Jon M. Chu, the director of “Crazy Rich Asians,” says he’s planning to make his own movie about the survival and rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in Thailand’s Tham Luang Cave.
“I refuse to let Hollywood #whitewashout the Thai Cave rescue story,” Chu wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, hours after news emerged that the Christian film studio Pure Flix Entertainment was scouting the rights to the story.
Pure Flix CEO Michael Scott said he envisioned creating a “major Hollywood film with A-list stars.”
According to Variety, Chu has partnered with Ivanhoe Pictures to make a competing movie about the rescue mission. The magazine said Ivanhoe is “currently in talks with the most senior officials in Thailand,” as well as multiple film studios that have expressed interest, about the project.
Chu tweeted a link to the Variety story on Wednesday and said that while it was too “early to discuss,” he believed the cave rescue story was “too important [to] let others dictate who the real heroes are.”
In a follow-up tweet, the 38-year-old Asian-American director said he “couldn’t just sit here watching how others would ‘interpret’ this important story.”
Twelve members of the Wild Boars junior soccer team and their 25-year-old coach were freed from Thailand’s Tham Luang Cave earlier this week after spending two weeks trapped inside the flooded cave system.
The rescue mission involved more than 100 engineers, divers, rescue workers and volunteers who came from across Thailand and around the world to lend a helping hand.
One volunteer diver, former Thai navy SEAL Saman Kunan, died last week while placing oxygen tanks deep inside the cave.