Warner Bros. has hired director Jon M. Chu for a heist film the studio is developing based on a GQ article by Alex W. Palmer according to a report from Deadline. Titled The Greatest Chinese Art Heist, the film will be focusing on a rash of real-life crimes where a group in Europe stole a bunch of Chinese antiquities and art that might have been connected to the Chinese government.
The article follows a slew of museum art robberies that occurred in Europe, in which Chinese antiquities were stolen, chiefly those that came from the country’s old Summer Palace which was raided in 1860 by French soldiers. No one knows who the thieves are, but the works of art continually wind up back in China. Essentially, there’s a new generation of wealthy Chinese people who are collecting artifacts from the old Summer Palace. Is China’s government behind the art theft wave? The feature questions who gets to own art, and who gets to own history and culture. The GQ piece also poses the question whether there’s some sort of coordinated effort to reclaim Chinese art.about.
Meanwhile the museums are remaining quiet about the robberies. The thefts put museums in a vulnerable position: Everyone questions their security, no one wants to donate works or materials, and their insurance rates spike as many would question an art institution’s credibility.
The studio is currently seeking a screenwriter to pair with the filmmaker.
Chu previously directed Crazy Rich Asians and the upcoming musical In The Heights. He recently exited the Lucasfilm series Willow, instead attaching himself to the feature film adaptation of the stage musical Wicked for Universal Pictures.