‘Crazy Rich Asians’ was almost a Netflix original.
The thoughts behind Warner Bros. upcoming romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians” more than the normal success or failure risks on the game for the movie. They made great sacrifices to ensure that the mostly Asian cast can be seen on the big screen as an example for both Hollywood and the youth.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kevin Kwan, who wrote the best-selling novel on which the film is based, and director Jon M. Chu were faced with an almost impossible decision when it came to the production of the upcoming movie.
Warner Bros. offered to make it, but the streaming giant Netflix came back with a counter offer that would allegedly give them full creative control, a guaranteed trilogy and a huge seven-figure immediate payment to the stakeholders.
While the Netflix offer was clearly better, but it lacked one of the most important, with the aim of they both had to portray Westernized-Asians in a theatrical film release.
“Maybe we donate a percentage of our income to good causes,” Chu recalled discussing with Kwan.. “But where does that money go? Back try to get to this place of the get of us [Asians] on the big screen.”
He continued: “We were gifted this position to make a decision that no one else can make, that is turning the big payday for the rolling of the dice [at the box office) — but to be invited to the big party, that people pay money to go.”
For those not familiar, “Crazy Rich Asians” shares similarities with “Meet the parents” and other comedies about a meeting with an important other parents. When a woman is invited to a wedding in Singapore to meet her friend of the family, she discovers that he is the heir is obviously a huge, crazy-rich,” fortune. The couple then has to face the uphill battle of the impression his relatives enough for them to get their blessing for their relationship. It is described as a classic, internationally accessible story that just-so-happen-star all Asian cast.
While the other films starring an Asian cast have achieved mainstream success, such as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Crazy Rich Asians” is a contemporary story about the problems that everyone can relate.
“Fresh off the Boat” star Constance Wu, who stars in the upcoming film, wrote a letter on Twitter addressing the “historic” nature of her role in the TV show and in this movie.
“Suddenly, with ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ success, people were talking about the lack of Asian American stories. Why had it taken 20 years? Why had no one come to that lack? Today is the day, ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ is on his way to his fifth season as the first network show with Asian Americans to reach syndication,” she wrote. “That is historic.”
Although “Crazy Rich Asians” will not hit theaters until August 15, according to the Variety, it is already on pace to open at $18 million. While not necessarily a box office rocket, it’s not a bad projection for an original, non-sequel summer movie.
Time will tell if Kwan and Chu the gamble will pay off financially, culturally, or both.