Sometimes you just know that a project is special from the very beginning. Disney’s American Born Chinese is one of those special projects, with an incredible cast, led by stars Michelle Yeoh, Daniel Wu, Ke Huy Quan and Ben Wong, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, and with Kelvin Yu as showrunner. With that level of talent involved, and with a source material as rich as the graphic novel of the same name by Gene Luen Yang, this series has all the elements of a hit.
Today, Disney revealed a new TV spot, which finally announced the premiere date for American Born Chinese, set for May 24th on Disney+. The timing is no accident, as the spot highlights not only Yeoh and Quan, but Stephanie Hsu, who will be appearing as a guest star. The trio of course are set to take center stage tonight at the 95th Academy Awards, where their film Everything Everywhere All At Once is nominated for Best Picture, Yeoh is nominated for Best Actress, and Quan and Hsu are up for Best Supporting Actor and Actress respectively.
To be sure, American Born Chinese is a bit of a combination reunion of Everything Everywhere All At Once and Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (comedian and actor Ronny Chieng from Shang-Chi will also appear in the show), which is another indicator of how good the series will likely be.
In my recent interview with Ben Wang, who also stars in the recently released Disney+ film Chang Can Dunk, he talked about how incredible it was to work on this series with those he grew up idolizing. “All of them are so kind and wonderful and generous. Despite their immense success, their immense fame and despite everything they’ve been through, they’re still such wonderful and down-to-earth people, that that really lit a fire under my butt…that’s the standard for being a working actor,” Wang said about working with the likes of Yeoh, Quan, Wu and Cretton. “You can be successful and famous, and a kind, generous and down-to-earth person.”
The world premiere of American Born Chinese will take place at SXSW this coming Wednesday, March 15th. Following that premiere, the rest of us will have to patiently wait for two more months before the series releases on Disney+. It’s not clear yet how many episodes will make up the first season and whether they will drop all at once or on a set schedule. I’m sure all of those details will be released after the SXSW premiere.
In the meantime, I strongly recommend everyone read Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel, which was originally released in 2006 and is even more relevant today. It’s a fun read that’s full of thought-provoking ideas and themes, and an introspective look at the Asian American experience.
DISNEY+ SETS MAY 24 PREMIERE DATE FOR HIGHLY ANTICIPATED ORIGINAL SERIES
‘AMERICAN BORN CHINESE’
Exclusive Oscar Spot Highlighting Series Nominees Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Guest Star Stephanie Hsu Available Now
BURBANK, Calif. (March 12, 2023) — Today, Disney+ revealed the May 24 premiere date for the Disney+ Original series “American Born Chinese,” in a newly-released :30 TV spot that will air during tonight’s Oscars telecast’s commercial breaks. This :30 first look at the genre-hopping action-comedy from Disney Branded Television series produced by 20th Television, celebrates the show’s three Oscar nominees: Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and guest star Stephanie Hsu.
Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Gene Luen Yang, “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 coming-of-age adventure features an all-star international cast, including Academy® Award-Nominees and Golden Globe winners Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”), Ben Wang (“Chang Can Dunk”), two-time International Emmy Award nominee Yeo Yann Yann (“Wet Season”), Chin Han (“Mortal Kombat”), Daniel Wu (“Reminiscence”), former Taekwondo champion Jimmy Liu and Sydney Taylor (“Just Add Magic”). Academy® Award nominee Stephanie Hsu (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) guest stars.
Emmy® Award-winning writer/producer Kelvin Yu (“Bob’s Burgers,” “Central Park”) serves as executive producer and showrunner. Destin Daniel Cretton (Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Short Term 12”) is set to direct and serves as executive producer, alongside Melvin Mar and Jake Kasdan (both of “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.,” “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and “Jumanji: The Next Level”), Erin O’Malley (“Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.”), Asher Goldstein (“Short Term 12,” “Just Mercy”) and Gene Luen Yang.
Disney+ is the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, along with The Simpsons and much more. In select international markets, it also includes the general entertainment content brand, Star. The flagship direct-to-consumer streaming service from The Walt Disney Company, Disney+ offers an ever-growing collection of exclusive originals, including feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series, and short-form content. With unprecedented access to Disney’s long history of incredible film and television entertainment, Disney+ is also the exclusive streaming home for the newest releases from The Walt Disney Studios. Disney+ is available as a standalone streaming service, as part of the Disney Bundle in the U.S. that gives subscribers access to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, or as part of Combo+ in Latin America with Star+, the standalone general entertainment and sports streaming service in the region. For more, visit disneyplus.com, or find the Disney+ app on most mobile and connected TV devices.
About Disney Branded Television
Disney Branded Television encompasses the creative storytellers and production and content marketing teams responsible for Disney-branded television series, movies and other programming spanning live-action, animated and unscripted formats. The group fuels the Disney+ streaming platform and Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior linear networks with content geared toward kids, tweens, teens and families, with stories that are imaginative, aspirational and reflective of their world and experiences. Recent projects include “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” “Monsters at Work,” “The Mysterious Benedict Society” and “Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends.” Disney Branded Television has created some of the most iconic and award-winning properties and franchises, including Peabody Award winners “Doc McStuffins” and “The Owl House”; Emmy Award winners “Big City Greens” and “Elena of Avalor”; the beloved “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts plus the Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM) franchise, comprised of more than 100 titles.
About 20th Television:
One of the Disney Television Studios, 20th Television is a prolific supplier of entertainment programming, including Hulu’s most watched comedy ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING from Dan Fogelman, John Hoffman and Steve Martin, HOW I MET YOUR FATHER from Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, and critically acclaimed dramas THE DROPOUT from Liz Meriwether, and DOPESICK from Danny Strong and starring Michael Keaton; ABC’s new comedy hit ABBOTT ELEMENTARY from Quinta Brunson, and THE WONDER YEARS from Saladin Patterson and Lee Daniels; FX’s newest hit THE OLD MAN from Jon Steinberg and starring Jeff Bridges and its blockbuster series AMERICAN HORROR STORY from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk; NBC’s top series THIS IS US from Dan Fogelman; Fox’s No. 1 drama, 9-1-1 and its spinoff 9-1-1: LONE STAR from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear, in addition to dozens of others. 20th Television shows have amassed a collective 1867 Emmy nominations and 214 Emmy wins, as well as multiple Golden Globes, Humanitas Prizes and Peabody Awards. The studio’s landmark series from its 70 year library include such classics as BATMAN, MODERN FAMILY, M*A*S*H, GLEE, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, BONES, EMPIRE, FRESH OFF THE BOAT, 24, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, NEW GIRL and THE X-FILES.
Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture. He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.