Photo from Minjinlee.com
Korean American author Min Jin Lee’s 2007 critically acclaimed debut novel Free Food for Millionaires is slated for a Netflix adaptation and release, Variety reports. In a succinct Tweet, Lee announced that she wrote the pilot episode and will be working alongside Alan Yang (Tigertail, Parks and Recreation, Master of None) to write and produce the new TV series.
This adaptation will make history as the first Asian American hour-long drama with an Asian American-lead cast in Hollywood.
Set in 1990s Manhattan, Free Food for Millionaires follows Casey Han, a Queens-bred Korean American daughter of immigrants. Casey finds herself at a crossroads after graduating from Princeton, torn between her parents’ expectations, constant financial instability and her own dreams of a “glamorous Manhattan lifestyle she cannot afford.”
Casey’s story resonated deeply with Netflix’s head of drama department, Jinny Howe, the exec behind Bridgerton, Netflix’s most-watched original series ever. “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,” she said to Variety. “I’m very excited. I feel this is unlike anything else we have on the slate right now.”
This announcement follows the release of an almost-all-Asian cast of Apple’s adaptation of Lee’s second novel, Pachinko. Set to begin production over multiple continents and three languages last October, the TV series includes major star talent including Lee Min Ho (Boys Over Flowers, The Heirs, The King: Eternal Monarch), Soji Arai/Sohee Park (Cobra Kai, Legacies, The Ramen Girl) and Kaho Minami (Angel Dust, Household X, Masterless).
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