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Netflix Tried To Acquire Crazy Rich Asians, And Why The Filmmakers Didn’t Go For It

Netflix has been incredibly aggressive in recent years. Chances are if you’re a show or movie that’s worth you’re salt, the streaming giant would be able to get its clutches in you by throwing a giant brick of cash your way. The world has problems, and many of those problems can be solved by money, as Netflix has proven. But it turns out money can’t solve every problem.

In this particular case, it looks like it didn’t give them the rights to create the film adaptation of the novel Crazy Rich Asians, as was revealed in a recent THR piece. According to the outlet, Netflix was willing to give them seven-figure paydays for each stakeholder upfront — and it was more many than Warner Bros. was willing to put up…so why did they say no?

The novel’s author, Kevin Kwan, told the outlet:

“I could sense every lawyer on the call shaking their heads: ‘Ugh, these stupid idealists.’ Here, we have a chance for this gigantic payday instantaneously. But [director Jon M. Chu] and I both felt this sense of purpose. We needed this to be an old-fashioned cinematic experience, not for fans to sit in front of a TV and just press a button.”

Director Jon Chu added:

“We were gifted this position to make a decision no one else can make, which is turning down the big payday for rolling the dice [on the box office] — but being invited to the big party, which is people paying money to go see us.”

Pretty much, they saw themselves in a position to give Asian audiences to see themselves up on the big screen, and they ultimately felt that was the most important thing of all with this movie. As someone who has largely pushed the future of film distribution, and how I see theaters’ roles growing smaller and smaller in the future, I can still very much understand this sentiment. I may personally prefer the at-home experience, but there is something validating about the big screen, especially when you’re trying to get in front of as many eyes as possible.

What do you think of this move? Is it the one you would have made? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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