Fresh out of film school, Jon Chu’s quickly turning into Hollywood’s new music man.
Already attached to direct the remake of “Bye Bye Birdie” for Columbia Pictures and Red Wagon Prods., the 23-year-old has sold his original pitch “Moxie” to DreamWorks for “American Beauty” producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen of the Jinks/Cohen Co. to tune up.
Chu will direct the musical, whose plot is being kept under wraps. It’s described as an urban love story in the vein of “Romeo and Juliet” set in modern day San Francisco.
“Moxie” does not yet have a writer. Chu came up with the idea for the project with friends Danica Jones and Jason Russell while at USC. The trio pitched the idea together to DreamWorks execs. Chu will receive low six figures for his directing efforts.
DreamWorks exec Adam Goodman will oversee the pic for the studio, while Drew Crevello will shepherd the project for Jinks/Cohen.
There is no start date yet for either “Moxie” or “Birdie”; both are early in development.
Chu, who graduated from USC in May, has been attracting considerable attention around town for his 17-minute short film “When the Kids Are Away.”
“Jon’s short film is amazing,” Jinks told Daily Variety. “I’ve never watched a student film and thought that someone was as ready to direct a feature as he is.”
Chu will likely make his directorial debut on “Birdie,” since that project is further along in development. Producers recently hired Stuart Blumberg to pen the script.
And DreamWorks itself already has another musical in development.
The studio is hoping to adapt Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd,” with “American Beauty” director Sam Mendes at the helm, for a 2005 release.
The Jinks/Cohen Co. is currently producing Revolution Studios thriller “The Forgotten,” starring Julianne Moore.
Chu is repped by the William Morris Agency and Marathon Entertainment managers Jewerl Ross and Danny Sherman.