'Crazy Rich Asians' Author Sells Film Rights To New Novel To Sony, SK Global

Kevin Kwan will produce the movie based on "Sex and Vanity," alongside John Penotti, co-CEO at SK Global.

Sony Pictures and SK Global have bought the movie rights to “Sex and Vanity,” a new novel by Kevin Kwan, the author of “Crazy Rich Asians.”

When Kwan’s earlier novel was adapted into a feature film starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding in 2018, it broke records at the box office, at the time becoming the highest-grossing romantic comedy in the U.S.

In total, it earned $240 million, according to Variety.

“Crazy Rich Asians” was one of the first films produced by a major U.S. studio to feature a majority-Asian cast in 25 years. The blockbuster proved wrong a long-held myth in Hollywood that movies centered on people of color won’t appeal to a general audience.

Kwan will produce the adaptation of “Sex and Vanity” with SK Global co-CEO John Penotti, who also co-produced “Crazy Rich Asians.”

“Seven years ago Kevin entrusted us (and our producing partners) with his ground-breaking bestseller Crazy Rich Asians, and ever since working with him has been a creative dream. With Sex and Vanity, he’s once again created a work of magic, crafting a riveting story about love and identity,” Penotti said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Sex and Vanity” tells the story of Lucie Tang Churchill, a young woman torn between her WASPy fiancé and George Zao, a Chinese Australian surfer she meets on the island of Capri. According to the author’s website, it is both “a truly modern love story” and “a daring homage to A Room with a View.”

“I am overjoyed to be embarking on this cinematic adventure with Sony Pictures and SK Global. Sony Pictures has produced so many of my favorite films over the years, and I am thrilled by [Sony executive] Sanford Panitch’s vision for this project,” Kwan said in a statement to Variety.

“I’m also very excited to be working again with my great friend John Penotti, who responded immediately and passionately to the world I created in ‘Sex and Vanity.’”

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