After a huge bidding war, Sony Pictures and SK Global have finally landed film rights to adapt bestselling author Kevin Kwan‘s new novel Sex and Vanity. Published by Doubleday, the book became an instant New York Times bestseller after its release on June 30.
Sex and Vanity marks the first novel after Kwan’s earlier works Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, also adapted by SK Global. The first book in the series, Crazy Rich Asians, was adapted into an elaborate feature film. It became a huge box office hit in 2018, earning $240 million worldwide, for portraying the first Hollywood all-Asian cast in 25 years. The movie starred Constance Wu, Henry Golding and Awkwafina, and was directed by Jon M. Chu.
Sex and Vanity had been selected as Good Morning America’s “Book Club Pick” for July. It is a glittering tale of love and longing, centering around a young woman who finds herself torn between two men: the WASP-y fiancé of her family’s dreams and George Zao, the man she is trying so hard to NOT fall in love with.
Regarding the recent acquisition by the studios, Kwan stated: “I am overjoyed to be embarking on this cinematic adventure with Sony Pictures and SK Global. Sony Pictures has produced so many of my favorite films over the years, and I am thrilled by Sanford Panitch’s vision for this project. I’m also very excited to be working again with my great friend John Penotti (SK Global’s producer), who responded immediately and passionately to the world I created in Sex and Vanity.
Penotti responded: “Seven years ago Kevin entrusted us (and our producing partners) with his ground-breaking Crazy Rich Asians bestseller, and ever since working with him has been a creative dream. With Sex and Vanity he’s once again created a work of magic, crafting a riveting story about love and identity. We instantly fell in love with its heart and humor and are thrilled to partner with him again, as well as with our collaborators at Sony Pictures. Sanford and the team love the book as much as we do, and we are all committed to bringing this story to a global audience.”