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‘The Joy Luck Club’ is getting a sequel

The original leading cast is in talks to return to their roles. The film will also offer significant casting opportunities for a new generation.
Lisa Lu and Rosalind Chao in "The Joy Luck Club."
Lisa Lu and Rosalind Chao in "The Joy Luck Club."Buena Vista Pictures / Everett Collection
/ Source: Variety

Novelist Amy Tan and Oscar-winning “Rain Man” screenwriter Ron Bass are on board to deliver a sequel to “The Joy Luck Club,” the 1993 movie that broke new ground for Asian American representation.

The new film, “Joy Luck Club 2,” is set up at Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment Group, with Ashok and Priya Amritraj producing alongside Tan, Bass and Jeff Kleeman. A director hasn’t been announced yet.

The original “Joy Luck Club,” directed by Wayne Wang, was an epic, multigenerational saga of Chinese and Chinese-American mothers and daughters, whose histories, stories and lives interweave as they navigate life. Club members included characters played by Tsai Chin, France Nuyen, Lisa Lu and Kieu Chinh. The ensemble cast also included Tamlyn Tomita, Rosalind Chao and Russell Wong.

In “Joy Luck Club 2,” the mothers become grandmothers and the daughters become mothers in their own right, introducing a new generation exploring their own relationships with culture, heritage, love, womanhood and identity.

The original leading cast is in talks to return to their roles, as mothers and grandmothers of their families. The film will also offer significant casting opportunities for a new generation of Asian female-identifying actors, from the granddaughters to supporting roles.

The original film debuted in limited commercial release in September 1993 and also played at the Toronto International Film Festival. It grossed some $28 million in North America and was nominated for a BAFTA Award for best adapted screenplay.

Its significance, however, isn’t just limited to its breakout box office performance, or its critical acclaim, but also the way that it paved the way for Asian and female representation in other films and TV series. Just a year after its release, ABC launched Margaret Cho’s “All-American Girl,” which featured the first Asian American family to lead a primetime sitcom. In recent years, more strides have been made with the box office success of films like “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”

“Now more than ever it is important to share authentic stories about the Asian American experience, and we believe this film will speak to wide audiences with its narrative rooted in humanity and connection,” said Ashok Amritraj.

Tan and Bass added: “We are excited to be teaming with Hyde Park and Jeff Kleeman in bringing to life the next generation of these four families so close to our hearts.”