It is practically a dream come true for anyone hailing from outside the United States to find themselves being selected as the new front-man to a well-established and long-performing musical group. That was the dream-become-reality for Arnel Pineda, a singer-songwriter and band veteran who in 2007 was chosen to become the lead vocalist of American rock band Journey, following what the man himself called a “nerve-wracking and tense” audition. Close to 15 years since he was called upon by Journey lead guitarist Neal Schon, Arnel will be seeing his life story being adapted into a Hollywood biopic by Warner Bros. Pictures, one that might also (partly) film in the Philippines.
The Manila Bulletin reports that discussions are picking up within Warner Bros. to produce a movie about Arnel Pineda and his journey from cover band voice to becoming the voice of Journey to this day. While not yet in full development the project has already listed two major creative forces tapped by the studio, namely “Crazy Rich Asians” (2018) filmmaker John Chu as director and “Joker” (2019) co-writer Scott Silver on story writing duty. As part of the prep, Warner is sending some executives to Manila to confer with Pineda.
“It’s going to happen. I think they’re gonna start. Some people from Warner will start coming here,” Arnel remarks in an interview with Rolling Stone. Regarding the planned visit by Warner’s production team, the 53-year-old performer notes that not only might the executives work out an audition for other local movie talent in the country, it would allow him to take the initial crew around Manila so that they can see the places that figured in his early life, should that be focused on during parts of the planned film.
Pineda adds that some of the story ideas he had shared with Scott Silver was how he survived in Manila during the time of several anti-government coup attempts, as well as his decade as part of a cover band in Hong Kong. He is still in something of a daze regarding the development of a major Hollywood biopic about him. That is quite the pick-up for Arnel seeing as he has recently finished recording work on a new album that might be released in 2021.
Image: Ultimate Classic Rock