Sony Pictures and SK Global have acquired the film rights to “Crazy Rich Asians” author Kevin Kwan’s new novel “Sex and Vanity” after a fierce bidding war, according to an individual with knowledge of the project.
Published by Doubleday, the book became an instant New York Times bestseller after its release on June 30. “Sex and Vanity” was also selected as “Good Morning America’s” Book Club Pick for July and is Kwan’s first novel since the release of his “Crazy Rich Asians” trilogy, which was adapted into a critically acclaimed box office smash hit earning $240 million worldwide.
“Sex and Vanity” is a glittering tale that centers on a young woman who finds herself torn between two men: the WASPY fiancé of her family’s dreams and George Zao, the man she is desperately trying to avoid falling in love with.
Kwan and SK Global’s John Penotti (“Crazy Rich Asians”) are producing the film. Xian Li is the executive in charge for SK Global. Jiao Chen is the executive overseeing the project for Sony Pictures.
“Seven years ago Kevin entrusted us (and our producing partners) with his ground-breaking ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ bestseller, and ever since working with him has been a creative dream,” Penotti said in a statement to TheWrap. “With ‘Sex and Vanity’ he’s once again created a work of magic, crafting a riveting story about love and identity. We instantly fell in love with its heart and humor and are thrilled to partner with him again, as well as with our collaborators at Sony Pictures. Sanford and the team love the book as much as we do, and we are all committed to bringing this story to a global audience.”
“I am overjoyed to be embarking on this cinematic adventure with Sony Pictures and SK Global,” added Kwan. “Sony Pictures has produced so many of my favorite films over the years, and I am thrilled by Sanford Panitch’s vision for this project. I’m also very excited to be working again with my great friend John Penotti, who responded immediately and passionately to the world I created in ‘Sex and Vanity’.”
Kwan is repped by ICM Partners and attorney Peter Nichols at Lichter Grossman. The deal was negotiated on behalf of SK Global by their Head of Business & Legal Affairs, Brian Kornreich.
Variety first reported the news.