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American Born Chinese Disney+ - What We Know So Far

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.

What is the release date of American Born Chinese?

As of right now, there is no set release date for "American Born Chinese" on Disney+, but fans shouldn't expect the show to launch until late 2022 at the earliest. According to Comicbook, the project has been busy assembling its crew behind the scenes. This includes Destin Daniel Cretton, who will serve as director, and showrunners Kelvin Yu and his brother Charles Yu, known for their respective work on "Bob's Burgers" and "Westworld." The series seems like it will be quite a hefty undertaking and, since filming has not commenced on the project yet, there is no way of knowing when "American Born Chinese" will finally launch. 

In the past, some Disney+ projects have had quite a quick turnaround. The recently released "Just Beyond" was in production as of March (via The Hollywood Reporter) and debuted the streaming platform in October, making it a seven-month turnaround for the project. However, there was almost a year between when the series was first announced (via Deadline) to when it actually started filming. So, there is a possibility we may not even see "American Born Chinese" until early 2023, perhaps getting a January release tied to Chinese New Year.

Who is in the cast of American Born Chinese?

There have been no official cast announcements yet for "American Born Chinese," but the show's impressive line-up behind the scenes could lead to plenty of interesting choices. Given Destin Daniel Cretton's involvement, perhaps Arnold Sun, the young actor who played the teenage Shang-Chi in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," will take on a lead role. Per Deadline's announcement, "Fresh Off the Boat" executive producer Jake Kasdan is also working on the new project. With this in mind, there's also a possibility that Forrest Wheeler, one of the show's stars, could be cast in a key role.

The Goodreads page for the graphic novel on which the Disney+ adaptation of "American Born Chinese" is based also mentions the Monkey King, a character from Chinese mythology (via Muhlenberg Pressbooks). The role of the Monkey King could allow the show to cast a prominent Chinese actor in the role, such as Donnie Yen or Jet Li. Both actors have appeared in projects under the Disney umbrella; Yen starred in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" and Li had a small role in the live-action remake of "Mulan." Either actor's inclusion on the show could draw even more potential interest in the series. Since the show has already been greenlit, we should probably know the answers of who's joining the cast of "American Born Chinese" soon enough.

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 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."