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The Crab Club is on the case.
Jimmy O. Yang and his two partners at production banner and creative incubator Crab Club, Jessica Gao and Ken Cheng, have been tapped to write the adaptation of The Great Chinese Art Heist for Warner Bros.
Jon M. Chu, the director of Crazy Rich Asians and this year’s In the Heights, is attached to helm the feature project.
Heist adapts a 2018 GQ article by Alex Palmer that recounted a series of sometimes intricate and cinematic thefts from museums and palaces across Europe of Chinese art and antiquities. The majority of the items came from a time when European armies had invaded and looted the Chinese Empire, with many coming from the sacking of the Old Summer Palace in 1840, one of the most humiliating events in Chinese history. Among the questions tackled by the article are, should museums return the ancient pieces; is there a stealth plan, perhaps by the government, to reacquire them; or could patriotic Chinese billionaires be behind it?
Chu is producing with his Electric Somewhere Co. partner, Lance Johnson, along with GQ Studios.
Yang may be best known for his acting work, such as his breakthrough role on HBO’s Silicon Valley. The stand-up comedian, who also penned the memoir How to American, also co-starred in Netflix’s Space Force with Steve Carell, for which he also wrote.
The actor worked with Chu in the filmmaker’s 2018 adaptation of the Kevin Kwan novel, playing a scene-stealing role as the spoiled and bombastic friend of Henry Golding’s lead.
Yang launched Crab Club in 2019 with Gao and Cheng, and the trio recently wrapped production on their first feature, the Amblin comedy Easter Sunday. Cheng wrote the script for that movie with Crab Club acting as executive producers.
Gao, who won an Emmy for her writing work on cult hit Rick & Morty, is currently the showrunner and executive producer of Marvel’s She-Hulk series.
Cheng has written for shows such as Wilfred and Sin City Saints and is writing and executive producing a half-hour comedy series titled House of Chow for HBO and Viola Davis’ JuVee Productions.
Yang is repped by CAA, Artists First and Schreck Rose; Gao by UTA, 3 Arts and Morris Yorn; and Cheng by Kaplan Perrone Entertainment and Morris Yorn.
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Tokyo Film Festival