Jon M. Chu is developing a film about the Thai cave rescue in an effort to avoid whitewashing.
The California-born director, known for directing movies such as Step Up 2: The Streets, Now You See Me 2 and Crazy Rich Asians, has announced that he is looking to make a feature on the efforts to retrieve 12 members of a junior football team and their coach who were trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand's Chiang Rai province upon entering on 23 June (18) - with the last of the boys rescued on Tuesday (10Jul18).
"I refuse to let Hollywood #whitewashout the Thai Cave rescue story! No way. Not on our watch," Chu wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. "That won't happen or we'll give them hell. There's a beautiful story about human beings saving other human beings. So anyone thinking about the story better approach it right & respectfully."
The filmmaker went on to explain that he was keen to helm a project on the story so that it is told "correctly and respectfully". He added that he couldn't just sit back and watch other directors "interpret" the important story from their own viewpoint.
"It's a bit early 2 truly discuss but the biggest lesson I learned frm making #CrazyRichAsians is that we must tell our stories especially the important ones so history doesnt get it wrong. This one is too important 2 let others dictate who the real heroes are (sic)," the 38-year-old added.
Earlier, a representative for Ivanhoe Pictures announced that executives were in talks with studios, Chu and officials in Thailand to make the film. Should the project come together, it will be the second film on the subject in the works as Pure Flix Entertainment bosses are also seeking the rights.
"I could not be more excited; this story has meant so much to me as I followed it," Pure Flix managing partner Michael Scott said on Tuesday at the scene. "To see all that bravery in the cave and then to get all the divers out has been such a touching event."
Those rescued from the Thai cave are currently recovering in hospital. Over 1,000 people were involved in the rescue operation, including former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Kunan who tragically died after suffocating while trying to pass through a narrow passageway on return to the cave entrance.