The “Crazy Rich Asians” cinematic universe is expanding. A new spin-off film, centered on fan favorite characters played by Gemma Chan and Harry Shum Jr., is reportedly in the works.
The yet-untitled Warner Bros. project will be written by Emmy-nominated “Barry” screenwriter and producer Jason Kim and will be in continuity with the upcoming “Crazy Rich Asians” sequel based on Kevin Kwan’s trilogy installment, “China Rich Girlfriend.”
The rom-com will follow Astrid Young Teo (Chan) who is the newly-single cousin of “Crazy Rich Asians” lead Nick Young, played by Henry Golding. The first film saw Astrid learn that her husband (Pierre Png) has been unfaithful; she reconnects with first love and former fiancé Charlie Wu (Shum Jr.) at Nick’s engagement party. As Deadline reported, the Kwan novels include that Astrid’s parents broke up her engagement to Charlie as he was not a “suitable husband” due to their socioeconomic differences.
“Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu is signed on as a producer for the spin-off, along with Color Force’s Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson, and SK Global’s John Penotti. Screenwriter Kim is also currently producing Michelle Zauner’s feature adaptation of her novel “Crying In H Mart” with Stacey Sher for Orion, as well as launching an original K-Pop Broadway musical this fall.
The news of the spin-off film comes only a few months after “Crazy Rich Asians 2” swapped screenwriters following pay disputes. Chinese-Australian writer Amy Wang was announced as the new scribe for the sequel after first film co-writers Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim exited. Lim, a veteran TV writer, left the sequel in 2019 after it was revealed Chiarelli was paid almost 10 times more, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Director Chu issued a statement at the time saying he stands with Lim but is “frustrated that we all can’t do the next one together” amid contract negotiations.
Wang is now the sole screenwriter. The second film is set to follow Constance Wu’s character Rachel as she discovers that her birth father was, in fact, a Shanghai elite. Warner Bros. also already has the option for Kwan’s third “Crazy Rich Asians” novel, “Rich People Problems,” rounding out the core trilogy.
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