Gemma Chan Stars In And Produces Anna May Wong Biopic

The actress is set to portray the Chinese American Hollywood legend in an upcoming film that she is co-producing

There is no moment of rest for Gemma Chan who, fresh off the set of Marvel’s Eternals which released last November, is headed straight into her next project, a biopic honoring the late Anna May Wong. The actress is largely considered the first Chinese American movie star, rising to international recognition through silent film, sound film, television, stage, and radio personalities. Sixty-one years after her passing, Chan and Nina Yang Bongiovi are teaming up to co-produce a biopic of the Hollywood legend’s life and career, starring Chan herself.

@GemmaChan on Instagram, courtesy of @LaraJadePhotography

“Anna May Wong was a trailblazer, an icon and a woman ahead of her time,” Chan said in a statement. “Her talent and her exploration of her art both in and outside of the U.S. was groundbreaking — and the challenges and prejudice she faced in the early 20th century as an actress speak directly to the conversations and the world we are navigating today.”

An adaptation of Graham Russell Gao Hodges’s biography, Anna May Wong: From Laundrywoman’s Daughter to Hollywood Legend, the film’s screenplay will be led by David Henry Hwang, who made history in 1988 as the first Asian American playwright to win a Tony Award. Wong, whose career was plagued by industry prejudice and discrimination, appeared in 60 films between 1919 and 1960. In response to limited opportunities in Hollywood, she went overseas to perform in Europe, dedicating a large portion of her career to portraying Chinese accounts of life during World War II.


The biopic is created in honor of Wong as a pioneer for Chinese Americans in Hollywood and beyond, and is written with consultation from her niece, Anna Wong. For Chan, her plate is full of upcoming releases, as she’s set to appear in Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling, releasing this September, and Gareth Edwards’s True Love, which is under production in Thailand. As of now, there is no release date for the biopic.

Discover More