Chef and restaurateur Eddie Huang will be making his directorial debut with the Focus Features coming-of-age film Boogie, which he also wrote.
Boogie follows a young Chinese-American basketball phenom in New York City who struggles to balance the expectations of his immigrant family with his own dreams of becoming an NBA player.
Newcomer Taylor Takahashi has been cast in the title role, with Pamelyn Chee and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Love, Simon) also set to star.
Josh Bratman of Immersive Pictures, Josh McLaughlin of Wink Productions and Michael Tadross will produce.
“A lot of my work to date has been about the ‘Asian-American Experience’ presented like a triumphal arch because that’s how I’ve felt since the Dipset Anthem dropped,” Huang said Monday in a statement. “Planet Asia needed me to stand out here with my two arms up, but I’m in my Purple Phase now. Boogie is the reflection of my ancestor’s spirit and values as I’ve always felt them navigating me through this American life.”
Added Focus chairman Peter Kujawski: “Eddie Huang is a bulldozer with a wrecking ball attached. He lays waste to expectations and shapes the ground of our culture with every new endeavor he embarks upon, and we couldn’t be any more proud or excited to a part of bringing his voice to the world. Hold on tight and watch what he does here.”
Huang’s memoir Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir was adapted into the ABC television series of the same name starring Constance Wu and Randall Park. Huang, who is repped by UTA, most recently created and starred on Viceland’s Huang’s World.