The author, producer, and cast of the Disney+ series discuss the mythological superhero series.
Disney+ has mined the world of superheroes quite well with their various series forays into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But, there are other graphic novels and stories that fit within the Disney wheelhouse. It is a fortuitous coincidence that Everything Everywhere All At Once won big at the Academy Awards just as marketing began for American Born Chinese, boasting Oscar winners Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan, plus Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu, amongst many other cast members. But it is no coincidence that American Born Chinese is a solid series for the streaming platform.
American Born Chinese, which has Shang Chi’s Destin Daniel Cretton and Lucy Liu on board as directors, is an adaptation of the comic by Gene Luen Yang. It follows the Journey to the West story about the Monkey King and the mythical battle between gods and humans. Updating that story to a contemporary and American setting, American Born Chinese blends high school characters with the supernatural for an action-packed story about family, legacy, and the fate of humanity with awesome martial arts sequences and special effects.
I chatted with a lot of those involved with American Born Chinese, including stars Ben Wang and Sydney Taylor, who discussed how the series treats teen characters as realistic rather than cliche as well as the future for the pair in season two. Yeo Yann Yann talked about being a part of this global cast and how this series felt as her first American project. Chin Han talked about his connection to the material after being a part of massive projects over the last decades. Daniel Wu talked about portraying another version of this story in Into The Badlands and how this series differs from it. Producer Melvin Mar talked about the series’ journey to the screen, and author Gene Luen Yang gave his feelings on how this adaptation honors his book. Check out the full interviews in the embed above.
American Born Chinese premieres on May 24th on Disney+.