In likely one of the studio’s easiest decisions this year, Warner Bros. has decided to move forward with Crazy Rich Asians 2. Per THR, director Jon M. Chu is planning to return to helm the sequel to the box office smash, with pretty much the entire behind-the-scenes team returning including producers Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, and John Ivanhoe, and screenwriters Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim.
Moving forward with a Crazy Rich Asians sequel is not all that difficult, as the source material for the first film spawned two further sequels. Author Kevin Kwan’s second book in the trilogy is called China Rich Girlfriend and the third and final book is Rich People Problems. Warner Bros. has the option for all three books, and producer Nina Jacobson previously said they “have a plan with Kevin for the next two films.”
THR notes that Crazy Rich Asians 2 hasn’t officially been greenlit yet, but development has begun following a $35.3 million five-day opening for a film many saw as a risky gamble—an all-Asian romantic comedy.
When it was clear that Crazy Rich Asians would be a hit, the question then became not if Warner Bros. would make a sequel, but if Chu would be back at the helm. The G.I. Joe: Retaliation helmer churned out the best film of his career and was instrumental in how successful Crazy Rich Asians turned out to be. But he also has a packed schedule, as he’s set to shoot a new Apple series this fall and next year will direct the long-awaited feature film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical In the Heights. THR says it’s likely that Crazy Rich Asians 2 (or China Rich Girlfriend, depending on how WB wants to title the follow-up) would be Chu’s next film after In the Heights, which is set to hit theaters in June 2020. So fans may have to wait a spell.
Interestingly enough, Chu and Kwan had an offer from Netflix to make Crazy Rich Asians for the streaming service that also included an automatic greenlight for the two sequels. But Chu and Kwan felt it was important that a film like this get a theatrical release, so they went with Warner Bros. instead. I’d say their decision paid off.
Crazy Rich Asians was not just a runaway success, it’s one of the best films of the year—lush, complex, hilarious, and genuinely heartwarming. I can’t wait to spend more time with these characters, especially with the whole creative team back together. And if you were wondering why in the world Harry Shum Jr. had a 5-second cameo at the end of Crazy Rich Asians, your questions will be answered in this sequel.