Born in the Philippines, Pineda has been fronting the legendary rockers since 2007 when JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon discovered him leading a Manila cover band on YouTube. A vocal doppelganger for JOURNEY‘s longtime vocalist Steve Perry, Arnel has helped put JOURNEY back in arenas once again. But some fans were not happy about the addition of Pineda, complaining about his ethnicity and dismissing his voice as a “copycat” of Perry.
“This story in particular has been on my mind since I first read about it years ago,” Chu told Deadline. “A true fairytale and triumph of the human spirit. An unlikely hero, an undeniable talent, the power of music and a worldwide stage — literally — has all the ingredients I love about movies. Plus I have been a fan of JOURNEY‘s music since I can remember. I am excited to be bringing the audience along on this incredible story with my partners at Warner Bros., who have been a leading champion of diverse voices in front and behind the camera.”
Warner Bros. is still negotiating for the licensing of JOURNEY‘s original songs. The studio has also acquired the rights to “Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey”, the 2012 documentary which chronicled Pineda‘s rise from homeless tribute singer to arena rock star.