October 16, 2013

Ivanhoe Pictures to Finance Kevin Kwan's 'Crazy Rich Asians'

Hollywood, USA -- Ivanhoe Pictures announced today that it has reached agreement to finance and co-produce first-time novelist Kevin Kwan's comedic best seller, CRAZY RICH ASIANS, with producer Nina Jacobson and partner Brad Simpson from Color Force.  Color Force will oversee development of the script in conjunction with Kelly Carmichael on behalf of Ivanhoe. 

Kevin Kwan will serve as executive producer while Alexandra Machinist and Color Force's Brian Unkeless are set to co-produce.
"When we talked about our dream partner for Crazy Rich Asians, we envisioned a company that had a real presence in both the United States and Asia," said Color Force's Nina Jacobson. 

"That is what is so gratifying about Ivanhoe. Not only does the Ivanhoe team love the book the way we do, it also is committed to making a film that will hold universal appeal in the marketplace.".   
The book, which received rave reviews and became one of the industry's most hotly-pursued titles, is a hilarious look at three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families whose predilection for gossip, backbiting and scheming reaches fever pitch when the heir to one of Asia's most massive fortunes brings home his American-born Chinese girlfriend to attend the wedding of the season in Singapore.
Ivanhoe's John Penotti said that newly formed Ivanhoe Pictures was pleased to so quickly discover a story that perfectly meshed with the company's creative business strategy.

"The moment we finished Kevin's brilliantly romantic, funny and daring novel, we knew we had to be involved," he added. "Kevin's perfectly realized milieu, matched with Nina and Brad's exuberance and talent for producing smart, exciting films, makes this a perfect pairing for Ivanhoe."
Author Kevin Kwan welcomed the production agreement. "I'm delighted to be working with the powerhouse team of Ivanhoe and Color Force. It's absolutely thrilling to see all the momentum that's now propelling my novel to the big screen."

The project was packaged by United Talent Agency.

The deal was negotiated for Ivanhoe Pictures by Walk the Walk Entertainments Steve Hutensky and Head of Business Affairs Brian Kornreich.   UTA and attorney Kathy Halberg of Ziffren Brittenham negotiated on behalf of Color Force.  Kevin Kwan was represented by UTA, Janklow & Nesbit and attorney Peter Nichols.

About Ivanhoe Pictures

Ivanhoe Pictures, led by international financier Robert Friedland, John Penotti and Ray Chen, finances and produces film and television projects that have broad appeal to a global audience. Initially, the company will bridge production opportunities in America and Asia, focusing on China, India, Korea and
Japan. Beyond that, the company plans to pursue English and local-language films in a variety of international markets.
About Color Force

Since its inception, Nina Jacobson's Color Force has demonstrated its talent for successfully bringing beloved literary adaptations to the big screen. The company has placed a premium on great storytelling and has become known for working closely with authors and filmmakers throughout the adaptation process. 
In just five years, Nina Jacobson, along with partner Brad Simpson, have been able to secure valuable partnerships with several favorite pop culture writers, including Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games trilogy), David Nicholls (One Day) and Jeff Kinney (The Wimpy Kid series). Color Force currently is developing Maria Semple's best-selling novel, "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?", with Annapurna Pictures. In 2012, Color Force signed a first-look cable television deal with FX Productions. The first production under this deal, The Run of His Life: The People V. O.J. Simpson, will premiere as a limited series on Fox in 2014.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the follow-up film to the record-breaking The Hunger Games, will be released by Lionsgate on November 22, 2013. Production on Mockingjay, the next installment in The Hunger Games films, is underway.
Media Contact: Keleigh Thomas Morgan/Brooke Blumberg

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