Oscar winner Chloe Zhao may lose chance to direct ‘Eternals’ sequel after mixed reviews
Now the good news -- Simu Liu for SNL, Kal Penn's story, more Asian leads
“Almost half of all Asian roles serve as a punchline, study finds.”
You’re not the only ones disappointed by that headline. For us, “crushing the myth” means dismantling stereotypes and improving Asian representation across all industries, including Media & Entertainment. Because to “see” our community is to see us on screen.
So welcome to Entertainment Exclusive, Crushing the Myth’s new weekly newsletter that breaks down the latest Asian Entertainment news & newsmakers.
Get ready for new shows to binge, videos to keep you on the edge of your seat, and Asian celebs to stan.
*Note: Our weekly “Entertainment Exclusive” newsletter will be free to preview for 1 month. After that period, this will only be available for paid subscribers only — subscribe below. But our separate weekly general headlines newsletter will always be free.*
🏆 The Headlines
If you didn’t watch Saturday Night Live before, you’ll have a reason to now… more like 10 (rings) of a reason. The actor behind characters you love from Kim’s Convenience, Wong Fu Productions, and Shang-Chi himself, Simu Liu will be hosting SNL on November 20, 2021. And it’s looking like a night of Asian icons because Filipino-American rapper Saweetie will be joining him as the musical guest.
Who else remembers ‘Harold & Kumar’? There’s an update to the story — specifically with Kal Penn. The actor and former President Obama adviser Kal Penn has come out as gay, and revealed that he's engaged to be married.
The 44-year-old star, who rose to fame in the "Harold & Kumar" movies, opened up about his sexuality publicly for the first time ahead of Tuesday's release of his new tell-all memoir, which is called "You Can't Be Serious." In an interview with People magazine, published Sunday, Penn said that he is engaged to Josh, his partner of 11 years. He also told the publication that he felt "very supported" when he came out to his loved ones.
Cross-over diamonds and dancing and what do you get… ‘Bling Empire’s Christine Chiu. Christine Chiu, who produced and starred in Netflix's hit series "Bling Empire," fulfilled her lifelong dream of being able to dance on “Dancing With the Stars” (DWTS) by competing in the show’s 30th season. Although Chiu was eliminated on Week 3, she expressed her gratitude and shared her most memorable moments on the show.
Am I the only one not done with my Halloween candy? Beyond the candy, there are other sweet reasons to still think about Halloween. Asian celeb costumes, I’m looking at you. And don’t worry, you won’t only see Squid Game costumes.
🎬 Industry Catch-up
Daniel Dae Kim Joins ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Netflix Live-Action Series As Fire Lord Ozai (Deadline)
MTV Books Relaunches With ‘My Life: Growing Up Asian in America’ (Variety)
‘3-Body Problem’ Netflix Series Adds 12 to Cast, Including Benedict Wong and Two ‘Game of Thrones’ Alums (Variety)
OPEN CASTING CALL for an upcoming Disney+ feature (co-written and executive produced by Utkarsh Ambudkar for the following character:
[RAJ PATEL] Actor to play 12 years old, South Asian, kind, quick-witted and just pre-puberty. He lives with his mother and feels under pressure for her approval. His father is dead, but Raj has made his dad his imaginary friend. Raj is an expert at math, so much so that he takes math classes with the 11th graders, and is expected to lead the upcoming Mathlympics Competition to victory. But Raj is secretly obsessed with his father's dream of becoming a rap musician, and (under his ghost-dad's boastful tutelage) abandons his math studies in an attempt to develop himself as a rapper. Raj almost splits his focus into far too many different areas, and his attempt to achieve multiple goals in life almost loses him everything, including the respect of his friends...Musical or Rap Ability would be a plus.
To submit: https://castittalent.com/WORLDS_BEST
💫 Deep Dive: ‘Eternals’
The 4th best opening of the year despite less than marvel-ous reviews. It’s estimated for a $71 million weekend, which is good enough for the fourth-best opening of the year, just ahead of F9. That means that the top four starts of 2021 belong to Marvel-based entities (including Venom: Let There Be Carnage). Where some are throwing daggers at Chloé Zhao’s film is that its 48% Tomatometer score is the lowest of the current Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the only Rotten one at that.
What happens when you take an Oscar-winning director and have them direct a superhero film? Apparently, limits — 'Eternals' highlights the limits elite directors face with Marvel, 'Star Wars' and DC movies.
And what does that mean for future ‘Eternals’ films? Zhao won two Oscars in 2020 for “Nomadland,” but a “trusted and proven” source for Giant Freakin Robot said the director could lose an opportunity to helm an “Eternals” sequel following low ratings. Box office numbers and fan reactions come first above all else, but the mixed reviews could dissuade people from watching the movie in theaters.
👀 Watch List
Your new favorite holiday rom-com with Jimmy O Yang, Darren Barnet, Harry Shum Jr., and James Saito! ‘Love Hard’ is currently streaming on Netflix.
Awkward teens in TV scenes. PEN15 (season 2B) is back on Hulu this December 3rd.
More badass Asian butt kickers. Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen star in ‘The Book of Boba Fett‘ - coming to Disney+ on December 29.
Alright, time for me to go back to my Netflix binge. See you for next week’s Entertainment Exclusive!
👋, Lea @ Crushing the Myth