“The Joy Luck Club” will meet once again, as a sequel to the groundbreaking 1993 film has officially been greenlit.
“Joy Luck Club 2,” as it is currently called, will see “The Joy Luck Club” novelist Amy Tan and screenwriter Ron Bass back on board. They will both also help produce the film alongside Ashok and Priya Amritraj of Hyde Park Entertainment Group. A director has yet to be announced.
Director Wayne Wang helmed the seminal 1993 film adapted from Tan’s 1989 novel. The story centers around four immigrant Chinese families based in San Francisco, the matriarchs of which are all part of a mahjong club called the Joy Luck Club. Tan’s novel is structured to resemble the game of mahjong, separated into four parts with vignettes, histories and stories of the mothers and daughters of the families.
An ensemble cast was assembled for the original film, including the likes of Tsai Chin, Lisa Lu, Kieu Chinh, France Nuyen and Rosalind Chau, and helped catapult the careers of Ming-Na Wen, Lauren Tom and Tamlyn Tomita.
Much of the cast are in talks to reprise their roles, with the daughters now becoming mothers and the mothers becoming grandmothers. It also presents a casting opportunity for more Asian actors to step into the grandchildren’s roles or other supporting characters.
Ashok Amritraj said of the sequel: “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.”
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.”
“The Joy Luck Club” was a historic film. It played at the Toronto International Film Festival, grossed over $28 million at the box office in North America and received a BAFTA nomination for best adapted screenplay. Only a year after its release, ABC greenlit “All-American Girl,” a primetime sitcom starring Margaret Cho.
In 2020, “The Joy Luck Club” was selected by the Library of Congress for the United States National Film Registry for preservation, where it was noted as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”