‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Breakout Constance Wu in Talks for Rom-Com at Screen Gems

Constance Wu, the star of “Fresh off the Boat” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” will be looking for love in yet another romantic comedy.

Wu is in talks to star in an untitled romantic comedy from Screen Gems, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Savion Einstein (the upcoming “The Longest Birthday”) wrote the screenplay, and Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman are producing. Kimmy Gatewood, who stars as a wrestler on the Netflix show “GLOW,” is in talks to make her directorial feature debut on the film. She’s previously directed a handful of shorts and several episodes of the 2016 show “Junketeers.”

Also Read: Constance Wu: It’s ‘Overdue’ for Sandra Oh to Host the Golden Globes

The logline for the untitled rom-com is currently being kept under wraps. Sony had no comment.

Wu is fresh off a Golden Globe nomination for her work in “Crazy Rich Asians” alongside Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh and Awkwafina. Wu is expected to return for the film’s two sequels. “Crazy Rich Asians,” based on Kevin Kwan’s novel and directed by Jon M. Chu, has made $237 million worldwide at the box office.

Also Read: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Goes Ignored at Chinese Box Office

Wu is repped by UTA, Principal Entertainment and the Gotham Group. Gatewood is repped by Gersh and Haven Entertainment. Einstein is repped by Gersh.

Deadline was first to report.

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Constance Wu, the star of “Fresh off the Boat” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” will be looking for love in yet another romantic comedy.

Wu is in talks to star in an untitled romantic comedy from Screen Gems, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Savion Einstein (the upcoming “The Longest Birthday”) wrote the screenplay, and Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman are producing. Kimmy Gatewood, who stars as a wrestler on the Netflix show “GLOW,” is in talks to make her directorial feature debut on the film. She’s previously directed a handful of shorts and several episodes of the 2016 show “Junketeers.”

The logline for the untitled rom-com is currently being kept under wraps. Sony had no comment.

Wu is fresh off a Golden Globe nomination for her work in “Crazy Rich Asians” alongside Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh and Awkwafina. Wu is expected to return for the film’s two sequels. “Crazy Rich Asians,” based on Kevin Kwan’s novel and directed by Jon M. Chu, has made $237 million worldwide at the box office.

Wu is repped by UTA, Principal Entertainment and the Gotham Group. Gatewood is repped by Gersh and Haven Entertainment. Einstein is repped by Gersh.

Deadline was first to report.

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Star Constance Wu in Negotiations for Romantic Comedy

“Crazy Rich Asians” star Constance Wu is in talks to join Sony’s Screen Gems’ untitled romantic comedy, with Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman producing. “GLOW” actress Kimmy Gatewood is making her feature directoria…

“Crazy Rich Asians” star Constance Wu is in talks to join Sony’s Screen Gems’ untitled romantic comedy, with Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman producing. “GLOW” actress Kimmy Gatewood is making her feature directorial debut on the project. She will be directing from a Savion Einstein script about a woman who becomes pregnant with two babies […]

Ivanhoe Pictures Boards Priyanka Chopra’s ‘The Sky is Pink’

“Crazy Rich Asians” producer Ivanhoe Pictures has come on board Priyanka Chopra’s family drama “The Sky Is Pink.” Ivanhoe will co-invest and co-produce. Fact-based, “Pink” is written and directed by top director Shonali Bose and is based on the life of…

“Crazy Rich Asians” producer Ivanhoe Pictures has come on board Priyanka Chopra’s family drama “The Sky Is Pink.” Ivanhoe will co-invest and co-produce. Fact-based, “Pink” is written and directed by top director Shonali Bose and is based on the life of motivational speaker Aisha Chaudhury. The film is Chopra’s first in India since her U.S. […]

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Honored at Unforgettable Awards: ‘One Movie Every 25 Years is Just Not F—ing Enough’

Fresh on the heels of its Golden Globe nomination, “Crazy Rich Asians” was the talk of the evening at Kore Asian Media’s 17th annual Unforgettable Awards. Saturday’s event, which celebrates Asian-American trailblazers and their achievements in th…

Fresh on the heels of its Golden Globe nomination, “Crazy Rich Asians” was the talk of the evening at Kore Asian Media’s 17th annual Unforgettable Awards. Saturday’s event, which celebrates Asian-American trailblazers and their achievements in the entertainment industry, honored a host of Asian actors, directors and influencers, including “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. […]

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Star Constance Wu & Director Jon M. Chu On Golden Globe Noms & Bigger Picture

Crazy Rich Asians was the surprise sensation of the year, and its hot streak continued Thursday with two nominations for the 76th annual Golden Globes, including Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical).
Constance Wu got the other nomination, with her b…

Crazy Rich Asians was the surprise sensation of the year, and its hot streak continued Thursday with two nominations for the 76th annual Golden Globes, including Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical). Constance Wu got the other nomination, with her buoyant portrayal of New York professor Rachel Chu earning mention for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical. Wu said the nomination was an affirmation of the film’s success and the ensuing surge in Hollywood interest in projects…

Constance Wu: It’s ‘Overdue’ for Sandra Oh to Host the Golden Globes

Golden Globes nomination day was one to celebrate for Asian Americans in Hollywood, as “Crazy Rich Asians” and its lead star, Constance Wu, earned nominations for Best Picture and Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.

But that wasn’t the only big moment for Asians in Hollywood. For the first time on any major awards show — Oscars, Grammys, Tonys, Emmys or Golden Globes — an Asian will serve as host, as Sandra Oh is tapped to handle emcee duties for the Globes alongside Andy Samberg. And Constance Wu says it’s about time.

“It’s long overdue for Sandra to host,” Wu told TheWrap. “I remember reading an interview where she said that when she read the script for ‘Killing Eve,’ she assumed that she was being offered a supporting role. Those were the only kind of stories that have been offered in her career.”

Also Read: Golden Globes Shatters Diversity Record: 4 of 10 Best Picture Nominees Have Non-White Directors

“For a woman like her to assume that she isn’t getting offered leading roles, that in and of itself is a big indicator of the need for change. For a long time, people weren’t talking about that need, but now they are. And for her to be recognized for her role in ‘Killing Eve’ and to be hosting is just long overdue and I couldn’t think of anybody more deserving. It should have happened a long time ago,” Wu said.

Earlier this year, Sandra Oh’s performance in “Killing Eve” made her the first Asian woman to be nominated for a Best Lead Actress Emmy, and now she is adding a Golden Globe nomination to her list.

Wu is also making history, as she is the first Asian woman in 44 years to be nominated for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, and only the fourth in the history of the Globes. The other three were Machiko Kyo in 1957 for “The Teahouse of the August Moon,” Miyoshi Umeki in 1961 for “Flower Drum Song” — the only performance by an Asian woman to win an Oscar — and Yvonne Elliman in 1974 for “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Also Read: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Nears $150 Million, and It’s Not Just Because of Asian Moviegoers

Wu says she’s proud that “Crazy Rich Asians” is showing that there is a demand for Asian representation among moviegoers. And while other Asian actresses might look for roles where their ethnicity isn’t at the forefront of their character, she is looking for leading roles that are specifically informed by Asian-American culture, as in “Crazy Rich Asians.” Her words are similar to those of “This Is Us” star Sterling K. Brown, who, during his Golden Globe acceptance speech this year, said he was grateful to play a role specifically written for an African American.

“This might be a little controversial, but I want to do roles where the Asian part of my identity is essential to the role,” Wu says. “There are other Asian actresses who have said they believe they have achieved success when race is incidental to their character. But for me, there’s a difference between diversity and representation. Representing is about proudly putting forward the thing about you that makes you different, and it’s not just how you look.”

Also Read: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Goes Ignored at Chinese Box Office

“I think that’s something I want Asian Americans to be proud of and to not see as incidental. I don’t think it should be the total of a character, but race does have an impact on who we are, and I want to be a part of stories that don’t neutralize that impact.”

“Crazy Rich Asians” is available on Blu-Ray and digital now. The 76th Annual Golden Globes will air on NBC on Jan. 6.

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Goes Ignored at Chinese Box Office

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Golden Globes nomination day was one to celebrate for Asian Americans in Hollywood, as “Crazy Rich Asians” and its lead star, Constance Wu, earned nominations for Best Picture and Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.

But that wasn’t the only big moment for Asians in Hollywood. For the first time on any major awards show — Oscars, Grammys, Tonys, Emmys or Golden Globes — an Asian will serve as host, as Sandra Oh is tapped to handle emcee duties for the Globes alongside Andy Samberg. And Constance Wu says it’s about time.

“It’s long overdue for Sandra to host,” Wu told TheWrap. “I remember reading an interview where she said that when she read the script for ‘Killing Eve,’ she assumed that she was being offered a supporting role. Those were the only kind of stories that have been offered in her career.”

“For a woman like her to assume that she isn’t getting offered leading roles, that in and of itself is a big indicator of the need for change. For a long time, people weren’t talking about that need, but now they are. And for her to be recognized for her role in ‘Killing Eve’ and to be hosting is just long overdue and I couldn’t think of anybody more deserving. It should have happened a long time ago,” Wu said.

Earlier this year, Sandra Oh’s performance in “Killing Eve” made her the first Asian woman to be nominated for a Best Lead Actress Emmy, and now she is adding a Golden Globe nomination to her list.

Wu is also making history, as she is the first Asian woman in 44 years to be nominated for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, and only the fourth in the history of the Globes. The other three were Machiko Kyo in 1957 for “The Teahouse of the August Moon,” Miyoshi Umeki in 1961 for “Flower Drum Song” — the only performance by an Asian woman to win an Oscar — and Yvonne Elliman in 1974 for “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Wu says she’s proud that “Crazy Rich Asians” is showing that there is a demand for Asian representation among moviegoers. And while other Asian actresses might look for roles where their ethnicity isn’t at the forefront of their character, she is looking for leading roles that are specifically informed by Asian-American culture, as in “Crazy Rich Asians.” Her words are similar to those of “This Is Us” star Sterling K. Brown, who, during his Golden Globe acceptance speech this year, said he was grateful to play a role specifically written for an African American.

“This might be a little controversial, but I want to do roles where the Asian part of my identity is essential to the role,” Wu says. “There are other Asian actresses who have said they believe they have achieved success when race is incidental to their character. But for me, there’s a difference between diversity and representation. Representing is about proudly putting forward the thing about you that makes you different, and it’s not just how you look.”

“I think that’s something I want Asian Americans to be proud of and to not see as incidental. I don’t think it should be the total of a character, but race does have an impact on who we are, and I want to be a part of stories that don’t neutralize that impact.”

“Crazy Rich Asians” is available on Blu-Ray and digital now. The 76th Annual Golden Globes will air on NBC on Jan. 6.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Crazy Rich Asians' Goes Ignored at Chinese Box Office

CBS Orders Put Pilot Sitcom From 'Crazy Rich Asians' Author Kevin Kwan

'Crazy Rich Asians' Star Jimmy O. Yang on the 'Almost Therapeutic' Process of Writing His Memoir

Nina Jacobson & Brad Simpson’s Color Force Celebrates Diversity At Golden Globe Noms, Tease Details About ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Sequels

When assessing the diversity strength of the Golden Globes this morning, look no further than Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson’s Color Force production label. It racked up eight nominations across their Warner Bros feature Crazy Rich Asians and FX …

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Constance Wu: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Would Have Had an Impact Even if It Wasn’t Successful

“Crazy Rich Asians” was a massive box office success, but star Constance Wu says she felt intense pressure before its release. Not only was the film her first time as the lead, it was her first studio movie ever, and Wu says she’s gra…

“Crazy Rich Asians” was a massive box office success, but star Constance Wu says she felt intense pressure before its release. Not only was the film her first time as the lead, it was her first studio movie ever, and Wu says she’s grateful that Warner Bros. trusted emerging voices. “The fact that it existed […]

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As the first awards show of the calendar year, the Golden Globes is often an opportunity to honor a series or star for the first time. The voting committee of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. often seems to pride itself on celebrating the unexpected a…

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Goes Ignored at Chinese Box Office

Movie audiences in China largely ignored Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians,” which opened this weekend in the lucrative market and only grossed $1.2 million.

It was a surprise for many Chinese box office analysts that the romantic comedy even got a release there. “Crazy Rich Asians” was approved for release by China’s film board last month, along with fellow WB titles “Aquaman” and “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.” The film’s focus on extravagant wealth, often flaunted by Singapore elites who emigrated from China, was expected to be a dealbreaker for the Chinese government.

Also Read: Will China Embrace ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Like America Has?

Instead, China’s film board approved the film without any cuts… but it has come and gone without many Chinese moviegoers noticing. While an all-Asian cast has made “Crazy Rich Asians” a major cultural landmark — there hasn’t been a film with such a cast since “The Joy Luck Club” a quarter-century ago — romantic comedies with all-Asian casts are a dime a dozen in China and other Asian markets. Even the presence of themes about honoring family — something that made “Coco” a big hit last year — didn’t move the needle.

Regardless, this result is hardly a knock against “Crazy Rich Asians” or Warner Bros. Jon M. Chu’s film is already a hit with $238 million grossed worldwide against a $30 million budget. There are already plans to develop a sequel, “China Rich Girlfriend,” though the studio is still a long ways from production, as Chu and the film’s cast have many other projects they are attached to.

Warner Bros., meanwhile, already has an overseas hit with “Fantastic Beasts,” which crossed the $500 million mark globally this weekend with $385 million coming from overseas. The studio should also top the Chinese charts next week with the release of “Aquaman,” which is hitting the Middle Kingdom two weeks before its arrival in the U.S.

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Nears $150 Million, and It’s Not Just Because of Asian Moviegoers

Movie audiences in China largely ignored Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians,” which opened this weekend in the lucrative market and only grossed $1.2 million.

It was a surprise for many Chinese box office analysts that the romantic comedy even got a release there. “Crazy Rich Asians” was approved for release by China’s film board last month, along with fellow WB titles “Aquaman” and “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.” The film’s focus on extravagant wealth, often flaunted by Singapore elites who emigrated from China, was expected to be a dealbreaker for the Chinese government.

Instead, China’s film board approved the film without any cuts… but it has come and gone without many Chinese moviegoers noticing. While an all-Asian cast has made “Crazy Rich Asians” a major cultural landmark — there hasn’t been a film with such a cast since “The Joy Luck Club” a quarter-century ago — romantic comedies with all-Asian casts are a dime a dozen in China and other Asian markets. Even the presence of themes about honoring family — something that made “Coco” a big hit last year — didn’t move the needle.

Regardless, this result is hardly a knock against “Crazy Rich Asians” or Warner Bros. Jon M. Chu’s film is already a hit with $238 million grossed worldwide against a $30 million budget. There are already plans to develop a sequel, “China Rich Girlfriend,” though the studio is still a long ways from production, as Chu and the film’s cast have many other projects they are attached to.

Warner Bros., meanwhile, already has an overseas hit with “Fantastic Beasts,” which crossed the $500 million mark globally this weekend with $385 million coming from overseas. The studio should also top the Chinese charts next week with the release of “Aquaman,” which is hitting the Middle Kingdom two weeks before its arrival in the U.S.

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CBS Orders Put Pilot Sitcom From 'Crazy Rich Asians' Author Kevin Kwan

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'Crazy Rich Asians' Nears $150 Million, and It's Not Just Because of Asian Moviegoers

‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ Tops $500M WW; ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ DOA In China With $1.2M Bow – International Box Office

Refresh for latest…: In a weekend dominated by holdovers and expansions, Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald leads the international box office for the third session in a row, conjuring $40.2M in 80 markets. That brings the o…

Refresh for latest…: In a weekend dominated by holdovers and expansions, Warner Bros' Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald leads the international box office for the third session in a row, conjuring $40.2M in 80 markets. That brings the overseas cume to $385.3M and global across the $500M mark to $519.6M. On the other end of the spectrum, WB's Crazy Rich Asians was dead on arrival in China, mustering just $1.2M over the opening frame. The China performance of Craz…

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Flops in China With 8th Place Box Office Debut

Hollywood’s racial diversity triumph, “Crazy Rich Asians” will be lucky to score more than $1 million in its opening weekend at the China box office. Afternoon attendances on Friday had ranked the romantic comedy in fourth position. But by the evening …

Hollywood’s racial diversity triumph, “Crazy Rich Asians” will be lucky to score more than $1 million in its opening weekend at the China box office. Afternoon attendances on Friday had ranked the romantic comedy in fourth position. But by the evening it became apparent that mainstream Chinese audiences’ interest was barely flickering for a U.S. […]

The Actor’s Process In ‘A Star Is Born’ & ‘Crazy Rich Asians’: Bradley Cooper, Michelle Yeoh & Ken Jeong At The Contenders NY

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Can ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Strike It Rich at the China Box Office?

Three and a half months after its U.S. release, “Crazy Rich Asians” finally hits the ground in China on Friday. But it’s up in the air whether the movie can enjoy the same kind of success in the world’s second-biggest movie market. On the face of…

Three and a half months after its U.S. release, “Crazy Rich Asians” finally hits the ground in China on Friday. But it’s up in the air whether the movie can enjoy the same kind of success in the world’s second-biggest movie market. On the face of it, the Cinderella story of a Chinese-American academic who […]

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Stars Kick off Singapore Film Festival

Stars from international hit “Crazy Rich Asians” were on hand Wednesday night to add a little sparkle to the otherwise brisk and efficient opening night events for the 29th edition of the Singapore International Film Festival proved. Hundreds of film b…

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‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Among Finalists for 44th Annual Humanitas Prize

Box office blockbusters such as “Black Panther” and “Crazy Rich Asians” and small screen series including “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “One Day at a Time” and “This Is Us” are among the finali…

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Will China Embrace ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Like America Has?

Three months ago, “Crazy Rich Asians” took the film industry by storm, with Asian-American moviegoers and media critics alike hailing it as a long-overdue celebration of talent from an ethnicity that has been severely underrepresented in media. But this week, the film will be released in a market in which it will be much harder to find success: China.

Regardless of how it does there, Jon M. Chu’s romantic comedy is already a success for Warner Bros., with $236 million grossed worldwide against a $30 million budget. But when the Chinese film board announced last month that it had approved “Crazy Rich Asians” for release on November 30, it surprised some observers.

Stanley Rosen, a political science professor at the USC US-China Institute, told TheWrap he didn’t expect that “Asians” would get a China release at all, and that expectations should be kept low for its box office potential there. While a film with an all-Asian cast was a huge breath of fresh air in the U.S., it’s not as special in a country with a growing film industry that’s releasing hundreds of films made by China, for China every year.

Also Read: ‘Aquaman,’ ‘Venom’ and – Surprisingly – ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Head to China

And then, of course, there’s the extravagant wealth that’s on display from start to finish.

“The Chinese government won’t explicitly endorse the sort of life they show in this movie, but obviously, looking at the current culture, there is a certain amount of wealth and luxury they will allow,” he said. “So the film might gain some interest in major cities like Shanghai where that sort of elite lifestyle is common.”

But Rosen points out that China is on the verge of supplanting the U.S. as the largest moviegoing market in the world because movie theaters there are rapidly expanding into more rural parts of the country. In these areas, going to the movies is often the one luxury outing that families can regularly afford. Many of the Hollywood blockbusters that have become hits in China, including the Marvel and “Fast & Furious” franchises, have been successful because they’ve found a foothold in those small but numerous markets.

Also Read: ‘Venom’ Scores Sony Record $111 Million Opening in China

The challenge for “Crazy Rich Asians” is that instead of offering superheroes or high-octane action, the film focuses on a romance between a couple from two walks of life. The first is the Singaporean elite that Nick Young and his family come from, full of extravagant parties held on remote islands and in enormous mansions.

The other is that of the film’s protagonist, Rachel Chu, the daughter of a Chinese expat. Although the film doesn’t focus on Rachel’s mother and her life in China as much as Kevin Kwan’s novel does, it’s still a topic of discussion. While Rosen notes that the Chinese government didn’t object to this the way he thought it would, he’s still not sure that Chinese moviegoers in those rural areas will be interested in seeing a movie that looks at modern Asian culture through the eyes of a foreigner.

“It may be set in Asia, but a lot of this movie is about the American dream,” he said. “A pregnant woman who is suffering from domestic violence leaves to America with her child, who goes on to become the youngest professor at NYU.”

Also Read: Surprise: Mexico-Based ‘Coco’ Is More Popular in China Than the U.S.

That said, there is one theme “Asians” has going for it: the theme of family. The conflict that threatens to drive Rachel and Nick apart is whether Nick will have to choose between his mother and the responsibility he has to his family and its traditions, or his love for Rachel and his desire to start a new family with her. Ultimately, it’s Rachel’s ability to show her respect for the importance of Nick’s family that saves the relationship.

Outside of the blockbusters that can provide spectacle, the foreign films that do well in China tend to be those that espouse the importance of family. Last year, the Pixar film “Coco,” while dealing with Mexican traditions, was able to overcome that cultural barrier and become a huge hit in China because of that message. In 2016, the Bollywood film “Dangal” made $193 million in China, winning praise from audiences who embraced the true story of a family of wrestlers, including one who became the first Indian woman to win a wrestling gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

“We can only speculate what the film board was thinking when it approved the movie, but perhaps it approved of the film having a message of family coming first,” Rosen suggested. “A film with that message can become a hit in China regardless of where it comes from.”

Even if this weekend’s box office numbers aren’t big for “Crazy Rich Asians,” this won’t be the last time China and WB’s newest hit series will cross paths. Plans are already underway to adapt the next installment of Kevin Kwan’s series, “China Rich Girlfriend,” in which Rachel and Nick come into contact with China’s elite while traveling to the nation in search of Rachel’s father.

Also Read: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Stars Dueled Over Epic Mahjong Showdown: ‘No One Was Giving in’

Production on the sequel won’t start for a while, as many of the film’s top stars are involved in other projects over the next two years. There’s also no guarantee that Jon M. Chu will return to direct, as Warner Bros. already has him attached to direct the adaptation of the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical “In The Heights.”

But at the Chinese-American Film Festival last month, producer John Penotti said that when production does begin on the sequel, he wants to film it in Shanghai. “Crazy Rich Asians” screenwriter Adele Lim was asked at the festival whether she thinks the film could become a hit in China, and she said she had “no idea.”

“We tried to make it true to our culture,” Lim said. “We knew we couldn’t make every Asian happy, we can’t make every Chinese happy.”

Rachel Chu certainly couldn’t make everyone in Nick’s world happy, but she triumphed nonetheless. We will soon see how China’s moviegoers take to her and her story.

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Nears $150 Million, and It’s Not Just Because of Asian Moviegoers

Three months ago, “Crazy Rich Asians” took the film industry by storm, with Asian-American moviegoers and media critics alike hailing it as a long-overdue celebration of talent from an ethnicity that has been severely underrepresented in media. But this week, the film will be released in a market in which it will be much harder to find success: China.

Regardless of how it does there, Jon M. Chu’s romantic comedy is already a success for Warner Bros., with $236 million grossed worldwide against a $30 million budget. But when the Chinese film board announced last month that it had approved “Crazy Rich Asians” for release on November 30, it surprised some observers.

Stanley Rosen, a political science professor at the USC US-China Institute, told TheWrap he didn’t expect that “Asians” would get a China release at all, and that expectations should be kept low for its box office potential there. While a film with an all-Asian cast was a huge breath of fresh air in the U.S., it’s not as special in a country with a growing film industry that’s releasing hundreds of films made by China, for China every year.

And then, of course, there’s the extravagant wealth that’s on display from start to finish.

“The Chinese government won’t explicitly endorse the sort of life they show in this movie, but obviously, looking at the current culture, there is a certain amount of wealth and luxury they will allow,” he said. “So the film might gain some interest in major cities like Shanghai where that sort of elite lifestyle is common.”

But Rosen points out that China is on the verge of supplanting the U.S. as the largest moviegoing market in the world because movie theaters there are rapidly expanding into more rural parts of the country. In these areas, going to the movies is often the one luxury outing that families can regularly afford. Many of the Hollywood blockbusters that have become hits in China, including the Marvel and “Fast & Furious” franchises, have been successful because they’ve found a foothold in those small but numerous markets.

The challenge for “Crazy Rich Asians” is that instead of offering superheroes or high-octane action, the film focuses on a romance between a couple from two walks of life. The first is the Singaporean elite that Nick Young and his family come from, full of extravagant parties held on remote islands and in enormous mansions.

The other is that of the film’s protagonist, Rachel Chu, the daughter of a Chinese expat. Although the film doesn’t focus on Rachel’s mother and her life in China as much as Kevin Kwan’s novel does, it’s still a topic of discussion. While Rosen notes that the Chinese government didn’t object to this the way he thought it would, he’s still not sure that Chinese moviegoers in those rural areas will be interested in seeing a movie that looks at modern Asian culture through the eyes of a foreigner.

“It may be set in Asia, but a lot of this movie is about the American dream,” he said. “A pregnant woman who is suffering from domestic violence leaves to America with her child, who goes on to become the youngest professor at NYU.”

That said, there is one theme “Asians” has going for it: the theme of family. The conflict that threatens to drive Rachel and Nick apart is whether Nick will have to choose between his mother and the responsibility he has to his family and its traditions, or his love for Rachel and his desire to start a new family with her. Ultimately, it’s Rachel’s ability to show her respect for the importance of Nick’s family that saves the relationship.

Outside of the blockbusters that can provide spectacle, the foreign films that do well in China tend to be those that espouse the importance of family. Last year, the Pixar film “Coco,” while dealing with Mexican traditions, was able to overcome that cultural barrier and become a huge hit in China because of that message. In 2016, the Bollywood film “Dangal” made $193 million in China, winning praise from audiences who embraced the true story of a family of wrestlers, including one who became the first Indian woman to win a wrestling gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

“We can only speculate what the film board was thinking when it approved the movie, but perhaps it approved of the film having a message of family coming first,” Rosen suggested. “A film with that message can become a hit in China regardless of where it comes from.”

Even if this weekend’s box office numbers aren’t big for “Crazy Rich Asians,” this won’t be the last time China and WB’s newest hit series will cross paths. Plans are already underway to adapt the next installment of Kevin Kwan’s series, “China Rich Girlfriend,” in which Rachel and Nick come into contact with China’s elite while traveling to the nation in search of Rachel’s father.

Production on the sequel won’t start for a while, as many of the film’s top stars are involved in other projects over the next two years. There’s also no guarantee that Jon M. Chu will return to direct, as Warner Bros. already has him attached to direct the adaptation of the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical “In The Heights.”

But at the Chinese-American Film Festival last month, producer John Penotti said that when production does begin on the sequel, he wants to film it in Shanghai. “Crazy Rich Asians” screenwriter Adele Lim was asked at the festival whether she thinks the film could become a hit in China, and she said she had “no idea.”

“We tried to make it true to our culture,” Lim said. “We knew we couldn’t make every Asian happy, we can’t make every Chinese happy.”

Rachel Chu certainly couldn’t make everyone in Nick’s world happy, but she triumphed nonetheless. We will soon see how China’s moviegoers take to her and her story.

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