Usually, I don’t follow along when movies start casting their actors. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I’m embarrassingly ignorant of Hollywood stars. But the movie adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians has been the exception.
After the non-
The one breath of fresh air has been the movie adaptation of the book Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan — a look at Singaporean high society through the lens of Rachel Chu, a regular ol’ Chinese American professor who discovers that her boyfriend is the number one eligible bachelor in Asia and heir to a massive fortune. The director for the movie, Jon M. Chu, pointedly promised a while back to cast Asians in the adaptation. He’s kept that promise with amazing results. The heroine Rachel Chu will be played by Constance Wu (!!), Nick Young by Henry Golding, Nick’s mother Eleanor by Michelle Yeoh… the list goes on.
The casting so far has been a dream come true, and I absolutely cannot wait for the movie. Of course, this has awakened in me the wish for other books to get the same awesome, non-whitewashed all-star casting as Crazy Rich Asians. There are just so many good candidates…
Another contemporary adult novel I’d want to see turned into a well-cast movie is The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang. This is another book focused on family – in this case, the Wang family. When businessman and entrepreneur Charles Wang faces financial disaster, he struggles to keep his family together through a road trip across America, determined to start over in China. Like Crazy Rich Asians, the book is filled with larger-than-life, hilarious characters who help focus in on what family really means.
Of course, I’d love even more for YA books to get the Crazy Rich Asians treatment – such as To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. About a high school girl whose letters to all her crushes get mailed out, the book has already been optioned for a movie, but I don’t think there’s been more news since then. Fingers crossed that it happens and turns out great!
Which books with Asian main characters do you think deserve the Crazy Rich Asians movie treatment? What’s that you say? All of them? Agreed.