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Disney recently shared exclusive photos to promote its upcoming series “American Born Chinese,” a TV adaptation of Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel of the same name.
On Dec. 21, 2022, Entertainment Weekly published the photos. One of them highlights Michelle Yeoh’s character Guanyin, the deity of compassion, alongside actor Jim Liu’s character Wei-Chen in a school hallway.
Another photo shows “American Born Chinese” protagonist Jin Wang, portrayed by actor Ben Wang, eating with his parents. The third photo features Daniel Wu as Sun Wukong, the Monkey King.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Yang was surprised to learn that countless people, including teachers, librarians, students and comic book fans, are still reading and supporting his graphic novel, which was published in 2006.
I did not expect this when I first did that book. With the show specifically, I think one of the challenging parts, but it’s also one of the most meaningful parts of the show, is thinking through how the conversation about Asian America has changed from the publication of the book until now?
Kelvin Yu, the creator of the Disney Plus series, compared Yang’s combination of heart and humor to medicine when describing the tone of Yang’s work.
In addition to “American Born Chinese,” Yang has also produced other graphic novels, including 2019’s “Superman Smash the Klan” and 2020’s “Dragon Hoops.”
“It’s like there’s something nutritious about what he’s saying, and yet it goes down so well and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. That just checks every box for me as a TV writer,” Yu told Entertainment Weekly.
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, “American Born Chinese” follows Jin Wang, the son of immigrant parents living in the U.S. His life turns upside down once he finds himself entangled in an epic battle that involves Chinese mythological gods.
“American Born Chinese” will premiere on Disney Plus later this year.