Disney Branded Television has unveiled the cast for the Disney+ original series American Born Chinese — and it is bubbling over with Asian icons. The genre-hopping action-comedy based on the graphic novel of the same name by Gene Luen Yang feature Michelle Yeoh (Shang-Chi, forthcoming Everything Everywhere All At Once), Ben Wang (MacGyver), 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).
Emmy-winning writer/producer Kelvin Yu of Bob’s Burgers serves as showrunner and will serve as executive producer alongside Lang and Destin Daniel Cretton, who will direct. Melvin Mar and Jake Kasdan, who also serve as producers on Disney+’s Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. and the upcoming pilot for AZNBBGRL, will also serve as executive producers with Erin O’Malley (Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.) and Asher Goldstein (who worked with Cretton on Short Term 12, Just Mercy).
American Born Chinese tells the story of Jin Wang, an average teenager juggling his high school social life with his home life. When he meets a new foreign 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. The action-packed coming-of-age adventure explores identity, culture, and family.
Here’s the tea on 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.
A Disney Branded Television series, American Born Chinese is produced by 20th Television and will begin production later this month in Los Angeles.