Crazy Rich Asians co-writer Adele Lim departs sequels over pay disparity

Crazy Rich Asians co-writer Adele Lim departs sequels over pay disparity

Her starting offer from Warner Bros was S$152,000 plus while her co-writer's was between S$1.1m and S$1.38m.

'Crazy Rich Asians' co-writer Adele Lim
'Crazy Rich Asians' co-writer Adele Lim. (Photo:

Malaysian writer Adele Lim, who co-wrote the Crazy Rich Asians screenplay, has exited the planned sequels due to a dispute over pay disparity.

A representative for Ms Lim confirmed her departure from the Warner Bros projects. The rep declined to comment further. Warner Bros did not respond to a request for comment.

John M Chu directed from the script co-written by Ms Lim and Peter Chiarelli. The romantic comedy was a surprise hit with US$238 million in worldwide box office.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources said that Ms Lim's starting offer from Warner Bros was "US$110,000-plus" (S$152,000), while Mr Chiarelli's starting offer ranged from US$800,000 to US$1 million.

Warner Bros reportedly explained to Ms Lim's representatives that the quotes were "industry-standard established ranges based on experience and that making an exception would set a troubling precedent in the business", said the entertainment news site.

Crazy Rich Asians, based on the 2013 novel by Kevin Kwan, follows a young Asian American woman who meets her boyfriend's parents - and discovers they're one of the richest families in Singapore. 

READ: Singaporeans swarm the red carpet at Crazy Rich Asians premiere in Los Angeles

Constance Wu played the lead with Henry Golding as her fiance and Michelle Yeoh as her future mother-in-law.

FILE PHOTO: Author Kwan and cast members Golding and Wu pose at the premiere for "Crazy Rich A
FILE PHOTO: Author Kevin Kwan (right) and cast members Henry Golding and Constance Wu pose at the premiere for Crazy Rich Asians in Los Angeles, California, US, Aug 7, 2018. (Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

Warner Bros had announced shortly after the film opened that it would develop the next two books in Kwan's trilogy - 2015's China Rich Girlfriend and 2017's Rich People Problems. 

Mr Chu and Mr Chiarelli remain on board to develop the sequels along with Color Force's Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson. The studio has not set any release dates for the sequels.

Ms Lim is also working for Disney on the animated movie Raya and the Last Dragon, which is set for a Nov 25, 2020 release. The title character, voiced by Cassie Steele, goes on a quest to find the last dragon, voiced by Awkwafina.

Disney unveiled Raya on Aug 24 at its D23 Expo, where Variety asked Ms Lim on the red carpet about the Crazy Rich Asians sequels. She was vague about those projects, other than saying, "You'll have to ask someone of a higher pay grade."

Source: Reuters/CNA/ic