Editors' Choice

How ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Director Jon M. Chu Convinced Coldplay to Let Him Use “Yellow”

Jonathan Tao / August 29, 2018

“Yellow” remains one of Coldplay’s most popular songs and is a perfect fit for the romantic end of Crazy Rich Asians. The song, from the British band’s first album Parachutes, remains a triumph of lyrics and composition: entrancing, melodic, a heartfelt murmur coupled to a head-nodding guitar riff. Coldplay initially refused to allow Crazy Rich Asians to feature the single, but director Jon M. Chu wrote a letter that convinced the band to let him use the song in the film.

Chu knew he needed the perfect song to wrap up the film and “Yellow” would serve as the final emotional notes for the hit movie. Chu told The Hollywood Reporter that he wanted “Yellow” from the beginning; while the producers at Warner Bros. were worried that the song’s title was offensive to Asian audiences, Chu knew they could own the word and make it beautiful. Unfortunately, Coldplay turned down Warner Bros. initial request to license the song.

Determined to use the single for the triumphant end of the film, Chu reached out to the band directly and let them know just how important the song could be for film. He penned a request to the band, telling them how he felt a personal connection the song that helped him rethink his relationship with the color and understand just how magical it was. Read the full letter below:

Within the day, the band approved the use of the song. The song rises over the final scenes of the film, and audiences seem to agree that Crazy Rich Asians is a triumph.