As a life-long Journey (and karaoke) fan, can I say, “holy shit!” CRAZY RICH ASIANS director Jon M. Chu, who is already set to direct the movie adaptation of Lin Manuel Miranda’s IN THE HEIGHTS, an Apple TV series, a Thai cave rescue movie, and the next CRA sequel, has been announced to direct an upcoming biopic on Filipino singer Arnel Pineda’s “journey” from being homeless in the Philippines to reaching international stardom as the new lead singer for classic rock staple Journey.
More from an exclusive via Deadline Hollywood:
Warner Bros is re-teaming with its CRAZY RICH ASIANS director Jon M. Chu to chronicle the journey of Arnel Pineda, a Filipino singer rescued from obscurity by a YouTube video that led him to become the lead singer of the iconic ’80s arena rock band Journey. Discovered on YouTube by Journey co-founder Neal Schon, who’d finally found the rare singer able to reliably replicate the soaring vocals of exited original lead singer Steve Perry, Pineda revived Journey and put the band back in stadiums once again. Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen will produce, and the search for a writer is underway.
The studio is negotiating to license the original Journey tunes, most written by Perry and Schon, and Warner Bros has acquired rights to DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’: EVERYMAN’S JOURNEY. That was the 2012 documentary that chronicled Pineda’s impossible rise. Chu’s vision is to make an empowering movie that follows the real life rock ‘n’ roll fairy tale of a formerly homeless Filipino singer to overnight rock star.
DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’: EVERYMAN’S JOURNEY is an amazing documentary that world premiered at Sundance in 2012.
Check out the trailer for the original documentary:
Directed by award winning filmmaker Ramona Diaz, who also directed the award winning docs IMELDA and MOTHERLAND, the film is worth checking out and if the feature film adaptation follows the same narrative thread, then this film could definitely be a rags-to-riches story set in the internet age that can be just as rousing as BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY.
OK, OK, we jest, but seriously, we are super excited about this Arnel biopic and with Jon M Chu at the helm, with his background directing STEP UP movies and Justin Bieber concert pics, he already has the goods to make this a rousing and rollicking rock n’roll film. Plus, it won’t be coming from a white male perspective either. We can’t wait to be belting “Don’t Stop Believin'” in the theater!
Allow me to leave you with this classic clip from over a decade ago of Arnel and Charice doing a duet of “Alone.” Goddamn!