Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

American Born Chinese Disney+ - Everything You Need To Know

After directing the hugely successful Marvel Studios flick "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," Destin Daniel Cretton will re-team with the House of Mouse with a new project. According to Deadline, Cretton will direct a live-action television adaptation of the award-winning graphic novel "American Born Chinese" written by Gene Luen Yang for Disney+. The streamer has mainly stuck to making their prestige shows based around their existing and well-established IP. But now, it appears the platform is branching out with fresher content in hopes that fans of "Loki" and "The Mandalorian" might check out the other shows when their favorites are on hiatus.

Since the new series was announced, there has been quite a bit of interest surrounding "American Born Chinese." And honestly, who could blame Disney fans for being intrigued after seeing what Cretton pulled off with his epic MCU feature film? If you're as interested as us in the upcoming Disney+ show, here's everything we know so far, including the release date, cast, and plot.

When will American Born Chinese be released?

In the past, some Disney+ projects have had quite a quick turnaround from conception to debut. "Just Beyond" entered production in March 2021 (according to The Hollywood Reporter) and debuted on the streaming platform the following October, making for a swift seven-month turnaround. "American Born Chinese" seems to be taking a much longer path to the small screen. Disney ordered and announced its adaptation of "American Born Chinese" in October 2021, according to Comics Beat. Cameras didn't start to roll on the limited series until February 2022, per Entertainment Weekly. And it wasn't until the series was nearly ready to go and a trailer was made available that Disney was ready to announce a release date for the series. Per that trailer, "American Born Chinese" will debut on Disney+ on May 24, 2023. All eight episodes will show up for subscribers on that day.

What is the plot of American Born Chinese?

"American Born Chinese" is based on the graphic novel of the same name written by Gene Luen Yang. As detailed in Variety's October 2021 report on the upcoming show, "American Born Chinese" follows Jin Wang, a teen whose world — which mostly revolves around his family and problems with his social life — is upended when he meets a new foreign exchange student. It's not long before Jin finds himself thrust into an adventure involving the gods of Chinese mythology. The Disney+ release on the new project, as quoted by Comicbook, also describes the series as a "genre-hopping action-comedy."

The show will not only feature plenty of fantastical action and adventure but will also delve into more human themes of identity, culture, and family, as Variety also notes. With the sense of adventure the story seems to promise it definitely seems like Destin Daniel Cretton was the perfect choice to direct this ambitious new show for Disney+, especially after "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings."

Who is starring in American Born Chinese?

Just a couple of months after "Everything Everywhere All At Once" dominated the 2023 Academy Awards, several of the stars of that genre-blending blockbuster will appear on-screen together, according to Deadline. Oscar winners Michelle Yeoh and Key Huy Quan are the biggest names in the epic ensemble series as goddess of mercy Guanyin and Freddy Wong, respectively. Stephanie Hsu will guest star as Shiji Niangniang.

Ben Wang ("Chang Can Dunk") plays principal protagonist Jin Wang, a Chinese-American high school student who gets involved in a battle amongst Chinese mythological figures. Yeo Yann Yann ("Wet Season") and Chin Han ("Mortal Kombat") play Jin's parents, Simon and Christine. Also appearing in major roles in "American Born Chinese" are Daniel Wu ("Reminiscence") as Sun Waking, Poppy Liu ("Hacks") as Princess Iron Fan, Ronny Chieng ("The Daily Show") as a memorable monk, prolific actor James Hong as Jade Emperor, and Jimmy O. Yang ("Silicon Valley") as the Dragon King.

Who is directing, showrunning, and writing American Born Chinese?

Destin Daniel Cretton, best known for his work behind the camera on "The Glass Castle," "Short Term 12," and "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," is set to direct most of the eight-episode "American Born Chinese" series, with "Elementary" and "Charlie's Angels" star Lucy Liu helming an installment. Overseeing the day-to-day creative direction on the limited-run Disney+ series are two TV veterans: Kelvin Yu, a long-time writer and producer for "Bob's Burgers" who also helped make "Central Park" and "Master of None," and his brother, Charles Yu, a writer on innovative sci-fi far including "Westworld," "Lodge 49," and the Marvel-based "Legion."

Charles and Kelvin Yu headed up the writing staff for "American Born Chinese," which also utilized the talents of Vali Chandrasekaran ("Modern Family"), Lana Cho ("Timeless"), Lawrence Dai ("The Late Late Show with James Corden"), Warren Hsu Leonard ("How to Get Away with Murder"), and Kai Wu ("The Flash").

Is there a trailer for American Born Chinese?

"American Born Chinese" is a wildly original, high concept story with a big cast that flirts with many different genres. Anyone not familiar with Gene Luen Yang's graphic novel source material would be well suited to familiarize themselves with a brief rundown of the basics of "American Born Chinese," and the official trailer, released by Disney on April 21, 2023, lays it all out while also building anticipation for the special-effects laden, time-spanning, mythologically-influenced family adventure series.

It's clear from the brief assemblage of clips that "American Born Chinese" is a coming-of-stage story with an edge. It sets up but doesn't spoil the series in demonstrating its about Chinese-American teenager Ben Wang whose life gets changed forever after he meets Wei-Chen, purportedly the son of a god from ancient Chinese mythology. From there he's off and running, and "American Born Chinese" promises many scenes of Michelle Yeoh playing an ethereal, all-powerful figure and imposing warriors engaging in fights in fantastical realms and high school hallways.