It is on. Warner Bros. has acquired and fast-tracked the movie adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians, based on the popular novel by Kevin Kwan. Rights for the romantic comedy, which will be directed by Jon M. Chu and will feature an exclusively Asian cast, reportedly attracted a heated bidding war.
'Crazy Rich Asians' Adaptation Lands at Warner Bros. (EXCLUSIVE)
Kwan's 2014 bestseller follows Rachel Chu, a Chinese American economics professor in New York who has no idea that her boyfriend, Nick Young, is heir apparent to one of Asia's most wealthy old-money families. When Nick invites Rachel to his best friend's wedding in Singapore, she gets thrown into the obscenely opulent, crazy rich world of Singapore high society -- and the gossip, backbiting and scheming that comes with it.
Crazy Rich Asians, produced by Nina Jacobson's Color Force (which produced The Hunger Games series) with Chu directing from a screenplay by Pete Chiarelli (The Proposal), could start shooting as early as this spring in Singapore. To get the gig, Chu -- the son of Chinese immigrants -- apparently put together a visual presentation that included family photos to show his deeply personal connection to the material.
It's been a verrrrry long time since we've seen a major motion picture from a Hollywood studio, helmed by an Asian American director, starring an all-Asian cast. It's about time. The producers think that the characters and unique world of Crazy Rich Asians is a great way to put a new twist on the flagging romantic comedy genre.
"At a time where we keep asking how we can compete with TV and other offerings, it's important to give people something different," producer Brad Simpson tells Variety. "We're taking them to a world that hasn't been shown much on film." No joke. We're over two decades out from The Joy Luck Club.
And hopefully, Emma Stone will be nowhere in sight.
So they've got a studio and a director. Next big question: who's going to star in Crazy Rich Asians? According to Variety, producers are embarking on a worldwide search for the cast. Not long after the book was optioned for film, fans were already compiling their dream casts for the wildly popular book. Nobody's been officially cast yet, but I'm betting you've never seen a Hollywood project with this many beautiful Asians in one movie.
And of course, there's sequel potential. Kwan wrote Crazy Rich Asians as the first book in a planned trilogy. The follow-up, China Rich Girlfriend was published last year, and the last installment in the series, Rich People Problems, is due out next summer.
I'm a huge fan of these books. This could be a lot of fun. (Please don't mess it up.)
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