'Crazy Rich Asians' Author Reveals An Early Film Pitch Recommended He Turn Lead Character Into A White Heroine
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'Crazy Rich Asians' Author Reveals An Early Film Pitch Recommended He Turn Lead Character Into A White Heroine

Crazy Rich Asians should be on everyone’s must watch list and rightfully so. The film, based on the acclaim book by Kevin Kwan, is the first mainstream film since The Joy Luck Club to feature a predominantly Asian-American cast. But the film wasn’t without its set of roadblocks and setbacks.

A cover story for The Hollywood Reporterauthor Kevin Kwan and director John M. Chu discussed the hurdles of bringing the movie to the big screen.

In the article, Kwan made the revelation that he was met with pitches that included turning the movie’s heroine, played by Asian American actress Constance Wu, into a white woman. “It’s a pity you don’t have a white character,” Kwan said he was told by one producer. After this, he optioned the film rights for just $1 so he would be able to be involved in the development of the film.

The duo of Kwan and Chu also revealed that they turned down an offer from Netflix in favor of Warner Bros. in other for the film to have a traditional theatrical release, a decision that was not met well by many.

“I could sense every lawyer on the call shaking their heads: ‘Ugh, these stupid idealists.’ Here, we have a chance for this gigantic payday instantaneously,” Kwan said. “But Jon and I both felt this sense of purpose. We needed this to be an old-fashioned cinematic experience, not for fans to sit in front of a TV and just press a button.”

With early tracking that sees Crazy Rich Asians grossing $20 million on its five-day opening weekend, the gamble is sure to pay off.

Crazy Rich Asians is set to be released in theaters on August 15th.

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