The fairytale story of how Arnel Pineda went from fronting a Filipino cover band to becoming the lead singer of Journey will be brought to the big screen by Jon M. Chu, director of the hugely successful film Crazy Rich Asians.
According to an exclusive report in Deadline, Chu is teaming with Warner Bros. on the film, which will dramatize how Pineda was discovered by Journey guitarist Neal Schon via YouTube videos in which Arnel displayed an uncanny ability to recreate Steve Perry‘s soaring vocals.
The studio has secured the rights to Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, the 2012 documentary focusing on Pineda’s path to rock stardom. Warner Bros. also is negotiating to acquire the rights to use Journey’s original songs, most of which were composed by Perry, Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain, in the movie.
“The success of Crazy Rich Asians has blown my mind and set me on a path to champion more unique inspirational stories that represent new perspectives from all around the world,” Chu says in a statement to Deadline.
“This story in particular has been on my mind since I first read about it years ago,” he adds. “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.”
The director adds, “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.”
This won’t be Chu’s first attempt at a music movie: He directed the blockbuster 2011 Justin Bieber concert film Never Say Never.
Meanwhile, Journey currently has one more concert on its 2018 tour schedule: a December 16 show at Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada.
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