Warner Bros.’ sequel to the hit romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians” has a new writer in Amy Wang, who takes over after the first film’s writers, Adele Lim and Peter Chiarelli, departed over pay disparity issues.
Wang, a Chinese-Australian writer, won a Cannes Lion award in 2018 for her short film “Unnatural” and is currently attached to make her feature film debut as writer-director of an untitled horror film for Paramount. Her TV credits include as story editor for Netflix’s “Brothers Sun” and director of an upcoming episode of Starz’s “Blindspotting.”
Wang will join the team from “Crazy Rich Asians” that includes Jon M. Chu and original cast members Constance Wu, Henry Golding and Michelle Yeoh. It is unclear at this point whether Wang’s screenplay will be a direct adaptation of the novel “China Rich Girlfriend,” Kevin Kwan’s sequel to the “Crazy Rich Asians” novel on which the 2018 film is based.
“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,” Golding said in a 2020 Digital Spy interview. “So you have to really change it up to make it interesting,”
A sequel to “Crazy Rich Asians” was immediately greenlit by Warner Bros. after the success of the first film, which grossed $174.5 million in North America. As the first American film since “The Joy Luck Club” 25 years prior to feature an Asian cast, writer and director, the film renewed demands in Hollywood for better AAPI representation in films and television.
But development plans stalled after a Hollywood Reporter expose revealed that Adele Lim had been paid roughly an eighth of what co-writer Peter Chiarelli had been paid to write “Crazy Rich Asians,” the rationale from Warner Bros. being that Lim had been making her feature debut with the film while Chiarelli had film experience dating back to the 2009 film “The Proposal.”
Lim departed the sequel and has since penned the script for the Disney animated film “Raya and the Last Dragon” and is attached to write another film for Disney, as well as make her directorial debut with an upcoming comedy project for Lionsgate starring Ashley Park.
Wang is repped by Kaplan/Perrone and Jackoway, Austin, Tyerman. The deal was first reported by Deadline.