A series adaptation of Min Jin Lee’s 2007 debut novel “Free Food for Millionaires” is currently in development exclusively for Netflix.
The novel, which made several best-of lists after it was first released, explores New York City in the 1990s from a unique Asian American perspective.
The plot follows Casey Han, a “strong-willed, Queens-bred daughter of Korean immigrants who is addicted to a glamorous Manhattan lifestyle she cannot afford.”
After graduating from Princeton University, Casey must juggle her parents’ expectations, overcome financial insecurity and find a way to carve a space for herself in New York high society.
“It’s a premium Asian American family drama told primarily through a Korean American woman who is at this crossroads in her life, as she graduates from an Ivy League school and is kind of straddling two worlds,” Jinny Howe, Netflix’s head of drama development, told Variety.
Howe, the development executive behind “Bridgerton,” Netflix’s most-watched original series to date, mentioned that Lee’s story personally resonated with her, adding that it “is unlike anything else we have on the slate right now.”
Produced by Alan Yang (“Tigertail,” “Parks & Recreation” and “Master of None”), this new Netflix series is poised to make history as Hollywood’s first Asian American hour-long drama with an Asian American-led cast.
On Wednesday, Lee announced that she wrote the pilot episode: “I wrote a pilot script adapting my first novel ‘Free Food for Millionaires.’ Super genius @alanyang wanted to produce it. @netflix bought it. This will be the first Asian American 1-hour drama in Hollywood history.”
Production for Lee’s second novel, “Pachinko,” began in October 2020. The Apple series has an almost all-Asian cast, headed by Lee Min Ho, Jin Ha, Minha Kim, Soji Arai and Kaho Minami.
Feature Images via Getty (right), Min Jin Lee (left