When assessing the diversity strength of the Golden Globes this morning, look no further than Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson’s Color Force production label. It racked up eight nominations across their Warner Bros feature Crazy Rich Asians and FX Ryan Murphy series Pose and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
One nominee is the first major studio release made by Asian talent and starring Asian actors since 1993’s The Joy Luck Club, another a series about the 1980s trans-world, while Gianni Versace tackles the impact of homophobia in the 1990s.
Crazy Rich Asians scored two nominations for Best Motion Picture Comedy and Best Motion Picture Comedy Actress Constance Wu. Pose took two nods for Best TV Drama and Best TV Drama Actor, Billy Porter. Gianni Versace, after winning seven Primetime Emmys including best limited series, received four nominations Thursday in Best TV Limited Series, Best Actor in TV Limited Series (Darren Criss), Best Performances by a TV Actress in Supporting Role (Penelope Cruz) and TV Actor Supporting Role (Edgar Ramirez).
“There’s a great appetite both commercially and critically to see these types of stories, ones which used to be overlooked by an industry that tended to favor stories by people who look like corporate board rooms instead of audiences,” said Jacobson.
Added Simpson “Audiences have been ready for a while — it’s corporate and the studios who are just waking up, and this year has proved it. The fact that three best picture titles center around black characters (Black Panther, If Beale Street Could Talk and BlacKkKlansman) and another with Asian characters reflects the sea of change we’re seeing.”
Jacobson praised these breakthroughs and “the incredible talent who’ve been given the platform to shine.”
“When Ryan Murphy says something is going to be great, everybody believes him; when Jon Chu says I know how to tell the story of Crazy Rich Asians and I have a vision for it, all these folks are hard to resist,” she added.
Speaking of that movie, which reignited the romantic comedy at the box office and amassed close to $238 million globally, Jacobson and Simpson informed Deadline that the current plan for the Crazy Rich Asians sequels is to shoot them back-to-back (much like the final two Back to the Future movies and Matrix movies), and a lot of that has to do with the availability of talent, and how in-demand they’ve become following the success of the Chu-directed title. Chu is currently working on the feature adaptation of the Tony Award winner In the Heights, and once that goes into post, he’ll likely prep Crazy Rich Asians 2 & 3 for a 2020 shoot. The script is currently being worked on by Adele Lim and Peter Chiarelli. By having fans wait a while upfront, “we’ll make it up to them on the back end,” says Jacobson, “by shooting two films together.”
In regard to what the next American Crime Story will focus on (if it’s Katrina), that’s still TBD per the producer duo.