After a Crazy Rich breakout, Jon M. Chu is reaching new heights of being in demand. The In the Heights and Crazy Rich Asians director is eying his next project, a YA romance based on H.K. Choi’s bestselling novel, Permanent Record. Chu is currently in talks to produce and direct the Permanent Record movie for Warner Bros., his third film after two high-profile collaborations with the studio.
Deadline reports that Chu is set to produce, and potentially direct, a feature film adaptation of Permanent Record, H.K. Choi’s bestselling novel about romance in the social media age. Choi will also pen the adaptation and serve as executive producer on the film, which follows the romance between a college dropout and an Instagram celebrity.
Here is the synopsis for the Permanent Record novel:
On paper, college dropout Pablo Rind doesn’t have a whole lot going for him. His graveyard shift at a twenty-four-hour deli in Brooklyn is a struggle. Plus, he’s up to his eyeballs in credit card debt. Never mind the state of his student loans. Pop juggernaut Leanna Smart has enough social media followers to populate whole continents. The brand is unstoppable. She graduated from child stardom to become an international icon and her adult life is a queasy blur of private planes, step-and-repeats, aspirational hotel rooms, and strangers screaming for her just to notice them. When Leanna and Pablo meet at 5:00 a.m. at the bodega in the dead of winter it’s absurd to think they’d be A Thing. But as they discover who they are, who they want to be, and how to defy the deafening expectations of everyone else, Lee and Pab turn to each other. Which, of course, is when things get properly complicated.
Chu, who is producing the film through his production company Chu Studios Productions, seems to be using his influence to support creators of color ever since he directed Crazy Rich Asians to record-breaking success. The 2018 rom-com was a watershed moment for Asian representation on the big screen, and Chu has been doubling down on boosting diversity in front of and behind the camera. In addition to the incredibly relevant highly anticipated musical In the Heights, based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning Broadway musical, Chu is also working on a film about the Thai cave rescue, pledging to make it as authentic as possible after Hollywood leapt at the chance to adapt the inspirational story.
While I’m unsure of the ethnicities of the characters in Permanent Record — though Pablo is clearly of Hispanic descent — it’s exciting to see Chu take on another project from a creator of color like H.K. Choi. And we could always use another sweet teen romance that’s not relegated to the bowels of Netflix.
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