Based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, The Big Sick tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail (Nanjiani), who connects with grad student Emily (Kazan) after one of his standup sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents. When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, it forces Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents, Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) who he’s never met, while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart. The Big Sick is directed by Michael Showalter (Hello My Name Is Dorris) and producer by Judd Apatow (Trainwreck, This Is 40) and Barry Mendel (Trainwreck, The Royal Tenenbaums).
The Big Sick premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. A biding war for the distribution rights started between Sony, Focus Features, Amazon, & Netflix. Co-creator of the film, Kumail Nanjiani, wanted the film to have theatrical distribution which eliminated Netflix from the bidding war because they’re not a proponent in that distribution model.