Adele Lim
EducationEmerson College
Occupation(s)Screenwriter, Producer
Known forCrazy Rich Asians
Raya and the Last Dragon
Joy Ride

Adele Lim is a Malaysian screenwriter, producer, and director. She is best known for writing Crazy Rich Asians, the first film by a major Hollywood studio to feature a majority cast of Asian descent in a modern setting since The Joy Luck Club in 1993, and Raya and the Last Dragon, an animated fantasy adventure inspired by Southeast Asian culture. She also directed and produced the 2023 comedy Joy Ride.

Early life

Lim was born in Malaysia[1] and is of Malaysian Chinese descent.[2] She attended Malaysia's Sri Aman Girls School in Petaling Jaya, in Petaling District, in the state of Selangor. She started writing as a teenager and undergraduate in the lifestyle section of a local daily.[3] She graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a degree in TV/Film in 1996.[4]


Lim started her career as a script coordinator for Xena: Warrior Princess,[2] getting the job despite her resume being, as she described, "nonexistent".[5] She has written for TV series such as One Tree Hill, Life Unexpected, Reign, Star-Crossed, Private Practice and Lethal Weapon.

In 2018, Lim was the co-screenwriter for the 2018 movie Crazy Rich Asians.[6][2] Director Jon M. Chu asked her to join the writing team in order to reflect more cultural authenticity in the screenplay. She rewrote the third act, including adding the climactic scene of mahjong between Constance Wu and Michelle Yeoh's characters.[7] Lim left writing on the sequel, following reports that she was offered significantly less pay (around $110,000) than her male co-writer Peter Chiarelli ($800,000 to $1 million). Warner Brothers defended the offer, citing the difference in experience between the two.[8][9]

Disney recruited Lim to develop the animated feature film Raya and the Last Dragon, which released in 2021. She served as screenwriter alongside Qui Nguyen.[10]

In her feature directorial debut, Lim directed and produced comedy film Joy Ride, starring Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Stephanie Hsu, and Sabrina Wu.[11] The movie premiered at SXSW in March 2023.[12]

She has given support to young writers as mentor and speaker for the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE).[13]



Title Year Role Notes
Crazy Rich Asians 2018 Screenwriter [2]
Raya and the Last Dragon 2021 Screenwriter
Joy Ride 2023 Directorial debut, writer, and producer


Year Title Role Notes
2000 Xena: Warrior Princess Script Coordinator Episode: "Punch Lines"
2001 State of Grace Script Coordinator
2001–2002 Digimon: Digital Monsters Writer (English Dub) Seasons 2–4; 20 episodes (English Dub)[14]
2002 John Doe Co-Writer Episode: "Mind Games"
2003–2004 Las Vegas Story Editor 22 episodes; Writer–3 episodes
2004–2005 Executive Story Editor 24 episodes
2006 Pepper Dennis Co-producer 5 episodes; Writer–2 episodes
2006–2007 One Tree Hill Co-producer 11 episodes; Writer–Episode: "All These Things That I've Done"
2008 Producer 13 episodes; Writer–Episode: "Its Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"
2008–2009 Life on Mars Supervising Producer 17 episodes; Writer–3 episodes
2010 Life Unexpected Consulting Producer 2 episodes
Supervising Producer 9 episodes
2010–2011 Co-executive Producer 11 episodes
2011–2012 Private Practice Co-executive Producer 22 episodes; Writer–2 episodes
2012 Missing Consulting Producer 7 episodes; Writer–Episode: "The Three Bears"
2014 Star-Crossed Executive Producer 12 episodes; Showrunner - Pilot; Writer–2 episodes
2014–2015 Reign Co-executive Producer 22 episodes; Writer–3 episodes
2016–2017 Lethal Weapon Co-executive Producer 17 episodes; Writer–2 episodes
2018 Dynasty Writer Episode: "A Well-Dressed Tarantula"


  1. ^ "Adele Lim". IMDb. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Tangcay, Jazz (August 21, 2018). "Adele Lim "Representation Matters" Says the Malaysian Co-Writer of Crazy Rich Asians". Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  3. ^ Wong, June H.L. (17 May 2017). "Rooting for this CRA-zy movie". the Star Online. Retrieved 12 Aug 2019.
  4. ^ Begum, Mumtaj (12 Dec 2012). "It's in the script". The Star. Retrieved 8 Oct 2019.
  5. ^ S. Indramalar, Ann (8 Feb 2013). "TV dramas are nothing without writers". The Star/Asia News Network. Archived from the original on 8 October 2019. Retrieved 8 Oct 2019.
  6. ^ Yamato, Jen (August 10, 2018). "'Crazy Rich Asians': Adele Lim brought experience, authenticity to the script". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  7. ^ Babiak, Laura (2023-07-07). "Who to Watch: Adele Lim, Director of 'Joy Ride'". The New York Observer.
  8. ^ "'Crazy Rich Asians' Co-Writer Exits Sequel Amid Pay Disparity Dispute (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 4 September 2019.
  9. ^ Sherman, Maria (4 September 2019). "Crazy Rich Asians Co-Writer Left Sequel After Learning White Male Colleague Earned Around 10 Times Her Salary". The Muse. Retrieved 2019-09-04.
  10. ^ Chan, Kenneth (12 Oct 2018). "Malaysia-born screenwriter Adele Lim working on Disney film". The Star. Archived from the original on 17 August 2019. Retrieved 17 Aug 2019.
  11. ^ Vincentelli, Elisabeth (2023-07-06). "'Joy Ride' Review: A Raunch-Com Roller Coaster". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-07-08.
  12. ^ Tangcay, Jazz (2023-03-18). "'Joy Ride': Adele Lim on Her SXSW Directorial Debut and Telling a Story About Messy, Thirsty Friends 'On Our Terms'". Variety. Retrieved 2023-07-08.
  13. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (19 Mar 2019). "CAPE Teams With Adele Lim, Daniel Chun, Walter Hamada And Others For Annual New Writers Fellowship". Retrieved 17 Aug 2019.
  14. ^ "Digimon: Digital Monsters (1999-2003) Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 15 Aug 2019.