Jon M. Chu is working to develop a film about the Thai cave rescue in order to prevent a “whitewash” of the story, the “Crazy Rich Asians” director announced on Twitter Wednesday.
“I refuse to let Hollywood #whitewashout the Thai Cave rescue story!” Chu wrote. “No way. Not on our watch.”
The three-week ordeal, which started on June 23 when 12 members of a youth soccer team and their coach were trapped in a cave complex after fleeing rising flood water, prompted an international rescue effort and made major headlines. The final boys and their coach were rescued on Tuesday and are currently recovering in quarantine at a hospital.
According to Chiang Rai province Gov. Narongsak Osottanakorn, 13 foreign divers and five Thai navy SEALs took part in a key leg of the rescue on Sunday, taking the boys from where they have been sheltering through dark, tight and twisting passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents. Rescuers from Thailand, the U.S., Britain, Australia and other countries, helped in the efforts, according to The Associated Press.
Ivanhoe Pictures — which worked with Chu on “Crazy Rich Asians,” scheduled for release on Aug. 15 — is partnering with the director and is in discussions with senior provincial and national officials in Thailand, the company told Variety. It also said that it was currently in talks with multiple studios that have shown interest in the project.
Ivanhoe did not immediately return an NBC News request for comment. When reached for comment, Chu's representatives referred to the director's tweets on the subject.
Chu’s tweet and the announcement came a day after Pure Flix Entertainment's CEO Michael Scott announced it was seeking the movie rights about the mission.
"And the whitewash is on," Angry Asian Man blogger Phil Yu had tweeted about the Pure Flix announcement.
Chu responded on Twitter: "Those days of letting it happen are over. Never again. We have arrived. And we aren’t playing."
Ivanhoe Pictures and its sister company SKE have developed international and local-language pictures for global audiences in the U.S., India, Taiwan, South Korea, and Latin America.
In a follow up tweet on Thursday, Chu said while it was too early to discuss the new project, one of the biggest lessons he learned from directing "Crazy Rich Asians" was "we must tell our stories especially the important ones so history doesnt get it wrong."