‘Crazy Rich Asians’ sequel officially underway after pay gap controversy

It’s been four years since Jon. M Chu’s breakthrough film became the most successful romantic comedy in nearly a decade, changing the course of Asian representation in Hollywood. Based on Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novel of the same name, the 2018 feature film starred Henry Golding as the scion of an ultra-wealthy family who brings his Chinese-American fiancée (Constance Wu) back to Singapore, the United States. alongside a predominantly Asian cast that also included Michelle Yeoh. , Gemma Chan and Awkwafina.

Now, the sequel to the film is officially launched with a new screenwriter.

Warner Bros. has tapped Chinese-Australian writer Amy Wang to pen the sequel, which Chu will again direct, according to a Deadline report on Monday.

Wang, who is currently attached to two upcoming Netflix projects and won a 2018 Cannes Lion Award for her short film “Unnatural”, will take the reins from the first film’s screenwriters Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim.

Lim, a Malaysian-born writer who had worked primarily in television, said in September 2019 that her white co-writer, Chiarelli, was being paid nearly 10 times her salary to work on the two planned sequels to “Crazy Rich Asians.” .

At the time, Lim received a starting offer of over $110,000 from Warner Bros., while Chiarelli’s offer ranged from $800,000 to $1 million due to his earlier credits on “The Proposal and “Now You See Me 2,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Lim left the project due to the substantial pay disparity, which the studio said was within industry standard ranges based on writers’ experience levels. But Chu and cast members Chan and Awkwafina released statements supporting Lim.

“I agree with Adele that parity for women and people of color is crucial to the continued enlightenment of our industry and we still have a long way to go,” Chu wrote at the time, adding that he hoped Lim would return to the film.

The director explained that he fought for a better deal on Lim’s behalf, but “a lot of time passed and she declined the offer.” Lim has since served as a co-writer for Disney’s recent animated feature “Raya and the Last Dragon.”

Following the wage disparity dispute, the second installment remained in limbo. Many “Crazy Rich Asians” stars, including Golding, Chan and Awkwafina, who went on to appear in huge hit projects, have spoken of the sequel’s protracted development over the ensuing years.

“I always bug [director Jon M. Chu] about it, and he tells her the same thing every time: they’re trying to figure out the writing,” Golding revealed to E! News earlier this month. “I know they’re working on it, but I hope sooner rather than later.”

The upcoming film will likely draw inspiration from author Kwan’s follow-up novel “China Rich Girlfriend,” which centers on Wu’s character as she discovers her long-lost father is connected to the wealthy elite of the world. China. The Deadline report notes that a third movie is still moving forward as planned, with all the plot and other secret details.


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