Color Force CEO Nina Jacobson has acquired feature rights to first-time novelist Kevin Kwan’s comedic best-seller Crazy Rich Asians. Jacobson will produce with partner Brad Simpson and senior veep Bryan Unkeless will oversee development. The producer is working with the author’s reps at UTA to get this funded outside the studio system using financing from Asian and other international sources.
Book, published in June by Knopf Doubleday, 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 the wedding of the season.
“Crazy Rich Asians is that immersive page turner I am constantly searching for but so rarely find,” said Jacobson. “Kevin’s writing took me into a world I’d never seen or imagined and got me so invested in the romance at the heart of it that I could not put the book down until I saw whether or not they made it. This novel represents an enormous opportunity for Color Force to tell a universal story to a global audience.”
The book was represented by UTA, Janklow & Nesbit and attorney Peter Nichols.
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The future of Hollywood franchises is international and it is female, producers agreed this afternoon on the Studio Tentpoles panel at the PGA’s Produced By Conference. “I think Hollywood was too stupid to figure that out for a while” said The Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson, citing the recent success of the her own new franchise and The Twilight Saga as examples of female-driven blockbusters. “I think that there will be something really big that will reverse engineer itself for the American market,” said Transformers and Red producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, taking a different perspective and noting the changing nature of the French film industry toward more populist fare. “It’s going to come at us and I think that will be a good thing.” Jacobson also lamented Hollywood’s pursuit of what she called the “fanboy” audience. “Can you think, between movies, TV, video games and porn, any audience that has a shorter attention span?” she asked. She pointed out that women are the primary economic decision-makers in most households. Di Bonaventura and Jacobson were joined on the panel by The Hangover movies’ director Todd Phillips and “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” producer Debra Martin Chase. Former Warner Bros executive Kevin McCormick, producer of the upcoming Gangster Squad, moderated the panel. Philips declined to say anything about the plot of The Hangover 3 except that it is “not going to be another forgotten night.” Read More »