The Thai cave rescue will be the subject of not one, but two competing movies.
“Now You See Me 2” director Jon M. Chu and Ivanhoe Pictures are teaming up on a movie about the rescue operation a day after Pure Flix Entertainment announced it was seeking the movie rights to the mission.
Chu last partnered with Ivanhoe in directing the upcoming romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians.” Ivanhoe, an SK Global company, is currently in talks with the most senior officials in Thailand, both on provincial and national levels, about the rescue project. The company is also currently in talks with multiple studios that have shown interest in this project.
Chu signaled that he was working on the project on Wednesday with a tweet, which appeared to slam Pure Flix’s efforts. “I refuse to let Hollywood #whitewashout the Thai Cave rescue story! No way. Not on our watch,” he wrote. “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.”
Pure Flix is behind such faith-based films as the “God’s Not Dead” movies, “Same Kind of Different as Me,” “Woodlawn,” “The Case for Christ,” and “Do You Believe?” Pure Flix said its project would focus on the inspirational aspects of the story.
The near three-week ordeal prompted an international rescue effort. The 12th boy and his coach were the last of the team to be rescued on Tuesday. The team became trapped on June 23 when rising flood water confined them deep inside the cave.
Ivanhoe Pictures and its sister company SKE develop international and local-language pictures for global audiences in the U.S., India, Taiwan, South Korea, and Latin America. Besides “Crazy Rich Asians,” their upcoming projects include the three-part series “Ghoul” — premiering Aug. 24 on Netflix — and the film “La Caja,” developed in partnership with Mexico City-based Lucia Films.
Chu also directed four of the “Step Up” movies. Chu is repped by UTA and Artists First.