Here’s some crazy awesome news for Crazy Rich Asians: Warner Bros. is officially moving forward on a sequel to director Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s novel that starred Constance Wu and Henry Golding, EW has learned. Another installment hasn’t officially been bestowed the green light, but it is in development.
This news comes after the film, which has a predominantly Asian cast, started raking in the big bucks after its premiere in theaters last week. Chu always said he wanted to make more movies, but “it’s always up to the audience.” Well, so far, Crazy Rich Asians has earned $44.4 million from North America theaters.
Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim are also planning to write the screenplay for the sequel, though deals have not yet been set, while producers Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, and John Penotti are eyed to return.
“It’s our complete intention to do it,” Penotti told EW of the sequel potential before the news broke. “I think the audience response this weekend is extremely heartening… I think this weekend has given us terrific momentum to see more Crazy Rich Asians in the world.”
“Well I won’t say anything quite yet, but I certainly hope the message has been conveyed,” Jacobson, who along with her Color Force producing partner Simpson acquired the rights to the book in 2013, said before the news broke as well. “So we’ll stand by on that one, but audiences do seem to have spoken up loud and clear, and we love them for that.”
Crazy Rich Asians is based on the first book in Kwan’s trilogy, which also includes China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems. The film introduced moviegoers to Rachel Chu (Wu), an Asian-American New Yorker who goes to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend’s family only to discover that he’s one of the wealthiest bachelors in the entire country.
Warner Bros. has optioned Kwan’s entire trilogy of books for film adaptations.
“We’ve only told the first part of the story, and everyone’s always been committed from the very beginning to making the trilogy,” Kwan said in EW’s Crazy Rich Asians cover story. “We want to repeat what happened with The Hunger Games or with Harry Potter or with all these series. We’re going to tell a complete story. That’s the goal.”
Just as Black Panther, a film with a cast of predominantly black actors, proved that diversity on screen doesn’t mean low ticket sales, Crazy Rich Asians featured the collective talent of Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Gemma Chan, Kris Quino, Harry Shum Jr., Jimmy O. Yang, Pierre Png, and Chris Pang, to name a few.
“It’s been too long since there’s been an all-Asian cast,” Yeoh said. “I’ve been very lucky to have worked on one before [2005’s Memoirs of a Geisha], but they’re too few and far between.”
“This is about a girl going somewhere that’s foreign to her, to really find out who she is,” Wu explained. “It’s just such a beautiful story, to show an Asian-American immigrant going back to Asia and finding the things that overlap and connect us all, things like family, things like love.”
The Hollywood Reporter was the first to report the news.
Additional reporting by Shirley Li.