bob’s Burgers writer who was recently seen on The Afterparty.
The preview shows magical martial arts action being dropped into a high school hallway, and the behind the scenes footage highlights the detailed costuming, makeup, and set design.
“We’ve put together this pretty crazy dream team of creatives both behind and in front of the camera,” says executive producer Destin Daniel Cretton. The Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings director is currently under an overall deal with Marvel Studios and Onyx Collective, also owned by Disney; he was recently announced to be working on Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and the Wonder Man series.
The call sheet for American Born Chinese notably reunites Everything Everywhere All At Once stars Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu; Quan had a particularly big weekend, as he was also announced as a new Loki cast member and ran into his Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom co-star Harrison Ford during D23. The series also features Poppy Liu, Yann Yann Yeo, Chin Han, and Sydney Taylor.
Yang serves as an executive producer on the series. Besides his work in independent graphic novels, he has also been a writer for Marvel and DC, as well as the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics.