Asian Americans may be getting another chance at the spotlight with the launch of a new production company.
A-Major Media will focus exclusively on Asian American content, according to Hollywood Reporter. Backed mainly by Valence Media, the company is led by “15-year industry veteran” Mary Lee, whose credentials include head of film at Justin Lin’s Perfect Storm Entertainment and TV producer at the Walcott Company.
Lee cited the rising representation of Asian Americans, including 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians, which grossed over $238 million worldwide and the first Hollywood film to feature an all-Asian American cast since The Joy Luck Club in 1993.
“Looking back at my entire career, I think I’ve always tried in certain ways to champion Asian American stories or be involved with them, but it was just so much harder back then,” Lee said in an interview with Hollywood Reporter. “To actually build a company and be able to champion Asian and Asian American artists and stories is something I really didn’t think was possible until now.”
The company may partner with other production companies to gain further financial and creative support.
“[A-Major] is built in a way where I have development financing and can partner with people and get projects to a certain place, versus having to depend on someone to take them on [before I can] even do that,” Lee said. “Knowing that it’s still tough [to make content from and about underrepresented groups], we didn’t want to put any additional limitations on what I can do.”
Three films in progress include a romantic comedy involving a girl using Korean drama tropes to romance her crush, an autobiographical high school experience penned by Fresh off the Boat’s Kourtney Kang, and a love letter to K-pop fans by Lauren Moon (Atypical and 29+ Dates).
John Cho of Star Trek and Harold and Kumar will produce a feature with Lee, written by Elliot San, Deadline announced last year. The plot is so far unknown, but has been described as a “mind-bending genre tale” with an Asian American protagonist.
A-Major Media will also produce a currently untitled TV series produced by fashion model and actress Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians) and film producer Franklin Leonard.
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