Jon M. Chu finds it ‘hard to accept’ success of Crazy Rich Asians

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…

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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Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton film to debut on Disney+ in July

The filmed version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s stage musical Hamilton is to debut on the Disney+ streaming service in July.Studio bosses had originally planned to release the project, directed by Thomas Kail and featuring performances by the original cast,…

The filmed version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s stage musical Hamilton is to debut on the Disney+ streaming service in July.

Studio bosses had originally planned to release the project, directed by Thomas Kail and featuring performances by the original cast, in cinemas in October 2021.

However, they will now make the musical, which tells the story of U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton, available on Disney+ on 3 July – just in time for America’s Independence Day holiday.

“I’m so proud of how beautifully Tommy Kail has brought Hamilton to the screen. He’s given everyone who watches this film the best seat in the house,” said Miranda. “I’m so grateful to Disney and Disney+ for reimagining and moving up our release to July 4th weekend of this year, in light of the world turning upside down. I’m so grateful to all the fans who asked for this, and I’m so glad that we’re able to make it happen. I’m so proud of this show. I can’t wait for you to see it.”

Filmed at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June 2016, the movie version will feature Miranda as Alexander Hamilton, Daveed Diggs as the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, Renee Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, and Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr.

Miranda’s other upcoming movie is the adaptation of his stage musical In the Heights. Directed by Jon M. Chu and featuring Anthony Ramos in the lead role, the film is now scheduled to be released in June 2021 after being hit with delays due to the coronavirus crisis.

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Ron Howard to direct Thai cave rescue movie

Ron Howard is set to direct a movie about the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue. The Wild Boars soccer team made headline news around the world in June 2018 when they became trapped in the Tham Luang cave 1,000 metres below the surface for more than two wee…

Ron Howard is set to direct a movie about the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue.

The Wild Boars soccer team made headline news around the world in June 2018 when they became trapped in the Tham Luang cave 1,000 metres below the surface for more than two weeks after heavy rain blocked them from exiting. All of the 12 boys, aged between 11 and 16, as well as their coach, were freed, although the rescue mission took the life of a retired Thai Navy SEAL.

According to Deadline, Howard will direct a mid-budget drama titled Thirteen Lives about the dramatic rescue from a screenplay written by William Nicholson, who previously wrote the scripts for Gladiator and Unbroken.

Sources who have read the screenplay told the publication that Thirteen Lives looks set to another to be another Apollo 13 for Howard as it will be a dramatic and thrilling film despite audiences knowing the outcome of the real-life event. The 1995 space drama starred Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton and documented the aborted lunar landing mission in 1970.

The Thirteen Lives package is being shopped around by CAA Media Finance and has received bids from several buyers.

Howard’s project isn’t the only one focused on the cave rescue. Free Solo filmmakers Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi are attached to make a movie for Universal, director Kevin Macdonald is working on a documentary for National Geographic, while Crazy Rich Asians helmer Jon M. Chu is developing a miniseries for Netflix.

A movie about the rescue, titled Nang Non, or The Cave, was made in Thailand and released in the country last year after a film festival run.

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Jon M. Chu ‘disgusted’ by Crazy Rich Asians casting scam

Jon M. Chu has called out a “disgusting” casting scam targeting actors interested in his Crazy Rich Asians sequels. The filmmaker is currently working on two follow-ups to his smash hit 2018 romantic comedy, but the projects are yet to have scripts an…

Jon M. Chu has called out a “disgusting” casting scam targeting actors interested in his Crazy Rich Asians sequels.

The filmmaker is currently working on two follow-ups to his smash hit 2018 romantic comedy, but the projects are yet to have scripts and aren’t near the casting stage.

On Wednesday, he took to Twitter to express his dismay after discovering that a user named Alan Baltes, who claimed to be an actor and casting associate, posted a phony casting notice announcing that “live Zoom auditions” were being held to find new leads for the sequels. The advertisement claimed Asian actors aged between 20 to 40 as well as Caucasian women aged between 25 and 35 should apply, and those who wanted to be considered should pay Baltes a $99 ($79) “submission fee”.

“I kept reading it, and when it said $99 I was like, ‘This is f**ked up,'” Chu told Variety. “There’s so many scams like that in L.A. anyway and to actually target, specifically, Asian actors, was very frustrating.”

Chu first discovered the scam when he was tagged in a tweet and he subsequently notified Twitter bosses and the legal team at Warner Bros. Baltes’ account has since been deactivated.

“Asian American actors finally get the opportunity or the hope that there are roles and parts out there. People have this light inside of them to pursue this dream that they never thought was possible before, and to take advantage of that and know that you can take $99 for a fake audition is just disgusting,” he continued.

Baltes responded to the publication, insisting that “someone” who claimed to be with casting sent him the “false information” and that no money had been paid.

According to Variety, this isn’t the first time Baltes has tried to solicit money for fake auditions. In 2018, he posted a similar scam for Jurassic World: Dominion and director Colin Trevorrow tweeted: “Anyone who requests money for an audition isn’t on the level.”

Crazy Rich Asians, based on the novel by Kevin Kwan, starred Constance Wu and Henry Golding. The sequels will be based on the follow-up novels, China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems.

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In the Heights postponed until summer 2021

Jon M. Chu’s movie musical In the Heights has been postponed by a year to summer 2021.The Crazy Rich Asians director was just 20 days away from completing post-production on the movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning stage musical …

Jon M. Chu’s movie musical In the Heights has been postponed by a year to summer 2021.

The Crazy Rich Asians director was just 20 days away from completing post-production on the movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning stage musical when the coronavirus pandemic struck. Accordingly, crew members were forced to work remotely in line with social distancing measures, and as a consequence, the film wouldn’t have been completed in time for its original 26 June 2020 release date.

Warner Bros. executives pulled the musical from their calendar back in March, and on Tuesday, they set a new date – 18 June 2021, almost a year after it was originally set to hit cinemas.

“After long conversations & sleepless nights of uncertainty, we have decided the best time to release #InTheHeightsMovie is next summer when people will feel the MOST comfortable celebrating in a movie theater TOGETHER,” Chu wrote on Twitter. “I know it’s much later than we wanted but… #InTheHeightsMovie didn’t take 10 years to get made only to be left in half-empty theaters w/out the crowd it deserves!! So thank you 4 ur patience & faith…and when we get through this time & the movie comes out we are throwing a HUGE EFFING PARTY LIKE YOUVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE (sic).”

The Hamilton creator retweeted Chu’s message and added lyrics from the show, writing, “So we’ve got the summer and we’ve got each other Perhaps even longer,” alongside heartbroken and multiple clock emojis.

The Mary Poppins Returns actor created In the Heights and originated the lead role of bodega owner Usnavi, who will be portrayed by Hamilton star Anthony Ramos in the film. Miranda will have a small role alongside the likes of Stephanie Beatriz and Corey Hawkins.

Earlier this week, Warner Bros. executives reshuffled more of the studio’s schedule, announcing delays to films including The Batman, Shazam 2, and The Many Saints of Newark. They are currently still keeping the dates for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet in July and Wonder Woman 1984 in August.

On Tuesday, they also confirmed they were scrapping the theatrical run of new animated Scooby-Doo movie, Scoob!, and releasing it on-demand instead. The film will be available to rent or buy at home from 15 May.

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Jon M. Chu was determined to make In the Heights a big studio movie

Director Jon M. Chu was determined to make In the Heights a big studio film rather than a small independent musical.When the filmmaker signed up to direct the movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical, which focuses on a largely Hispa…

Director Jon M. Chu was determined to make In the Heights a big studio film rather than a small independent musical.

When the filmmaker signed up to direct the movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical, which focuses on a largely Hispanic community in Manhattan’s neighbourhood of Washington Heights, he used his status following his success with Crazy Rich Asians to make the film a big studio movie because he felt it deserved to be one.

“The lesson I got from Jon is we’re allowed to take up space with our stories,” Miranda told Variety. “He used his post-Crazy Rich Asians capital to say, ‘No, we get to take a big swing.’ This story, which could very easily have been this indie tiny musical about this neighbourhood, (he) was like, ‘This deserves a big swing. And this deserves to be as big as any of the other movies out there.’”

In the Heights stars Anthony Ramos as Usnavi, a bodega owner who dreams of a better life. The role was originated by Miranda on Broadway, and the Hamilton creator has taken on the smaller part of Piraguero, the owner of a small piragua stand. He is also overseeing the music.

The Mary Poppins Returns actor recently revealed he was still in the midst of completing the music when the coronavirus pandemic halted post-production and led to the film’s June release being postponed.

Yet, Chu has since assured fans that he is committed to bringing the movie to cinemas.

“I think it’s going to give a lot of people that light they need,” he commented to Insider. “The big thing is we get this movie on the big screen when people are in the right place in their lives to enjoy it. When people are coming out of the darkness and the light can come in.”

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Jon M. Chu applauds decision to postpone release of In the Heights

Director Jon M. Chu has praised the decision to postpone the release of In the Heights.The silver screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical was set to be released on 26 June, but studio executives at Warner Bros. announced on Tuesd…

Director Jon M. Chu has praised the decision to postpone the release of In the Heights.

The silver screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical was set to be released on 26 June, but studio executives at Warner Bros. announced on Tuesday that it would be delayed, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We had the best summer of our lives filming In the Heights movie last year,” Miranda told his followers on Twitter. “We couldn’t wait to share it with you. But we’re going to have to wait a little longer. When we can safely gather again, flags in hand, we will be there, enjoying this movie in theatres.”

And in an interview with Insider, Chu revealed he was relieved the film had been postponed, as he felt it needed to be shown in a crowded cinema, something that would be impossible now with the closures of movie theatres around the world.

“We want people to have (that) experience,” he explained. “And with it being a musical, if you look back at history, that kind of movie has always brought people together at the worst times to celebrate life. And now we need that even more so.”

While the Crazy Rich Asians filmmaker was frustrated at being just 20 days from completing the film, he wants In the Heights to bring people together once the world begins to recover from the Covid-19 outbreak.

“I think it’s going to give a lot of people that light they need,” Chu shared. “The big thing is we get this movie on the big screen when people are in the right place in their lives to enjoy it. When people are coming out of the darkness and the light can come in.”

He also took to Twitter to share the same touching sentiment, and told his followers: “We will have a big friggin’ party when we get to see it on the big screen! And we will all be together again dancing in the aisles!! Stay healthy and take care of your family in the meantime.”

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Hollywood stars celebrate Parasite’s historic Best Picture win at 2020 Oscars

Celebrities including Ava DuVernay, Sandra Oh, and Priyanka Chopra took to social media on Sunday night to celebrate Parasite becoming the first foreign language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Bong Joon Ho’s South Korean thriller was the under…

Celebrities including Ava DuVernay, Sandra Oh, and Priyanka Chopra took to social media on Sunday night to celebrate Parasite becoming the first foreign language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture.

Bong Joon Ho’s South Korean thriller was the underdog going into the ceremony and wasn’t expected to win much more than the Best International Feature Film category, but ended up sweeping the event with four wins, also including Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and the night’s coveted Best Picture prize, which had been widely expected to go to 1917.

Social media users and celebrities alike were thrilled with the surprising and historic wins, with director DuVernay tweeting, “MASSIVE! HISTORIC! LANDMARK! PARASITE! The world is big and it is beautiful and films from everywhere deserve to be on that stage winning @TheAcademy’s highest honour. This is wonderful and right. #Oscars.”

Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu wrote, “Parasite Parasite Parasite Parasite!!!! Oh my gawwwdddd Parasite did it (sic)!!!! Director Bong did it!! The whole insanely talented cast did it!! South Korea did it. History made. Heading out to celebrate all night!!!” while Killing Eve star Oh posted, “Congratulations @ParasiteMovie So so proud to be Korean.”

Indian actress Chopra added, “Wow! It’s so emotional to see an international film like Parasite, in Korean with English subtitles, not only receive such a warm embrace from audiences around the world, but also this kind of recognition from one of the most prestigious film academy’s (sic) in the world… Congratulations to the entire film for shattering the glass ceiling and making history as the first non-English film to win Best Picture.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in also offered up his congratulations on social media, thanking Joon Ho for giving “pride and courage” to the country’s people.

Earlier in the night, as the filmmaker accepted the Best Director prize, he told the audience, “After winning Best International Feature, I thought I was done for the day and was ready to relax. Thank you so much… I never thought I would win.”

He let other members of the Parasite team speak following the Best Picture win but told reporters backstage that the film’s Oscars haul was “really f**king crazy”.

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Brenda Song claims she ‘wasn’t Asian enough’ to audition for Crazy Rich Asians

Brenda Song has claimed she missed out on the chance to audition for Crazy Rich Asians because producers felt she was too American.In a new interview with Teen Vogue, the actress revealed that she didn’t get the opportunity to test for the hit 2018 rom…

Brenda Song has claimed she missed out on the chance to audition for Crazy Rich Asians because producers felt she was too American.

In a new interview with Teen Vogue, the actress revealed that she didn’t get the opportunity to test for the hit 2018 romantic comedy, which featured a largely Asian-American cast.

“A lot of people don’t know this, but I never got to read for Crazy Rich Asians, ever…,” the 31-year-old said. “Their reasoning behind that, what they said, was that my image was basically not Asian enough, in not so many words. It broke my heart.

“I said, ‘This character is in her late to mid-20s (sic), an Asian-American, and I can’t even audition for it? I’ve auditioned for Caucasian roles my entire career, but this specific role, you’re not going to let me do it?’ You’re going to fault me for having worked my whole life?’ I was like, ‘Where do I fit?'”

Brenda is best known for her TV roles in such shows as The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Dads, Scandal, New Girl, and her new series Dollface. She also played the love interest of Andrew Garfield’s character in David Fincher’s The Social Network.

Following Brenda’s interview, Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu responded on Twitter and furiously denied her accusations.

“Would these words ever come out of my mouth?” he tweeted. “Nope, makes no sense. I feel horrible she thinks this is the reason. The fact is I love Brenda Song and am a fan. I didn’t need her to audition because I already knew who she was!”

Crazy Rich Asians starred Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, and Michelle Yeoh. Two sequels are currently in the works.

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Constance Wu goes to acting classes on her days off

Constance Wu goes to acting classes on her days off because that’s where she feels the “most free”.The 37-year-old started acting in a community theatre in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia, at the age of 12 before training at the Lee Strasberg …

Constance Wu goes to acting classes on her days off because that’s where she feels the “most free”.

The 37-year-old started acting in a community theatre in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia, at the age of 12 before training at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.

She has since found success with hit sitcom Fresh Off the Boat and movies like Crazy Rich Asians and Hustlers, but the Golden Globe-nominated actress loves her job so much that she even goes to acting classes on her days off.

“I love what I do. It’s more fun for me than going to a party,” she told Britain’s Guardian newspaper. “When I have a day off, I go to acting class. I’m there with all the other actors who are struggling and waiting tables and trying to become actors, just because it’s fun. It’s where I feel most free.”

She also opened up about the early days of her career, and recalled a time when she was living in New York during her early 20s and was juggling her job as a waitress with auditions. While deciding whether to retrain as a speech therapist or to focus on her acting career, she decided to ditch her acting dream because of a “pathetic reason”.

“I had a boyfriend I was in love with, who wasn’t too psyched with the idea of being with an actress, because it wasn’t stable. He wasn’t like: ‘I don’t want to be with an actress,’ but he said: ‘I just want a partner with a stable job.’ I tried it. It didn’t work for me. And that relationship did not end up working out,” Wu explained.

Elsewhere in the interview, Wu teased the latest developments for the two follow-up movies to last year’s smash hit, Crazy Rich Asians.

“I’m still friends with Jon M. Chu (the director). Last I talked to him, they were still working on the scripts,” she stated.

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