The day after Pure Flix announced they were seeking the rights to a film adaptation of the rescue of a soccer team and their coach from a cave in Thailand, Jon Chu took to Twitter to confirm that Ivanhoe Pictures was also in talks for the rights.
12 boys aged 11-16 and their 25-year-old soccer coach had been trapped in the cave for weeks before all were confirmed rescued on Tuesday. The rescue mission was completed by 90 divers, 40 of whom were Thai, and took the life of Sgt Saman Kunan, a NAVY seal.
The wife of Pure Flix CEO and co-founder Michael Scott had been friends with the late soldier, and Scott professed interest in the film after being on the scene of the rescue in Thailand himself. The film he hopes to make will reportedly carry a budget of between $30 and $60 million and, while his company is known for religious films such as the God’s Not Dead franchise, he has claimed: “It’s not necessary to make this a Christian film, just an inspirational one.”
“This was truly a team effort involving Brits, Aussies, Americans and Thais, and the divers told us incredible stories,” Scott said.
Jon Chu, director of upcoming romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, Tweeted soon after:
I refuse to let Hollywood #whitewashout the Thai Cave rescue story! No way. Not on our watch. That won’t happen or we’ll give them hell. There’s a beautiful story abt human beings saving other human beings. So anyone thinking abt the story better approach it right & respectfully.
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) July 11, 2018
He later retweeted Variety’s announcement of Ivanhoe Pictures’ interest in the film, with a caption explaining the importance of telling “our stories especially the important ones so history doesnt (sic) get it wrong.” With reference to the rescue of the Thai soccer team, he concluded: “This one is too important 2 let others dictate who the real heroes are.”
He then retweeted The Wrap‘s announcement of his involvement:
We have the power to not only MAKE history but be the historians that RECORD it too. So that it’s told correctly and respectfully. Couldn’t just sit here watching how others would “interpret” this important story. https://t.co/kRv5k9plDU
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) July 12, 2018
Ivanhoe Pictures are also producing Chu’s upcoming Crazy Rich Asians, set for UK Cinema release 2 November 2018.