- The director of “Crazy Rich Asians” is in talks to make a movie about the rescue of 12 boys and their coach who were rescued from a Thai cave.
- Jon M. Chu has pledged to make a film that won’t be a “white wash,” indicating Asian actors would be front and center of his film.
- Chu said it is important this story is told “correctly and respectfully” and so that “history doesn’t get it wrong.”
There is a second film about the Thailand cave rescue in the works, this time from the director of “Crazy Rich Asians” who has pledged to not “white wash” the cast.
Earlier this week, Christian film studio Pure Flix announced it was on the ground in Thailand and seeking exclusive rights to the stories of rescuers, divers, and the families of the 12 boys and their coach who were trapped in a cave for up to 17 days. The managing director, who is married to a Thai woman who knew the former Navy SEAL that died on the mission, said it could be a movie that “inspires millions” and that he sees it being a “major Hollywood film with A-list stars.”
In response to the news, people on Twitter immediately began commenting that they hoped the film would be made in Thailand with an Asian cast.
When one person commented a “white wash” – a term used to describe how Caucasian actors are frequently cast in the role of originally ethnic characters – had begun, director Jon M. Chu replied, “Those days of letting it happen are over.”
“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 [about] human beings saving other human beings. So anyone thinking [about] the story better approach it right & respectfully,” Chu, who directed “Now You See Me 2,” wrote on Twitter.
He added: “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.”
Variety reported that Chu and Ivanhoe Pictures, which co-produced next month’s release “Crazy Rich Asians,” are in talks with studios and senior national and provincial officials in Thailand.
Chu also spoke of his experience directing “Crazy Rich Asians,” an adaptation of the bestselling book by Kevin Kwan, which featured an all-Asian cast in a major Hollywood film. An achievement that was lauded by some as “historic.”
He said his biggest lesson from that film was the importance of people telling their own stories, “so history doesn’t get it wrong.”
“This one is too important [to] let others dictate who the real heroes are,” Chu wrote.