Jon M. Chu finds it “hard to actually accept” the huge success of his 2018 romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians.
The movie, which starred Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina and Michelle Yeoh, was praised by critics upon its release and went on to gross more than $238 million (£194 million) at the worldwide box office.
However, the 40-year-old director is still struggling to accept just how successful the groundbreaking rom-com was, because he faced brutal receptions for his previous films, including Step Up 2: The Streets, Jem and the Holograms, and the Justin Bieber documentary, Never Say Never.
“They all get s**t on,” Chu told Variety’s #REPRESENT: Success Stories series. “It’s why it was hard to actually accept its success, because I had already decided in my own life that I wasn’t going to depend on the critics, and I wasn’t going to depend on the box office.”
He explained that he chose to focus on his next projects and pay no attention to the film’s reception in an effort to stay unaffected by the critics and box office takings.
“I was just going to make the thing, and I was going to focus on my next thing,” Chu shared. “Only recently am I really able to actually sort of recognise it, but I still can’t enjoy it, because I already made a decision in my life not to let that part give me satisfaction, I guess.”
The next project Chu has been focussing on is the feature adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical In the Heights. He was in the middle of post-production when the coronavirus pandemic hit and forced it to shut down, so the movie’s release has been pushed back until June 2021.
He is also developing two Crazy Rich Asians sequels, based on the follow-up novels China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems.
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