Fresh Off the Boat creator Nahnatchka Khan has docked her beloved ABC sitcom and signed up with Netflix to adapt Dial A for Aunties, an upcoming romantic-comedy book by Indonesia-based author Jesse Q. Sutanto which is being described as “Crazy Rich Asians meets Weekend at Bernie’s.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Khan has teamed up with Netflix to adapt the highly buzzed-about upcoming book Dial A for Aunties, which certainly has a unique pitch to it, considering the premise’s description of “Crazy Rich Asians meets Weekend at Bernie’s.” Those are two movies that are wildly different: Crazy Rich Asians is a fluffy, luxe rom-com about a middle-class Chinese-American woman who discovers her boyfriend is insanely rich, while Weekends at Bernie‘s is a black comedy about two vacationing buddies who attempt to hide the body of their fraudulent boss. But the story of Dial A for Aunties does seem to be exactly that, following a “young wedding photographer who, along with her mother and aunts, tries to hide the body of her blind date while working the wedding day of a wealthy client.”
“Dial A for Aunties is a brilliant and fun page-turning ride full of unbelievable plot twists; a date gone tragically wrong, well-intended but meddling aunties, an entirely fresh type of a heroine and a big romance,” Lisa Nishimura, Netflix’s vice president of original documentary and independent features, told THR. “With the singular talent of Nahnatchka Khan at the helm, we found the perfect pairing for this incredible and vibrant story.”
With the title’s tongue-in-cheek play on Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder and the promise of another rom-com starring Asian leads, the film does seem right up Netflix’s alley, which has become the hub for mid-budget rom-coms and have found success with Asian-led romances like Always Be My Maybe and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. But it is a little crazy that the book, which was picked up by Berkley Books earlier this spring but won’t be released until around April 2021, has garnered so much buzz just based on its pitch that Netflix was ready to give the green light. But perhaps Khan, who helmed Netflix’s Always Be My Maybe and was praised for bringing the first Asian American-led sitcom to life with Fresh Off the Boat, is passionate about the project.
Khan is developing the movie to direct and will also produce with Chloe Yellin via the duo’s Netflix-based banner, Fierce Baby Productions. Also producing are John Davis and Jordan Davis for Davis Entertainment. Sutanto will executive produce. The team will search for writers soon.
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