A “Crazy Rich Asians” spinoff centered on Gemma Chan’s character Astrid Young Teo is now in early development.
Warner Bros. greenlit the project pitched by Emmy-nominated TV producer and screenwriter Jason Kim, who is set to pen the project.
The untitled film will delve into Astrid’s romance with Charlie Wu, played by Harry Shum Jr. in the original movie. The previously announced “Crazy Rich Asians” sequel, to be penned by writer Amy Wang following the exit of Adele Lim from the project, is also currently in development despite delays, largely as a result of strained negotiations between Lim and Warner Bros.
Both films will be based on “China Rich Girlfriend,” the second book in Kevin Kwan’s best-selling trilogy, which features the original’s main characters, Rachel Chu and Nick Young (played by Constance Wu and Henry Golding in the film), going on a trip to Shanghai in search of Rachel’s birth father. The book also explores the relationship between Nick’s cousin Astrid and her ex-fiancé Charlie Wu.
In the books, Astrid and Charlie are engaged before being forced to break up by Astrid’s parents, who don’t see him as a suitable husband for her. The original film hints at the rekindling of their romance in a mid-credits scene, following Astrid’s separation from her husband Michael (Pierre Png) as a result of his infidelity.
“Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu previously revealed that they had filmed more scenes between Astrid and Charlie in the first film but were forced to cut their storyline down.
“What we put in the movie was great — they actually dance together — and it was so awesome, and Harry’s so charming and so lovable,” Chu was quoted as saying. “But the problem was, it made Astrid feel like she was leaving Michael for Charlie, and we didn’t have enough room to expand on the idea. We just had to stay focused. Ultimately it’s about her independence, so that scene was in there all the way until the very end. When we took it out, Astrid’s journey became stronger. It was about her, not about her finding love.”
“Crazy Rich Asians” was a massive hit, generating $174.5 million in the U.S. and $238.5 million globally.
Chan, who recently starred in the Marvel Studios’ superhero film “Eternals,” was also recently cast as Anna May Wong, the first Asian American movie star, in an upcoming biopic.