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Arts Netflix Buys TV Adaptation of Min Jin Lee's Free Food For Millionaires

Netflix Buys TV Adaptation of Min Jin Lee's Free Food For Millionaires

Author Min Jin Lee (photo: Courtesy)
Author Min Jin Lee (photo: Courtesy)
By Danica Lo
January 28, 2021
The show, which will be executive produced by Alan Yang, will be the first hour-long Asian American drama in Hollywood history

Netflix announced today that the streaming platform has acquired the rights to Free Food for Millionairesauthor Min Jin Lee's 2007 debut novel, and will develop it as a series—the first one-hour dramatic television series starring an Asian-American led cast in the history of Hollywood, according to Lee. Alan Yang, previously executive producer of Master of None and writer-director of Tigertail has signed on to executive produce.

Free Food for Millionaires follows Queens-born Princeton-educated protagonist Casey Han as she finds herself "immersed in a glamorous Manhattan lifestyle she can't afford."

"Set in a city where millionaires scramble for the free lunches the poor are too proud to accept, this sharp-eyed epic of love, greed, and ambition is a compelling portrait of intergenerational strife, immigrant struggle, and social and economic mobility," the 2007 blurb reads. "Addictively readable, Min Jin Lee's bestselling debut Free Food for Millionaires exposes the intricate layers of a community clinging to its old ways in a city packed with haves and have-nots."

Set in 1990s Manhattan, Free Food for Millionaires is a first-generation coming of age story entrenched in class, race, and love struggles. 

Related: 24 New movies coming to Netflix in 2021



"My favourite books are all 19th-century books," Lee told the Fallout Central podcast in 2008. "And all 19th-century books that are classics that I really admire work in that same kind of way: they're community books and they're written in omniscient narration, which means you are in every single point of view.

"I really wanted to have a work where Asian American characters are central, and to see how we think about each other, and how our relationships look to each other, as well as how they actually are."


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