How The First Movie's Changes Alter The Story Of China Rich Girlfriend
However, don't expect a direct adaptation of China Rich Girlfriend. Not only will some translation changes naturally happen, but Crazy Rich Asians already altered story threads that the sequel will have to contend with.
The biggest divergence is where it leaves Nick and Rachel's relationship. In the movie, we leave the pair on a happy note, engaged and excited for the future, whereas in the book it's not even clear if they're back together. The change obviously made for a more optimistic ending, although leaves China Rich Girlfriend's adaptation with a very different status quo.
Aside from the ending, Crazy Rich Asians also slightly changed what Eleanor found out about Rachel's father. In the film, Nick's mother learned most of the nitty gritty of the situation - Rachel's mother, Kerry (Tan Kheng Hua), had her out of wedlock, while she's trapped in an abusive relationship with her legal husband - confronting an unknowing Rachel after Collin and Araminta's wedding. But in the novel, Eleanor only learns that Kerry's husband is alive and is doing time in a prison in China. Of course, China Rich Girlfriend can still go with the reveal that Rachel's biological father is apparently extremely wealthy and is living in the mainland, so the impact will remain.
Meanwhile, Astrid's troubled marriage with Michael is drawn out. Instead of quickly deciding to leave him after confronting him about his cheating ways, Astrid tries to win her husband back and even tracks down his mistress in Hong Kong with the help of her ex-fiance, Charlie. As it turns out, Michael isn't really cheating but is only trying to make it look that way to get out of his marriage due to the suffocating pressure from his wife's family. This issue was actually highlighted in the Crazy Rich Asians film where Astrid had to hide her shopping escapades from her husband, and again, when Michael didn't seem thrilled receiving a rare Paul Newman Rolex Daytona after she advises him to dress more CEO-appropriate.
What We Want To See In Crazy Rich Asians 2
Of course, the Crazy Rich Asians sequel needs to address the mid-credits scene featuring Astrid and Charlie. As previously mentioned, their story was an integral part of Kwan's first book and involved a lot more than just the two's brief meeting at Nick and Rachel's engagement party in the movie. But since the film adaptation condensed Astrid's marital woes and went directly to her separation with Michael without exploring his cheating ways like in the novel, it would be better to focus on Charlie's unhappy wife, Isabel, and introduce her as the third party hindering the former couple's reconciliation.
China Rich Girlfriend will also have to evolve Rachel's relationship with Carlton, which gets a major breakthrough during the two's Parisian getaway with Nick and Colette. While it doesn't need to play out exactly as how it went in the novel, it's crucial for the sequel to build the couple as they're essential to the story's climax - Rachel's dramatic poisoning scare which leads to Gaoliang finally letting his long-lost biological daughter into his home. Shaoyen also finally meets her step-daughter (thanks to his son's urging) and realizes that she doesn't have anything to worry about in terms of Rachel tainting their family's reputation. Admittedly, it will be difficult to translate the whole story on the big screen, but this is an essential part of China Rich Girlfriend's main conflict and shouldn't be cut or reconstituted.
What most fans will really want to see, though, will be Rachel and Nick's wedding celebrations. In the book, the pair's small wedding happens early on in California before Rachel's family drama happens. But if Chu's adaptation needs another showstopper like Collin and Araminta's reception in the first film, it would be perfect to move to the end of China Rich Girlfriend.
While the Crazy Rich Asians sequel is already moving ahead at Warner Bros., it may be a little while before fans get to see the China Rich Girlfriend big screen adaptation. Chu's going to be busy working on In the Heights, an adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's first musical due for a 2020 release. Wu is occupied with her ABC sitcom, Fresh Off the Boat, which is set to air its fifth season, while Golding is already lining up acting gigs like A Simple Favor alongside Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick, and Monsoon. In the meantime, those who are itching to know more about the story can indulge by reading the second and third book (Rich People Problems) from Kwan.