‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Filmmaker Jon M. Chu To Direct ‘The Great Chinese Art Heist’ For Warner Bros

EXCLUSIVE: Jon M. Chu is set to direct The Great Chinese Art Heist for Warner Bros. based on the GQ article by Alex W. Palmer.

The studio is currently out to a writer who will adapt for the big screen.

Producers are Chu and Lance Johnson’s Electric Somewhere and Geneva Waserman of Conde Nast Entertainment.

The article follows a slew of museum art robberies that occurred in Europe, in which Chinese antiquities were stolen, chiefly those that came from the country’s old Summer Palace which was raided in 1860 by French soldiers. No one knows who the thieves are, but the works of art continually wind up back in China. Essentially, there’s a new generation of wealthy Chinese people who are collecting artifacts from the old Summer Palace. Is China’s government behind the art theft wave? The feature questions who gets to own art, and who gets to own history and culture. The GQ piece also poses the question whether there’s some sort of coordinated effort to reclaim Chinese art.

Meanwhile the museums are remaining quiet about the robberies. The thefts put museums in a vulnerable position: Everyone questions their security, no one wants to donate works or materials, and their insurance rates spike as many would question an art institution’s credibility.

I hear Chu sprung quite excitedly to the project. The filmmaker will be promoting his musical feature In the Heights soon, which comes out on June 18 in both theaters and HBO Max. His Crazy Rich Asians based on the bestselling novel grossed $238.5M and was nominated for Best Comedy/Musical Feature and Best Comedy/Musical Feature Actress Constance Wu at the Golden Globes. Chu’s feature credits as a director and EP have amassed over $1.6 billion at the global box office.

Chu is repped by Artist First, UTA, and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher.

 

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