EXCLUSIVE: Ivanhoe Pictures, the monied production company that launched in Toronto last month as a partnership between venture capitalist Robert Friedland, indie film vet John Penotti and Beijing-based Ray Chen, have found their first picture to stake. They are joining Color Force‘s Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson to produce a feature based on Kevin Kwan’s comedic bestseller Crazy Rich Asians. Ivanhoe will fully finance.
Back when Color Force acquired the book, Jacobson said her intention was to get funding for it outside the studio system with a company that had Asian roots. That makes this a perfect fit. Published last June by Knopf Doubleday, Crazy Rich Asians tells the story of three wealthy pedigreed Chinese families whose predilection for gossip, backbiting and scheming reaches fever pitch when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his American-born Chinese girlfriend to attend the wedding of the season in Singapore. Color Force will oversee development with Ivanhoe’s Kelly Carmichael.
The author will be executive producer while Alexandra Machinist and Color Force’s Brian Unkeless are set to co-produce.