All eyes will be on director Jon M. Chu this October when the G.I. Joe: Retaliation helmer pulls back the curtain on his other Hasbro toy adaptation – music-themed Jem and the Holograms – but Chu is already thinking further ahead. Over at Paramount, where he last worked behind the camera on the Joe sequel, the director has become attached to produce action-adventure thriller Escape, from a script by Tze Chun (TV’s Once Upon a Time).
The story is being kept mostly under wraps but centers on an unlikely team of tech whizzes with criminal pasts who come together for a top-secret mission. In addition to writing for ABC’s popular fantasy series, Chun penned the script for an taut, little thriller back in 2013 called Cold Comes the Night, which starred a newly post-Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston and Alice Eve. It’s more that gig than his TV work that suggests there might be a suspenseful story at the heart of Escape.
Chu’s endorsement is a pretty big deal. The helmer has successfully split his time between music-related projects and studio blockbusters, with titles as dichotomous as Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Jem and the Holograms and the recently wrapped Now You See Me: The Second Act on his resume.
Outside of a kiddie flick from 2007 called The Secret of the Magic Gourd, Escape is the first movie he’s backing that isn’t directly tied into the worlds of dance or music – Chu’s past projects as a producer have included the last two Step Up movies, The LXD: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers and Remixed. It speaks to the director’s belief in Chun’s script that he’d come aboard.
Of course, with no helmer currently attached, Paramount will surely be asking Chu if he’ll step behind the camera for Escape. Though the director was previously circling a He-Man movie, he doesn’t have any any active projects after he puts finishing touches on the Now You See Me sequel, so perhaps Chu will sign on in the coming weeks. We’ll keep you posted either way.