Netflix and Fresh Off the Boat creator Nahnatchka Khan have teamed up to adapt Dial A for Aunties, a highly sought-after upcoming book by Indonesia-based author Jesse Q. Sutanto.
Khan is developing the project to direct and will also produce with Chloe Yellin via the duo’s Netflix-based banner, Fierce Baby Productions. Also producing are John Davis and Jordan Davis for Davis Entertainment. Sutanto will exec produce.
Described as Crazy Rich Asians meets Weekend at Bernie’s, the story centers on a young wedding photographer who, along with her mother and aunts, tries to hide the body of her blind date while working the wedding day of a wealthy client.
The book was picked up by Berkley Books earlier this spring, with Berkley winning the rights and setting a tentative April 2021 publishing date.
When it came to the screen rights, the author took calls from producers but because of the time difference from living in Jakarta, calls only occurred one a day, lengthening the process for suitors and bidders. Sutanto then took time making her decision before settling on Khan.
A search for writers will soon get underway.
“Dial A for Aunties is a brilliant and fun page-turning ride full of unbelievable plot twists; a date gone tragically wrong, well-intended but meddling aunties, an entirely fresh type of a heroine and a big romance,” said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix’s vp of original documentary and independent features, in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “With the singular talent of Nahnatchka Khan at the helm, we found the perfect pairing for this incredible and vibrant story.”
Davis Entertainment and Netflix recently teamed on Dolemite Is My Name, the Eddie Murphy-starring picture that earned a Golden Globe nomination for best comedy, won a Critics Choice Award for best comedy and received five NAACP Image Award nominations
Khan’s Fresh Off the Boat chronicled the life of a Taiwanese-American family. The ABC comedy ran for six seasons, wrapping up in January 2020, and was praised for bringing Asian-American experiences to mainstream audiences. WME-repped Khan made her feature directorial debut with Netflix’s Always Be My Maybe, the romantic-comedy told via the prism of Asian-American culture that starred Ali Wong and Randall Park.
Sutanto, who has a Masters in creative writing from the University of Oxford, will also have another book debuting in 2021, a YA novel titled The Obsession from Sourcebooks. She is repped by UTA and Katelyn Detweiler of Jill Grinberg Literary Management.