After the huge success of her 2019 feature film The Farewell, director Lulu Wang is coming back this year with a new limited series called Expats. The Expatriates, a 2016 book by Janice Y. K. Lee, is adapted into a television series. The project, which is set in Hong Kong, has been under development since 2018 when Blossom Films, a production firm, and Amazon Studios collaborated to approve an adaptation of the series. Nicole Kidman, who starred in Moulin Rouge and later served as executive producer, is the company’s notable leader. Wang was brought on board before the end of 2019 with the responsibility of writing, directing, and executive producing the series. In January 2022, Wang also agreed to a television contract with Amazon through her newly formed production company, Local Time. However, the series hasn’t had an easy ride because of several disputes.
There was talk at the beginning of filming about Kidman’s exemption from the required hotel quarantine. Hong Kong news outlets were undoubtedly disturbed by the actress’s apparent preferential treatment in the circumstances, as the stringent quarantine protocol was being unjustly shortened. COVID outbreaks caused production halts, which had an effect on the series. Furthermore, given the historical context of the novel’s writing, it is possible that Hong Kong’s ongoing political turmoil would be missed or minimized in the series. This has drawn even more criticism. Notwithstanding the criticism, Expats is an exciting production because of the incredible talent both in front of and behind the camera. Check out the guide below for all the information we currently know about expats before settling in for the drama series.
- Sarayu Blue as Hilary Starr
- Nicole Kidman as Margaret
- Ji-young Yoo as Mercy
- Brian Tee as Clarke
- Tiana Gowen as Daisy Woo
- Bodhi del Rosario as Philip Woo
- Amelyn Pardenilla as Puri
- Jack Huston as David Starr
- Blessing Mokgohloa as Pastor Alan
- Jennifer Beveridge as Tilda
When Is The Release Date of Expats?
The six-episode limited series’ launch date is set for January 26, 2024, according to Prime Video. The show debuted its sixth standalone episode on September 8 at the Toronto International Film Festival, ahead of its broadcast.
Is There a Trailer for Expats?
Prime Video debuted the first official trailer for Expats on December 19, 2023. The long teaser introduces us to Nicole Kidman’s lead character and provides a closer look at the series’ broader plot.
What Is The Expats Plot?
Three ladies from various backgrounds comprise the series and the titular exiles of Lee’s 2016 book. After relocating from America to Hong Kong, the three of them struggle with issues that impact their futures and pasts. Married ladies Margaret and Hilary have different home lives that are cloaked in tragedy. Mercy is a younger woman who recently graduated from college looking for a new beginning. These three ladies are linked together by fate in the novel, where they face the problems endangering their relationships and general well-being. As the tale revolves around Margaret, Hilary, and Mercy, the episodes will have non-linear narratives that are certain to hold the viewer’s attention.
The official synopsis for the series from Prime Video:
Set against the complex tapestry of Hong Kong residents, Expats depicts a multifaceted group of women after a single encounter sets off a chain of life-altering events that leaves everyone navigating the intricate balance between blame and accountability.
Additionally, the novel’s official synopsis offers some further details on what to expect from the series:
In the glittering city of Hong Kong, expats arrive daily for myriad reasons—to find or lose themselves in a foreign place, and to forget or remake themselves far from home. Amidst this hothouse atmosphere, a tragic incident causes three American women’s lives to collide in ways that will rewrite every assumption of their privileged world: Mercy, a young Korean American and recent Columbia graduate, once again finds herself compromised and adrift, trying to start her life anew; Hilary, a wealthy housewife, is haunted by her struggle to have a child, hoping to save her uncertain marriage; meanwhile, Margaret, once the enviable mother of three, tries to negotiate an existence that has become utterly unrecognizable after a catastrophic event. Faced with unthinkable choices, these three women form a profound connection that defies the norms of the sequestered community—finding in each other a strength borne of need, forgiveness, and ultimately hope.
Who Are the Creators of Expats?
As the showrunner, director, writer, and executive producer, this is Lulu Wang’s first venture into television. Producer Janice Y.K. Lee is also the author of this adaptation. Nicole Kidman, Alice Bell (Puberty Blues), Melanie Marnich (The OA), Daniele Melia (The Farewell), Per Saari (The Undoing), Stan Wlodkowski (The Old Guard), and Theresa Park (Roar) are among the executive producers. Anne Franquesa-Solano (The Farewell) handled the show’s cinematography, and Matthew Friedman (Palm Springs) and Alex O’Flinn (The Rider) finished out the editing.