Warner Bros sign Jon M Chu to first-look deal

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Warner Bros continues its quest to bring high-profile filmmakers firmly into the fold with Jon M Chu solidifying his commitment to the studio.

Warner Bros must be on the mother of all charm offensives at the moment. Just a couple of weeks ago we heard that the studio had managed to sign none other than Tom Cruise up to a development deal at the studio, an announcement that drew in lots of eyeballs and heralded Warner’s intentions to once again become the destination for major filmmakers.

Ever since Christopher Nolan publicly rebuked the studio and dissolved his long-running partnership with it, Warner Bros has struggled (and perhaps still is struggling) with its reputation. However, the Cruise deal was a splashy statement of intent (even if it isn’t a first-look deal) and there’s also talk of Ryan Coogler taking his highly-coveted vampire project there. Paul Thomas Anderson is also making his next film with the studio, which has now announced that it has signed up yet another major Hollywood player: Jon M Chu.

The deal with Chu is a first-look feature film deal according to Deadline, and cements his relationship with the studio that includes Crazy Rich Asians and In the Heights, along with the in-development Dr Seuss movie, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Chu’s deal with the studio is perhaps less surprising than some of the others given his history with Warner Bros, but it’s no less valuable: Crazy Rich Asians is one of the top ten highest-grossing romantic comedies of all time, grossing $239M and the fillmmaker has a knack for drawing in crowds for comedies and musicals, two genres that studios are finding increasingly difficult to market to audiences.

Of course, two of those musicals are the upcoming Wicked films, set to release later this year and then in 2025. Expectations are high that the films are going to perform well, and Warner Bros has been quick to make sure it has secured Chu’s services beyond his next three films for the studio. The deal represents another coup for Warner Bros, and given the spate of names that are choosing to work with it of late, we can’t help but wonder who the studio will be signing next week…

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