Jon M. Chu Says There's 'A Lot More Story to Tell' in Anticipated 'Crazy Rich Asians' Sequel (Exclusive)

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A sequel to Crazy Rich Asians won't hit theaters for a while, but director Jon M. Chu promises it's going to be worth the wait.

Chu, who received the Director award at the 17th Unforgettable Gala honoring Asian American trailblazers in their field, spoke exclusively with ET's Denny Directo backstage on Saturday evening after accepting his honor about the status of the anticipated follow-up movie.

"In the end of this movie, we planted Harry Shum Jr. in there and there’s some fun storylines [with] Charlie [that] I think would be really cool to tell," Chu, 39, told ET of the mid-credits tease featuring Shum's character and Gemma Chan's newly single Astrid. "But it’s early days. I got to figure out. It’s all got to work out."

In late August, Warner Bros. officially put the sequel into development and last week, Michelle Yeoh revealed that screenwriters Adele Lim and Peter Chiarelliwere working on the script. Though it's presumed that Chu -- who next helms the big-screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical In the Heights -- would return to the director's chair, he is still not locked in.

"I would love to [direct the sequel]," Chu said, adding that there are several factors delaying the process. "Scheduling and also we got to close my deal, so come on, let’s get this done!"

"I’m doing In the Heights next with Lin-Manuel Miranda. I shoot that in the summer and then I would love to roll into doing some Crazy Rich Asians," he forecasted, sharing that he's been knee-deep in In the Heights auditions, having received over 2,500 submissions.

While it's unclear how close the follow-up would align with China Rich Girlfriend, the second book in Kevin Kwan's best-selling trilogy, Chu hoped more of the supporting characters, who didn't receive much screen time in the first movie, get their moment in the second. Appropriate, considering the book sequel spends ample time focusing on the blossoming romance redo between Astrid and her first love, Charlie; the unlikely relationship of Kitty Pong and Bernard Tai; and Nick and Rachel's quest to find more about her father. 

"We’ve got a lot more story to tell," Chu promised. "We’ve got to show off more of the cast. We’ve got to find new people as well. It would be a whole combo of things."

It has been a celebratory few days for the Crazy Rich Asians team, who earned two Golden Globe nominations (Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for Constance Wu, Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical) and four Critics' Choice Awards nominations, including Best Comedy, Best Acting Ensemble and Best Actress in a Comedy for Wu. When asked specifically about the Globe nominations, Chu confessed he was not expecting to receive good news.

"Absolutely not. I never expected [it] when we first started the movie, I never expected [it] when people were, like, whispering about it," Chu said. "When you’re in this town for so long you don’t listen to other people and you get very skeptical about a lot of things and you guard your heart a lot, so when it actually happened, I was shocked. I was with my baby already. She was up at 4 a.m. and I watched the live stream. The moment is so surreal when I look back because I don’t know how to react in it, so it’s pretty cool."

Chu opened up about being honored with the prestigious Director award at the Unforgettable Gala, held by Kore Asian Media, and being called a trailblazer in the entertainment industry. 

"I feel like we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing and if that trail hasn’t been blazed then we need to be doing it. I think that organizations like this where they wake you up from your own -- I didn’t even think about all this, all these issues with Hollywood until it was literally on Twitter and people are having the conversation and I’m looking at myself and saying, ‘What am I doing about it?’ I think it’s really important to continue the conversation and to actually encourage people to do the work. That you’re not alone in it and I think that’s really powerful."

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