Ah, yes. The issues surrounding the sequel of Crazy Rich Asians nearly drove everyone crazy.
After a dispute regarding pay and everything you can think about when it comes to a movie with the title Crazy Rich Asians, the preparation for the movie’s sequel seems to finally be back on track.
After co-writing Crazy Rich Asians, which was screened in cinemas in 2018, Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim were apparently going to be paid different amounts for their work in the sequel.
Based on reports by The Hollywood Reporter, Lim was offered a salary of around US$110,000 (approximately S$150,000) to work on the sequel.
On the other hand, Chiarelli was reportedly offered US$800,000 to US$1 million (approximately S$1.09 million to S$1.36 million) for the same job.
That’s almost ten times of what Lim was offered.
Following this reveal, Lim then exited negotiations in 2019.
With regards to the disparity in pay, Warner Bros claimed that it was due to the added experience that Chiarelli had in writing feature films, with some of his notable works being The Proposal and Now You See Me 2. Lim, on the other hand, has more experience as a TV writer.
After trying to find a replacement for Lim for roughly five months, producers allegedly offered her a higher salary.
On top of that, Chiarelli also proposed splitting his salary with Lim, but Lim declined both offers.
“Pete has been nothing but incredibly gracious, but what I make shouldn’t be dependent on the generosity of the white-guy writer,” Lim explained to The Hollywood Reporter.
At the time when Lim decided to depart from the franchise, Director Jon M. Chu took to Twitter to laud Lim for her decision, and also to express his support for the writer.
“I’m proud that she was able to stand up for her own measure of worth and walk away when she felt like she was being undervalued,” he wrote.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter after she left the franchise, Lim said that both women and people of colour were usually seen as “soy sauce” in the American film industry.
She brought up how they were only given the job due to the fact that they could “add cultural flavour”, but were often not given proper credit for their work.
“Being evaluated that way can’t help but make you feel that is how they view my contributions,” she said.
The New Writer: Amy Wang
After the entire dispute, the production team decided to hire a new writer instead, solving the problem altogether.
Amy Wang, a Chinese-Australian writer, will assume the role of writer for the sequel alone, replacing both Lim and Chiarelli from the series.
Wang has worked on other shows before, with one of her contributions being her role as a story editor on Netflix’s Brothers Sun.
The sequel, which was slated to be discussed before the COVID-19 pandemic started, will feature some familiar faces.
Just like the first Crazy Rich Asians movie, it will be directed by Jon M Chu. Henry Golding and Constance Wu, both of which acted in the first instalment of the series, will also return to reprise their roles.
With travel restrictions gradually being relaxed all over the world, Golding mentioned that he “can’t wait to get back to Singapore”, which means it’ll most probably take place in Singapore again.
Sneak Peek of the Sequel
As for those who are wondering what the sequel will be about, here’s a sneak peek for you.
The focus on Crazy Rich Asians 2 will most probably be on Rachel, Constance Wu’s character. The film will likely be zooming in on her relationship with her birth father and half-brother.
With the original and book sequel, China Rich Girlfriend, being factors of inspiration for the writers, the screenwriters will also be creating new characters for the movie itself.
This is similar to the character of Peik Lin Goh, who was played by actress Awkwafina in the original movie.
However, the storylines of these characters, such as Peik Lin, may greatly differ from the books as they do not play important roles in the books themselves.
Just in case you’ve forgotten how successful the first Crazy Rich Asians movie was back in 2018, it grossed nearly US$240 million (approximately S$326 million) at the global box office.
In response to why it was taking such a long time for the sequel to be produced, Golding explained to IndieWire back in 2020 that Chu was “still at that stage with trying to create a viable storyline for the next two movies”.
“Sometimes, it’s really difficult to translate [the original books] onto the big screen, and with the pressure of trying to keep up the same interest we had with the first movie. The bar has already been raised really high,” he added.
Later in September 2020, Golding mentioned to Digital Spy that the script for the sequel was still incomplete, which he had found out about after talking to Chu.
“It’s a very complicated process because, visually, sometimes a novel doesn’t make as much sense as it would on the screen in a direct adaptation. So you have to really change it up to make it interesting,” Golding responded.
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Featured Image: Warner Bros
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