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The Joy Luck Club Is Getting A Sequel 30 Years Later


Nearly 30 years after The Joy Luck Club came out, a sequel is now in development. Amy Tan, author of the best-selling novel that the movie is based on, and Oscar-winning screenwriter, Ron Bass, are working together to continue the multigenerational story, with the original leading cast in talks to return.

The Joy Luck Club broke ground for Asian and Asian-American representation when it premiered in 1993. Following the stories of four Chinese mothers and their Chinese-American daughters, the film portrayed female immigrant and first-generation experiences, as well as generational divides and trauma. It also notably starred an entirely East Asian cast — something not seen again in Hollywood for another 25 years when Crazy Rich Asians was released in 2018.

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The sequel intends to focus on a new generation, with the four daughters of the original film becoming mothers, and the mothers becoming grandmothers. So here’s what the cast looked like when The Joy Luck Club premiered in 1993 vs. now:

Kiều Chinh played Suyuan (June’s mother):

Chinh, a Vietnamese-American actor, was born in Hanoi, then part of French Indochina, in 1937. She was 56 when The Joy Luck Club premiered:

Here she is now in 2022 at 84:

Here’s a side-by-side of Chinh when The Joy Luck Club premiered and now:

Tsai Chin played Lindo (Waverly’s mother):

Chin, a Chinese actress, was born in Tianjin in 1933 and grew up in the then-Shanghai French Concession under the Western name, “Irene Chow.” She was 60 when The Joy Luck Club premiered:

Here she is in 2019 at 85:

Here’s a side-by-side look:

France Nuyen played Ying-Ying (Lena’s mother):

Nuyen, a French actor of mixed French and Vietnamese descent (though she’s said her father was “probably of Chinese origin”), was born in Marseille, France in 1939. She was 54 when The Joy Luck Club premiered, and here she is a year later at 55:

Here she is in 2021 at 81:

Here are both photos next to each other:

Lisa Lu played An-Mei (Rose’s mother):

Lu, a Chinese actor, was born in Beijing, China in 1927 and immigrated to the US, where she found success in television in the 1950s. She was 66 when The Joy Luck Club premiered:

Here she is in 2021, at a young 94(!):

Okay, here’s a side-by-side look:

Tamlyn Tomita played Waverly, a single mother and former child chess champion who is marrying a white man, much to her mother’s chagrin:

Tomita, a Japanese American actor, was born in Okinawa City — then under the US Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands — in 1966. She was 27 when The Joy Luck Club premiered:

Here she is now in 2022, at 56:

Here’s a side-by-side look:

Rosalind Chao played Rose, who has lost her assertive personality and became submissive to gain acceptance from her white husband’s social circle:

Chao, a Chinese American actor, was born in Anaheim, California in 1957. She was 35 when The Joy Luck Club premiered:

Here she is now in 2020, at 63:

And here are both Rosalinds side by side:

Lauren Tom played Lena, who has married her boss and is uncomfortable because, though they split the cost of everything evenly, he domineers their financial arrangements and ignores her needs:

Tom, a Chinese-American actor, was born in Highland Park, Illinois in 1961. She was 32 when The Joy Luck Club premiered:

Here she is in 2021 at 60:

Ming-Na Wen played June, who’s never met her mother’s expectations as a child due to a lack of interest and now feels like a failure in her mother’s eyes:

Wen, a Chinese-American actor, was born in Coloane — then part of Portuguese Macau — in 1963. She was 29 when The Joy Luck Club premiered:

Here she is now in 2022 at 58:

Here are the photos side-by-side:

May we all age as well as these incredible women!

And if you’re still here, let’s do a Marvel after-credits thing. Here are some pictures of “the mothers” when they were younger:

Here’s Kiều Chinh in 1982 in a promotional photo for the ABC television movie, The Letter:

Here she is again with Alan Alda in an episode of M*A*S*H in 1977:

Here she is at 45, 56, and 84:

Here’s a photo of Tsai Chin taken during a break from rehearsals for The World of Suzie Wong, in which she starred as Suzie Wong, in 1959:

Here’s another photo of her from 1960:

And here she is at 26, 60, and 85:

Here’s France Nuyen while filming South Pacific in 1958:

Here she is next to Goldie Hawn when she’d guest-starred on an episode of the sketch comedy show, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, in 1968:

Here she is at 19, 55, and 81:

Here’s a portrait of Lisa Lu (with her signature!) from 1960:

And here she is again (with James Stewart on the left) in a scene from The Mountain Road in 1960:

Here she is at 33, 66, and 94:

Are you excited for the sequel? What’d you think of the original? Share your thoughts in the comments below!



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