LOS ANGELES — “Crazy Rich Asians” fans will get a big, fat, hijinks-filled sequel. But they may have to wait for it.
Warner Bros. confirmed on Wednesday that plans are moving forward to turn “Crazy Rich Asians” into a big-screen franchise after the romantic comedy touched a cultural nerve, generating nearly $40 million in ticket sales during its first six days in theaters. Jon M. Chu, who directed the film, and the producing team behind it will reunite for a sequel, which will be based on “China Rich Girlfriend,” the second novel in Kevin Kwan’s best-selling “Crazy Rich Asians” series.
Negotiations are still continuing to bring back Adele Lim and Peter Chiarelli, who wrote the “Crazy Rich Asians” screenplay. Warner, which also holds the film rights for Mr. Kwan’s third novel, “Rich People Problems,” has not yet given a sequel a green light because there is no script. The budget for a sequel may depend on how “Crazy Rich Asians” performs in major overseas markets, where it will roll out in the coming weeks.
A sequel could also take some time to materialize because Mr. Chu will soon begin shooting another Warner project — an adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical “In the Heights,” which is scheduled for release in summer 2020.
Warner’s decision to explore a sequel is not a surprise. Mr. Chu teased the possibility while promoting the release of “Crazy Rich Asians,” which cost about $30 million to make. He left open the door to another story with a scene during the credits. And the reality is that other studios are likely to try to capitalize on the demand that “Crazy Rich Asians” exposed for films led by Asian stars; Warner would be foolish to stand down.
“China Rich Girlfriend” finds leading characters Nick and Rachel (played by Henry Golding and Constance Wu in the current film) searching for her lost father in China. It also brings Nick’s fashionista cousin Astrid (Gemma Chan) more to the fore.