Daniel Dae Kim Says ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Success Has Inadvertently Hampered Asian-Led Films

The blockbuster “Crazy Rich Asians” has raised unrealistic expectations for other Asian-led film projects, actor Daniel Dae Kim said this week during a panel discussion at the Sundance Film Festival.

“One of the side effects of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ was that everyone wanted to do more Asian projects as long as they were just ‘Crazy Rich Asians,'” Kim said during the Variety-sponsored panel.

“If you had a project that was about anything other than super rich and super rich and super happy people, then they weren’t interested,” he said. “Not only did we struggle trying to find other representations of Asian Americans, but he also had the added burden of having to represent all Asians.”

Inclusive storytelling shouldn’t just be “a category or a checkbox and say, ‘We have our Asian project, we have our black project, and therefore we are good.’ We’re diverse,'” Kim said.

The romantic comedy, based on Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novel, followed Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) and her boyfriend, Nick (Henry Golding), as they attended Nick’s best friend’s wedding in Singapore.

The 2018 film was a major hit domestically and internationally, grossing nearly $175 million in the United States and $64 million outside the United States. In 2022, it was announced that a sequel to “Crazy Rich Asians” was officially on the way.

Many praised the film’s story upon its release for its fresh perspective, different from other Asian-led projects.

“Every ‘great’ Asian-American movie has been a story of first-generation immigrants,” sociologist Nancy Wang Yuen previously told NBC News. “We’re annoyed to be confused with Asia, but all the representation that’s been significant is still labeled ‘Asian foreigner’. It’s a legitimate story, but there’s an overabundance of it.

Neither director Jon M. Chu nor Warner Bros., which released the film, responded to requests for comment on Kim’s remarks.

After the film’s success, the idea that films centered on Asian Americans would not be profitable no longer applied. The film became a benchmark for writers to use during pitches in hopes that their projects would be picked up by major production companies.

“For us, one hurdle – maybe even the biggest hurdle – is getting the networks to believe that audiences will show up for these stories, and I think that’s where ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ has moved the bar” , producer Lisa Takeuchi Cullen previously said. “In Hollywood, the numbers speak. And when a movie with all Asian leads makes $35 million in its first week, executives sit up and take notice.

Daniel Dae Kim Says ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Success Has Inadvertently Hampered Asian-Led Films

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to top