Before Crazy Rich Asians opened, director Jon M Chu talked about what the success of the movie could do for other stories. He mentioned that he knew of several other projects in development that were waiting for the greenlight and that people were waiting to see how CRA performed before moving ahead. As he told Deadline:
“It’s unfair for one movie to represent all these people. One movie that represents [all] Asians — that’s just ridiculous. However, if this can crack the door a little bit so that other stories can be told, and it spawns a resurgence in these stories getting shown at the highest levels possible — I would love to have this.”
Last month, I recommended a book by Muslim Canadian author Uzma Jalaluddin called Ayesha At Last. It’s a take on Pride & Prejudice, only all the characters are Muslim. Universal and specific, right? Yesterday it was announced that Amy Pascal’s production company, Pascal Pictures, has acquired the rights. As Jon said, one book or movie can’t be all things to all people. But its success can mean that more people can be included. Everyone in Hollywood now is scrambling to share in what CRA has achieved. And we are already seeing new opportunities created for storytellers from communities whose experiences haven’t been equally represented.
So CONGRATULATIONS Uzma! And if you haven’t checked Ayesha At Last yet, for those of you in Canada, there’s a long weekend coming up and it’s a perfect (end of) summer read. (The book comes out next year in the US.) Also… we need to start dream-casting this, right?!?
Yours in gossip,