Months before "Crazy Rich Asians" premiered, the film was being celebrated for being a rare studio film in which all the main actors are of Asian descent. But director Jon M. Chu has said his goal is for "Crazy Rich Asians" to be not just a landmark film, but to start a movement for greater Asian-American representation in Hollywood. Here's a timeline of some milestones and setbacks.
1961: "Flower Drum Song," first musical with Asian-Americans as leads
There are mixed feelings about the Hollywood version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein stage musical. It was made by non-Asians and featured Asian stereotypes, including a docile bride and a gold-digging showgirl.
1973: "Enter the Dragon" makes Bruce Lee an icon
Sadly, Lee died six days before the film was released, just as his career in the United States was about to take off. That said, not only has Lee become a global legend, but he set the stage for martial arts stars such as Jackie Chan and Jet Li.
1983 and 1985: "Gandhi" and "The Killing Fields" win big at the Oscars
The Gandhi biopic won eight Oscars, including best picture and best actor for Ben Kingsley (who's half-British, half-Indian). "The Killing Fields," about two journalists' escape from Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, won best supporting actor for Haing S. Ngor. Kingsley, Ngor and Miyoshi Umeki (1957's "Sayonara") are still the only three Asian actors to win acting Oscars.
1993: "The Joy Luck Club" finds success as a film
The Amy Tan book was director Wayne Wang's first mainstream Hollywood film and became a commercial and critical success.
1993: "The Wedding Banquet" kick-starts Ang Lee's Hollywood reign
Lee would later make history as the first nonwhite filmmaker to win Oscar's best director (2005's "Brokeback Mountain"). He won again for 2012's "Life of Pi." And his "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000) is still the highest grossing foreign language film.
2009: Justin Lin turns "Fast and the Furious" franchise into massive moneymaker
The director's second entry in the series, 2009's "Fast & Furious," was a huge hit, helping the series become a $1.5 billion juggernaut.
2017: "The Big Sick" makes Kumail Nanjiani a star
Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon penned a script based on their real romance that earned an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay — a first for a story that delves into the Asian-American experience.