By Kayleigh Roberts published
If you absolutely loved Crazy Rich Asians, then you're not alone—not by a long shot. The mega-hit grossed more than $238 million worldwide and has been widely heralded as the best romantic comedy in more than a decade. With financial and critical success like that, it's not a surprise that Crazy Rich Asians is getting a sequel (it's actually getting two, but more on that later). Here's everything we know about the next installment of what is now officially the Crazy Rich Asians franchise.
First, here's the good news: There will officially be not just one, but two Crazy Rich Asians sequels. Now for the less good news: The second Crazy Rich Asians movie won't even start filming until 2020, Deadline reports.
There's a good reason though: Crazy Rich Asians director Jon Chu is already committed to direct the film adaptation Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-winning musical In the Heights and production is waiting for him. Since we can't argue with keeping Chu at the helm of the CRA franchise, it's worth the wait.
At the Golden Globes nominations in early December, the movie's producer, Nina Jacobson, confirmed that the sequels will shoot back-to-back to minimize the time between Crazy Rich Asians 2 and 3, at least.
“We’ll make it up to [fans] on the back end," she explained, "by shooting two films together."
The plan appears to be to reunite the entire Crazy Rich Asians team for the sequels. In August, The Hollywood Reporter reported that producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson of Color Force and John Penotti of Ivanhoe, respectively, were set to return, as was director Jon Chu and screenwriters Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim (who are currently work on the sequel's script, according to Deadline).
While there haven't been official casting announcements yet, it's safe to assume that the entire cast of the first movie (all of whom reportedly have options for a sequel in their contracts) will return, as long as there's a need for their characters in the sequels' stories.
Henry Golding, who plays swoon-worthy leading man Nick Young in the movie, has already gone on the record as saying he's down for sequels.
"I hope there’s something in the future," he told THR in August. "It would be so much fun to get everybody back together, back to sweaty old Singapore."
The filmmakers won't have to start from scratch when it comes to plotting the sequels. Crazy Rich Asians is based on a book which is itself part of a trilogy and before CRA even opened, Warner Bros. already had the option for author Kevin Kwan’s entire trilogy. The second and third books in the trilogy are called China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems, respectively.
"We have a plan with Kevin for the next two films,” producer Brad Simpson told The Hollywood Reporter back in August, just after Crazy Rich Asians opened and was clearly headed for massive success.
The movie's mid-credits scene teased the plot of the sequel, with fan favorite (and newly-single) Astrid making eyes at and dancing with the very handsome Charlie Wu (played by Glee alum Harry Shum, Jr.)—who fans of the Crazy Rich Asians books know as her first love.
Expect Astrid and Charlie's second-chance-at-love story to take centerstage in the sequel.
"The idea is to tell the story [of Astrid and Charlie] in the next movie,” Chu explained to THR. "I made a promise to Harry, so I’m going to do it."
One of the biggest reveals in Crazy Rich Asians was that Rachel's father was not dead, as she believed her whole life, but back in China, where her mother had left him when she fled to the United States for a fresh start. In the second book in the series, China Rich Girlfriend, Rachel and Nick travel to China to search for her estranged father—but it's not clear if this plot line will make it into the film adaptation, largely because it's not clear if the Chinese government will cooperate with the sequel. The first movie wasn't released in China until November 30, 2018 (more than three months after its US premiere) and it flopped in the Chinese box office. What's more, the Chinese translation of the 2013 novel was only made available in the country this year, according to THR.
China Rich Girlfriend also features a lot more of Kitty Pong—you know, the gold-digging actress who dumps Alistair for Bernard Tai at the end of the first movie.
"We needed to hire somebody who can really act, because in time she becomes much more significant," Chu, who has clearly been planning on a sequel since day one, said of the character. "I think she’s scared that we’re never going to make that one, but we are. I’ll make it happen."
Kayleigh Roberts is the weekend editor at Marie Claire, covering celebrity and entertainment news, from actual royals like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle to Hollywood royalty, like Katie Holmes and Chrissy Teigen. She’s a Ravenclaw who would do great things in Slytherin. To learn more about her, google “Leslie Knope eating salad GIF.
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