After vying for Ali Wong‘s affections in Always Be My Maybe, Daniel Dae Kim and Randall Park are set to star in an untitled heist movie in the works at Amazon that will feature a largely Asian-American cast.
Young Il Kim, who wrote the Hillary Clinton biopic Rodham that was voted to the 2012 Black List, is set to pen the script, which will follow a group of high school friends reuniting to pull off a heist in a nod to fun ensemble capers such as Ocean’s 11.
Multiple suitors were vying for the project, which is based on an original idea from Kim, Park and John Cheng, who spearheads development at Kim’s production company 3AD. The three of them will also produce the project. 3AD has a first-look TV deal at Amazon, though this heist project doesn’t fall under that since it’s a movie.
Young Il Kim told Deadline that the script “has nods to Ocean’s 11, The Full Monty as well as Better Luck Tomorrow,” explaining that “it’s a story that kind of highlights community, friendship [and] unity in a very familiar genre that people I think will enjoy.” “We want to be inclusive and we feel like there’s a story here to be told,” he added.
The screenwriter also told Deadline that he was encouraged by the bidding war sparked by the project. “There is an appetite to see this kind of a movie with an Asian-American cast, and that is a really promising sign of the times,” said Kim. Meanwhile, the film’s two stars said in a joint statement that they “can’t wait to join with Young to tell this special story of friendship, pride and community.”
Kim is best known for his starring turns on Lost and Hawaii Five-O, though he also appeared in Best picture winner Crash and the two Divergent sequels, as well as the comic book movies Hulk and Spider-Man 2. He’ll soon be seen alongside Anna Kendrick and Toni Collette in the sci-fi movie Stowaway. Park’s credits include The Interview, Fresh Off the Boat and Veep, as well as the comic book movies Ant-Man and the Wasp and Aquaman. He’s also set to reprise his MCU role on the Disney+ series WandaVision. Meanwhile, Young Il Kim served as a writer on Billions and also worked on Lionsgate’s Seoul Girls, as well as several projects for CJ Entertainment, the South Korean company behind Parasite.
Speaking of which, movies like Parasite and Crazy Rich Asians have proven there’s an audience out there for films with Asian and Asian-American leads, while movies like Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Amazon’s Late Night have seen strong viewership numbers on streaming services. We’ll see if Mulan performs up to Disney’s expectations when it launches on Disney+ in a few weeks at a rental price of $29.99.