According to Variety, in 2016 Asian Americans accounted for 8% of the national population but made up 11% of frequent moviegoers. This means that, for 2016, “Asians over-represented the most of any group in terms of per capita ticket buying”, going to the movies an average of 6.1 times. With such a large over representation, it’s no wonder why the former best seller Crazy Rich Asians is hitting the big screen in 2018. Based on Kevin Kwan’s novel of the same name, Crazy Rich Asians tells the story of an “American-born Chinese economics professor Rachel Chu, who accompanies her boyfriend to Singapore for his best friend’s wedding only to get thrust into the lives of Asia’s rich and famous.”
While it may seem obvious that a movie like this is coming next year (look at the movie going numbers after all), it didn’t start out that way. According to Kwan, during the early going of bringing his book to the big screen, a “producer asked him to reimagine his protagonist, Rachel (played by Constance Wu in the film), as Caucasian.”
“That was their strategy,” he remembers. “They wanted to change the heroine into a white girl. I was like, ‘Well, you’ve missed the point completely.’ I said, ‘No, thank you.’”
Eventually Kwan would go on to tell the story at book signings where he learned, that there was big support from people who weren’t Asian. “You should’ve heard them scream,” he says. “They were like, ‘Nooo!’ I remember one woman saying, ‘What makes these people think that all we want to do is see the same white actors or actresses on screen?’ To hear that reaction really confirmed for me what the audience wanted.”
In the end Kwan got his wish and now is bringing his novel to the movie theater based on his vision.
If you want to learn more about the upcoming film, click on the link below