You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tyro out of ‘Birdie’ nest

Chu taken off the project due to pic's escalating budget

This kid didn’t stay in the picture.

Jon M. Chu, the USC film grad who was scooped up by Sony last year at age 23 to direct the studio’s remake of “Bye Bye Birdie,” is no longer on board to direct the musical.

The young helmer, who had a pay-or-play deal, was taken off the project due to the pic’s escalating budget and risky nature.

Originally budgeted at $25 million, “Bye Bye Birdie” is now looking like a $65 million film and is a high-priority pic at Sony, with casting deals expected as early as Friday.

Sony says it is still a fan of Chu’s and is searching for another pic for him that is more tyro-appropriate.

Red Wagon principals Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher, along with the shingle’s exec VP of creative affairs Rachel Shane, are producing the film.

Chu is not the only first-time director whose inexperience has been questioned recently. In August, Warner Bros. pulled the plug on rookie helmer Ted Griffin on his untitled romantic comedy and replaced him with Rob Reiner. In an era of sky-high production costs the trend is likely to continue.

Chu was hired in April 2003 to direct “Bye Bye Birdie,” which gained steam at the studio as drafts by Stuart Blumberg and later Tina Fey started coming in.

Chu was the talk of Hollywood due to his 17-minute grad school short “When the Kids Are Away,” which he wrote and directed. The film was a full-blown musical that boasted a cast and crew of 175.

Upon graduation he swiftly landed rep deals with William Morris and Marathon Entertainment’s Jewerl Ross and Danny Sherman.

Chu has a first-look deal at DreamWorks, where he is developing “Moxie” for producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen. He’s also developing “Dreamers” at Warner Bros. for producer Bob Kosberg.

More Scene

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream hosted by AT&T and from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized [...]

  • Emile Hirsch, Matt SmileyEmile Hirsch hosts

    Emile Hirsch Hosts Smiley Face Art Opening at Mondrian Hotel

    Despite the rain on Wednesday night in West Hollywood, there were plenty of smiles inside the Mondrian hotel thanks to artist Matt Smiley‘s Refresh exhibition. Not only is Smiley his real last name, but several of his paintings and other pieces in the exhibit feature smiley faces. “I’ve seen more smiley symbolism lately, and I’ve [...]

  • Randall Park, left, and Constance Wu

    Constance Wu Wants Her 'Fresh Off the Boat' Co-Star Randall Park to Host the Oscars

    While the Academy may have decided to go hostless for this year’s Oscars, that doesn’t mean the rest of Hollywood has stopped thinking about who would be a good choice for the emceeing gig. Former host Whoopi Goldberg recently suggested Ken Jeong. Jeong said, when he was a guest on “The View,” Goldberg told him [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bundchen

    Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen to Be Honored at UCLA Science Gala

    Science can be very glamorous. It certainly will be during Oscar week on Feb. 21 when the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability (IoES) honors Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen for environmental activism at its annual Hollywood for Science Gala. “When I moved to LA, the air was unbreathable. Rivers were catching fire in [...]

  • Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells Black

    Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells Talk Snorting 'Coke' on 'Black Monday'

    “Black Monday” show creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahen divulged an intriguing detail to come later in the first season of the new Showtime comedy at its world premiere, held at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Monday night in Los Angeles. “The fourth or fifth episode opens with a sexual harassment seminar, which very well [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content