Crazy Rich Asians is just getting started.
On Wednesday, one week after the film’s theatrical debut, the Hollywood Reporter reported that a sequel to the romantic comedy is already in the works, and that Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu, as well as the creative team from the first movie, will return. Warner Bros. has not officially greenlit the sequel but is “moving forward with development.”
THR also confirmed that Warner Bros. has the rights to author Kevin Kwan’s entire trilogy — Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend, and Rich People Problems — which, as of now, it intends to pursue and develop.
“We have a plan with Kevin for the next two films,” producer Brad Simpson told THR.
The second film (which, if it follows the novels, will be named China Rich Girlfriend) would most likely pick up with Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), the first film’s protagonist, and her engagement and wedding to Nick Young (Henry Golding), scion to the eponymous crazy rich Asian family. It would also likely formally introduce the character Charlie Wu (played very briefly in the first film by Harry Shum Jr.) to the Crazy Rich cinematic universe. Charlie is a major character in the books, with a storyline connected to Nick’s cousin Astrid (Gemma Chan), one of the main characters in the first film.
The news of a Crazy Rich sequel in development confirms what has been widely suspected since the film’s release (and what Chu has been hinting at) in the wake of the movie’s opening-weekend box office success. Over a five-day period last week, the film pulled in $35 million, earning back its $30 million production budget and making it the most successful romantic comedy opening since 2015’s Trainwreck.
The film has also been hugely buzzy due to its status as the first major studio movie to feature an all Asian and Asian-American cast since 1993’s The Joy Luck Club, and that buzz has been backed up by great reviews, strong word of mouth, and an “A” Cinemascore. Had Crazy Rich not been such a success, it could have (and probably would have) been used as an excuse for Hollywood to not pursue more films with Asian or Asian-American leads, romantic comedies, or some combination of the two.
But because Crazy Rich defied those (unfair) expectations, it’s helping open the doors for more representation on film, and perhaps revitalizing a genre Hollywood has largely ignored. A Crazy Rich Asians sequel (or two) should only keep the momentum going.