Chances are you’ve barely been able to leave the house for the last month without hearing mention of blockbuster hit Crazy Rich Asians or Netflix sensation To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Both summer flicks have been the topic of watercooler conversations, Twitter debates, and Buzzfeed quizzes galore—but that’s not all they have in common. Besides both featuring Asian-American protagonists and Asian casts, both Crazy Rich Asians and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before are based off the first book in trilogy by an author of Asian heritage and both find themselves back on the best-sellers lists.
Kevin Kwan’s 2013 Crazy Rich Asians is the first movie to come out of Hollywood featuring an all-Asian cast in twenty-five years. Starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding, Crazy RIch Asians chronicles the adventures (and misadventures) of Chinese-American Rachel Chu (Wu) visiting boyfriend Nick Young’s (Golding) “crazy rich” family in Singapore for a wedding.
Teen movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is adapted from the 2014 book of the same name by young adult novelist Jenny Han. The Netflix film has been lauded as a "throwback to the golden era of teen movies in the '90s" and follows Korean-American Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) as she navigates the complications that arise when her secret love letters accidentally get delivered to their recipients.
Both movies were released in mid-August, and since their respective releases, their respective books have both jumped back to the top of the best-seller lists. Crazy Rich Asians is number three on the overall Publishers Weekly list and number one on the New York Times best-seller list. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is also near the top of the Publishers Weekly Children's Frontlist Fiction list. And what’s more, China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems, the sequels to Crazy Rich Asians also find themselves near the top of best-sellers lists, as does Always and Forever, Lara Jean, one of the sequels to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Clearly, the success of the movie adaptations has translated to added sales for the entire series.
In the past, many—if not most—book series that have been fully adapted to the screen have been epic fantasies, sweeping thrillers, or gritty dystopian stories (think The Lord of the Rings, the Jack Ryan books, or Hunger Games). But the wild success of and overwhelming fan support for Crazy Rich Asians and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is perhaps an indication that Hollywood is ready for more book series-to-movie adaptations in the genre of romantic comedy.
There’s no word yet on whether the rest of the books in either series will get a movie adaptation, but all signs point to fans—and the publishers—rallying for Rachel, Nick, Lara Jean, and all the rest of our favorite characters to return to the screen as soon as possible.