Jon M. Chu Developing Second Thai Cave Rescue Film In An Effort To Avoid Whitewashing

Jon M. Chu
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The story of the successful rescue of the Thai soccer team trapped in a flooded underground cave is a hot commodity in Hollywood, but Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu says he is determined to bring authenticity and respect to the story.


Chu is attached to direct a film based on the news story that has captivated the world in the past week. Ivanhoe Pictures President John Penotti announced that they are in negotiations with Thailand’s Navy and government to develop the film. Multiple studios have shown interest in the project.

The news comes a day after Pure Flix CEO and managing partner Michael Scott posted a video on Facebook saying he’s eyeing to secure movie rights to the story. Chu took to Twitter to share his thoughts about making this news story into a feature, tweeting:

The feature will be based on the 12 young Thai soccer players and their 25-year-old coach who were trapped in a cave complex near the Myanmar border, some for as long as 18 days, as well as the collaborative rescue efforts of Thai Navy SEALs, government officials and the many private companies that helped make their miraculous rescue a success.

Ivanhoe Pictures and SKE’s upcoming projects include Netflix’s first Indian horror series Ghoul, which will debut on August 24. Its slate also includes the feature La Caja, which was developed in partnership with Mexico City-based Lucia Films. And of course, it has Chu’s anticipated Warner Bros. romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians opening on August 15.

Deadline’s sister publication Variety was the first to report the news.

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