Warner Bros. has hit a pretty significant snag with Crazy Rich Asians 2. Writer Adele Lim is no longer involved with the sequel, as a messy pay dispute has resulted in her departure. And that's not the only issue getting in the way of this planned trilogy getting underway, as potential scheduling issues with the in-demand cast could present further complications when it comes to lining this all up, once the script gets sorted out.
According to a new report, Adele Lim, a veteran TV writer who broke into features with Crazy Rich Asians, was offered in the neighborhood of $110,000 for her work on the sequel. Meanwhile, Peter Chiarelli, a more seasoned screenwriter, was offered between $800,000 and $1,000,000. Lim, understandably, felt their pay should be much closer to even with her co-writer. Yet, the studio felt it was a fair, industry-standard rate based on experience. Talks stalled and Lim left last fall. Other writers were looked at but Warner Bros. eventually came back to Lim. Chiarelli even offered to split his fee with her, but no dice. Here's what Lim had to say about it.
"Pete 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 CRA, 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."
Indeed, pay equality and diversity have been big topics in Hollywood in recent years. As Adele Lim points out, Crazy Rich Asians was a massive hit. The rom-com grossed $238 million globally. Most writers don't have the luxury of being attached to a hit like that when negotiating. Lim has since signed a deal with Disney Animation and is working on Raya and the Last Dragon, which reunites her with Awkwafina.
Speaking of Awkwafina, the cast of the first movie are now majorly in-demand. Constance Wu and Henry Golding, for example, are getting big projects left and right, alongside Awkwafina. As such, aligning schedules for the sequel will be difficult. Warner Bros. hopes to shoot two sequels back-to-back to help with that, but that creates other issues. Director John M. Chu will return, and he turned in a 10-page treatment for the sequel back in July. But they need to sort out how to depart from Kevin Kwan's trilogy of novels to tell a story that best suits the big screen. Chu had this to say about the situation.
"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."
For now, it appears as though things will continue to move slowly until this all gets sorted out. Point being, don't expect to see Crazy Rich Asians 2 in theaters anytime soon. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.