Journey’s Arnel Pineda Will Be Subject of Biopic by ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Director
Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu is set to make a film version of Journey singer Arnel Pineda's unlikely life story. Discovered via YouTube, Pineda has been fronting the suddenly resurgent hitmakers since 2007.
“This story in particular has been on my mind since I first read about it years ago. A true fairy tale and triumph of the human spirit. An unlikely hero, an undeniable talent, the power of music and a worldwide stage – literally – has all the ingredients I love about movies,” Chu told Deadline. “Plus I have been a fan of Journey’s music since I can remember. I am excited to be bringing the audience along on this incredible story with my partners at Warner Bros., who have been a leading champion of diverse voices in front and behind the camera.”
Warner Bros. is still negotiating for the licensing of Journey's original songs. They haven't found a writer for the as-yet-unnamed project, either. But the studio has acquired the rights to Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, the 2012 documentary which chronicled Pineda's rise from homeless tribute singer to arena rock star. He immediately helped 2008's Revelation become Journey's first platinum-selling album since the Steve Perry era. They've just completed a well-received stadium tour with Def Leppard, as well.
The new Journey film would follow Queen's historic success with Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic focusing on Freddie Mercury that has soared to grosses of more than $500 million. Meanwhile, a movie detailing Elton John's formative years titled Rocketman is also in the works.
Chu credits the reception to Crazy Rich Asians for giving him the gumption to take on a narrative like Pineda's. The smash-hit romantic comedy "has blown my mind," Chu added, "and set me on a path to champion more unique inspirational stories that represent new perspectives from all around the world."
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