Crazy Rich Asians 2: Will It Ever Release?

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Henry Golding, Constance Wu, Crazy Rich Asians

The anticipation surrounding Crazy Rich Asians 2 was high after the first movie's premiere, but the fact that there have been no recent updates may indicate a change of plans for the sequel's release. 

Crazy Rich Asians made its theatrical debut on August 7, 2018. The film earned a positive reception from fans and critics, with it receiving a 91% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes

It grossed over $238 million at the box office on a budget of $30 million during it theatrical run, leading many to wonder if a sequel is in the cards. 

Will Crazy Rich Asians 2 Ever Release?

In August 2018, The Hollywood Reporter (THR) shared that Warner Bros. was planning a sequel to Crazy Rich Asians following its $35.3 million five-day opening at the box office.

The report stated that Crazy Rich Asians director Jon Chu was set to reunite with most of the film's original team, such as producers Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, and John Penotti, and screenwriters Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim.

THR's original report clarified that Warner Bros. has yet to officially give the green light to the sequel, but it was pointed out that development on the title was moving forward.

At the time of this report, it was expected other commitments of the cast and crew might delay filming. 

One major setback for Crazy Rich Asians 2 happened in September 2019 when screenwriter Adele Lim left the project due to pay disparity between her fellow writer Peter Chiarelli. THR noted Chiarelli was set to be paid a higher fee than Lim, which was likely the cause for her departure. 

In an official statement, Lim opened up about her exit, saying that "there's no realistic way to achieve true equity" if she couldn't get "pay equity" following the success of the first movie:

“[Peter Chiarelli] has been nothing but incredibly gracious, but what I make shouldn’t be dependent on the generosity of the white-guy writer. If I couldn’t get pay equity after ['Crazy Rich Asians,'] I can’t imagine what it would be like for anyone else, given that the standard for how much you’re worth is having established quotes from previous movies, which women of color would never have been [hired for]. There’s no realistic way to achieve true equity that way.”

Meanwhile, Chu also told THR the team's focus is "getting the story [of the sequel] right" instead of digging deep into its timeline: 

“There’s too much responsibility and too much precedent from the first movie that the last thing I want to do is just hit a date and release the movie. There’s still too much work to do. Our focus isn’t on the timeline, it’s on getting the story right.”

In March 2019, Gemma Chan, who played Astrid in the first movie, gave a brief update about Crazy Rich Asians 2 and even its potential threequel. 

Speaking with RadioTimes, Chan said they won't "shoot until 2020 at the earliest" while also confirming that the sequel and the threequel will be shot "back to back:"

"As far as I know, they're starting to write scripts for the second film and the third film. Obviously, there are three books in the trilogy. But I've heard that we won't shoot until 2020 at the earliest. And we'll shoot films two and three back to back." 

Despite Chan's comments, production didn't go ahead in 2020 due to the emergence of the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

In fact, fast forward to March 2022, Deadline reported Amy Wang (Brothers Sun and From Scratch) replaced Peter Chiarelli to pen the script of Crazy Rich Asians 2

Since then, there have been no major updates about the hotly anticipated sequel. 

Plot details and returning and new cast members are still shrouded in secrecy. Another concerning development is the fact that Warner Bros. has been tight-lipped about the film. 

While the radio silence from the studio is expected due to the film not being on its official slate, it's still odd that there have been no major updates about it after its success. 

At this point, it is unknown if Crazy Rich Asians 2 will make its way to theaters.

What Could Happen in Crazy Rich Asians 2?

For starters, Crazy Rich Asians is based on a trilogy of novels of the same name by Kevin Kwan. It is expected the sequel will focus on the second book, China Rich Girlfriend, while the threequel will wrap up with the third novel, Rich People Problems.

Crazy Rich Asians ended with a happy ending for Nick and Rachel as they celebrate their engagement in Singapore's Marina Bay Sands resort.

If a sequel does happen, then there are several lingering plot threads that it needs to address. 

Crazy Rich Asians 2 could mainly focus on Nick and Rachel's preparations for their wedding while also trying to build their relationship again with Michelle Yeoh's Eleanor Young. 

In the China Rich Girlfriend novel, a good chunk of the story focuses on Rachel's reunion with her father, who is later revealed to be a Chinese billionaire. 

Aside from the emotional (and surprising) reunion angle, Astrid also reunites with her former fiancé Charlie, a story that was already teased in Crazy Rich Asians' mid-credits sequence.

All in all, the main premise of China Rich Girlfriend is poised to create a much more compelling story than its predecessor. 

Crazy Rich Asians is available to stream on Max.

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.