Open main menu

Jonathan Murray Chu (Chinese: 朱浩偉; pinyin: Zhū Hàowěi; born November 2, 1979) is an American filmmaker,who directed the films Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Hasbro franchises Jem and the Holograms and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and Crazy Rich Asians.[1] 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 at the premiere of G.I. Joe: Retaliation
in March 2013
BornJonathan Murray Chu
(1979-11-02) November 2, 1979 (age 39)
Palo Alto, California, U.S.
Years active1993; 2001–present
Kristin Hodge (m. 2018)


Life and careerEdit

Chu was born in Palo Alto, California, and grew up in nearby Los Altos. His father, Lawrence Chu was born in Sichuan and his mother, Ruth Chu was born in Taiwan.[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] Chu married his longtime girlfriend, graphic designer Kristin Hodge, in Napa Valley on July 27, 2018. The couple already were parents to a young daughter.[8] 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,[9] 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."[10]

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,[11] 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.[12] Director Chu is part of Rachel Chu's family in the book, as a distant cousin, making life surrealistically linked to art.[13]


Year Film Role(s)
1993 Freaked Actor
1993 Once a Cop Actor
2001 Silent Beats Short film
Director, writer, producer, sound, production designer
2002 When the Kids Are Away Short film
Director, writer
2008 Step Up 2: The Streets Director
2010 Step Up 3D Director
2010–2011 The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers Creator, executive producer, director, writer, editor
2011 Justin Bieber: Never Say Never Director
2012 Step Up: Revolution Executive producer
2013 G.I. Joe: Retaliation Director
2013 Justin Bieber's Believe Director
2014 Step Up: All In Executive producer
2015 Jem and the Holograms Director, producer
2016 Now You See Me 2 Director
2018 Crazy Rich Asians Director


  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. ^ "Jon M. Chu Biography". Editors. 2018-08-08.
  9. ^ Halbfinger, David (February 18, 2008). "Director's Reward: A Second First Chance". The New York Times. Retrieved August 11, 2010.
  10. ^ "Filmmaker "Born from a Boombox": An interview with Jon M. Chu". Asia Pacific Arts. 2010-09-15.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (2018-08-22). "'Crazy Rich Asians' Sequel in Works With Jon M. Chu to Direct". Variety. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  13. ^ Jason Guerrasio (15 August 2018). "How the director of 'Crazy Rich Asians' found redemption after a string of uninspiring studio movies". Business Insider.

External linksEdit