EXCLUSIVE: Jem and the Holograms and G.I. Joe: Retaliation helmer Jon M. Chu is going old school. He and producing partner Hieu Ho have sold to Focus Features new project Can’t Touch This, a high school dance comedy set in the golden era of the 1990s.
The teen dance milieu has been a fruitful one for Chu, who launched his career with fan favorite sequels Step Up 2: The Streets and Step Up 3D and has quickly become one of Hollywood’s in-demand studio directors. Storyline is being kept under wraps, although the title alone evokes a part of the decade that was too legit to quit. Chu and Ho originated the idea then tapped Happy Endings and Community writers Annie Mebane and Steve Basilone to script. Mebane and Basilone know their way around retro comedies; they’re producers on ABC’s ’80s-set The Goldbergs.
Chu and Ho will produce for the newly launched Chu Studios after collaborating on a number of projects, including dance webseries The LXD and the YouTube dance lifestyle channel DS2DIO. It’s still to be determined if Chu will direct himself, but between the LXD talent pool and the stable of dancers from Chu’s Step Up sequels, don’t be surprised to see a few familiar faces (or feet?) show up.
Chu recently wrapped filming on the live-action Jem and the Holograms film, which Universal will release next October. Next up, Chu is directing Lionsgate’s magician sequel Now You See Me 2 and with Ho is developing horror flick Run with Lionsgate.
Chu and Chu Studios are repped by WME and Principato Young. Mebane and Basilone are repped by UTA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.