Amid an absolutely stacked cast, Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once, Nora from Queens) has been cast as a guest star in the new Disney+ series American Born Chinese. According to Variety, “Hsu will appear as Shiji Niangniang, the Goddess of Stones, who works in a modern day jewelry shop along with her magical dog.”
American Born Chinese is based on the graphic novel of the same name by Gene Luen Yang that depicts the intersection of Chinese mythology and family through the enmeshing of three storylines. Kelvin Yu is poised to write, produce, and act as the showrunner for the show, which already reads as being much more action-oriented than the original graphic novel, which told a grounded, careful storyline amid magic and identity. Destin Daniel Cretton (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) directs and executive produces.
In the Disney+ show, the series will follow Jin Wang (Ben Wang), who is struggling to balance his high school social life and the pressures he feels at home. When Jin runs into Chinese exchange student Wei-Chen (Jim Liu) on the first day of school, “their worlds collide as Jin becomes entangled in a battle of Chinese mythological gods. Identity, culture and family are themes throughout,” according to Variety.
Also in the cast is Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan, both of whom starred alongside Hsu in the Daniels’ multiverse film, Everything Everywhere All at Once. Revealed in a Disney press release, Yeoh (who was also in Cretton’s Shang-Chi) will play 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. Quan plays as Freddy Wong, a fictional character from a popular mid-1990s sitcom. Also in the cast is Daniel Wu as the Monkey King, Sun Wukong—the legendary, all-powerful god of the Chinese epic Journey to the West, who enters our world in search of his son. There’s no word yet on when American Born Chinese might be premiering, but it’s high on our list of must-watch series when it does.
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