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Jonathan Murray Chu (Chinese: 朱浩偉; pinyin: Zhū Hàowěi; born November 2, 1979) is an American filmmaker. He has directed the films Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,[1] Hasbro franchises Jem and the Holograms and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and the romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians. Chu is an alumnus of the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television. There, he won the Princess Grace Award, the Dore Schary Award presented by the Anti-Defamation League, the Jack Nicholson directing award, and was recognized as an honoree for the IFP/West program Project: Involve.

Jon M. Chu
Jon M. Chu 2013.jpg
Chu in March 2013
Jonathan Murray Chu

(1979-11-02) November 2, 1979 (age 39)
Years active1993; 2001–present


Life and careerEdit

Chu was born in Palo Alto, California and grew up in nearby Los Altos. His mother, Ruth Chu was born in Taiwan and his father, Lawrence Chu was born in Sichuan.[2][3][4] Lawrence Chu is a well-known chef, and his parents own Chef Chu's, a popular restaurant in Los Altos.[5][6] He attended Pinewood School from kindergarten through 12th grade.[7]

After making his student short, When the Kids Are Away, Chu was signed to William Morris Agency and attached to several high-profile projects. Chu was hired by Sony Pictures to direct their feature Bye Bye Birdie but Sony never green lit the film due to budget concerns. Sony recently got back into business with Chu to direct their updated version of The Great Gatsby,[8] which did not pan out but, after being purchased by Warner Bros. Pictures with Baz Luhrmann attached, developed into the 2013 film. He is in a dance crew called AC/DC or Adam/Chu Dance crew.

In an interview, Chu addressed a question he is often asked, "Why do all of your films have dance?" He responded, "I don't know why. It seems so obvious. But there's something about the dancers that motivate me the most. I don't know if it's just dance, but I do think that the dancers are amazing artists, and every time I meet a new dancer, that triggers something in my brain, and I'm more creative than I could ever be. When I feel that creativity burst, I go with it."[9]

Chu directed Crazy Rich Asians, which was the highest-grossing film over the August 17, 2018 weekend, and earned over $35M at the US box office during its first five days,[10] and a 93% certified fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Within a week of the film's release, Variety reported that a sequel was already in development by Warner Bros. with Chu scheduled to direct.[11] Director Chu is part of Rachel Chu's family in the book, as a distant cousin, making life surrealistically linked to art.[12]

Chu is also set to direct the film adaptation of the Broadway musical In the Heights for Warner Bros., which is scheduled for a June 26, 2020 release date, with creators Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes attached to the film as well.[13][14]


Year Film Director Producer
2008 Step Up 2: The Streets Yes No
2010 Step Up 3D Yes No
2011 Justin Bieber: Never Say Never Yes No
2013 G.I. Joe: Retaliation Yes No
Justin Bieber's Believe Yes No
2015 Jem and the Holograms Yes Yes
2016 Now You See Me 2 Yes No
2018 Crazy Rich Asians Yes No
2020[13] In the Heights[14] Yes No

Executive producer

Short filmsEdit

Year Film Director Producer Writer Notes
2001 Silent Beats Yes Yes Yes Also sound and production designer
2002 When the Kids Are Away Yes Yes No


Year Title Director Executive
Writer Notes
2010–2011 The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers Yes Yes Yes Creator;
Also editor
2019–present Good Trouble Yes Yes No


  1. ^ "Director named for Justin Bieber movie" The Globe and Mail , August 13, 2010.
  2. ^ "'Crazy Rich Asians': Director Jon M. Chu hopes to inspire other storytellers, open Hollywood's doors". Los Angeles Times. My mom’s from Taiwan. My dad’s from mainland China. They came over when they were 19, 20 years old.
  3. ^ Yang, Jeff. "The legendary Silicon Valley restaurant behind Crazy Rich Asians". Inkstone News. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Lawrence Chu and Chef Chu's – Los Altos, CA". Great Chefs.
  5. ^ Yam, Kimberly. "'Crazy Rich Asians' Director Jon M. Chu On His Journey To Reclaim His Identity". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  6. ^ Barry, Shannon (March 5, 2008). "A 'Step Up' to the big time: Los Altos native Chu directs Disney movie". Los Altos Town Crier. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  7. ^ "Pinewood Alum Jon Chu Debuts in Movie Theaters Everywhere". Pinewood School. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  8. ^ Halbfinger, David (February 18, 2008). "Director's Reward: A Second First Chance". The New York Times. Retrieved August 11, 2010.
  9. ^ "Filmmaker "Born from a Boombox": An interview with Jon M. Chu". Asia Pacific Arts. 2010-09-15.
  10. ^ McClintock, Pamela (19 August 2018). "Weekend Box Office: 'Crazy Rich Asians' Wins With $26.5M for $35M Five-Day Launch". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  11. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (2018-08-22). "'Crazy Rich Asians' Sequel in Works With Jon M. Chu to Direct". Variety. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  12. ^ Jason Guerrasio (15 August 2018). "How the director of 'Crazy Rich Asians' found redemption after a string of uninspiring studio movies". Business Insider.
  13. ^ a b McNary, Dave (June 7, 2018). "Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'In the Heights' Sets Summer 2020 Release". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Galuppo, Mia (May 17, 2018). "Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'In the Heights' Lands at Warner Bros". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 2, 2019.

External linksEdit