Nat Geo and Kevin Macdonald to Develop Documentary on Thai Cave Rescue

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

National Geographic Documentary Films has greenlit a documentary on the Thai cave rescue, the 2018 rescue mission that saved a youth boys soccer team escape after being trapped inside for 18 days, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Kevin Macdonald, known for “The Last King of Scotland” and  “One Day in September,” a documentary about the terrorist attacks on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, is directing the feature documentary that includes exclusive interviews with British and Australian cave divers, and local Thai officials and volunteers who played a part in the rescue.

The documentary, which currently has a working title “Thai Cave Rescue,” is being produced by John Battsek and P.J. van Sandwijk along with executive producer Michael Lesslie.

Also Read: Ron Howard to Direct Paradise Wildfire Documentary for National Geographic

The boys were rescued from Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the Chiang Rai Province in Thailand. Twelve boys between the ages of 11 and 17 and their 25-year-old assistant coach were trapped in a cave after heavy rain waters had flooded their path out. Over 10,000 people and 100 divers worked over 18 days to attempt to rescue the boys, which resulted in one fatality, a former Thai Navy SEAL.

Divers Richard Stanton and John Volanthen, who were included in National Geographic’s 2019 list of its Adventurers of the Year, will be interviewed in the film along with Chris Jewell, Jason Mallinson, Connor Roe, Josh Bratchley and Jim Warny, in addition to interviews with Australian divers Dr. Richard Harris and Craig Challen.

The film originated with Storyteller Productions and its producers, van Sandwijk and Lesslie, who approached Macdonald after the news of the successful outcome of the rescue mission and subsequently secured the rights of the British divers. This film marks the second production between Storyteller Productions and Passion Pictures.

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Nat Geo is behind the Oscar-winning documentary “Free Solo” about free solo rock climber Alex Honnold. They’ve also recently partnered with Leonardo DiCaprio on a climate change documentary and with Ron Howard on a documentary about the fires that ravaged Paradise, California.

Macdonald recently directed “Whitney,” about the life of singer Whitney Houston.

THR was first to report.

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Ballantine Books & Universal Nab ‘Into The Dark’ Account Of Thai Cave Rescue Told In Words Of The Rescued & Rescuers

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE Ballantine Books has acquired world English rights to Into The Dark, a book that the publisher says will, for the first time, chronicle last summer’s rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team from a flooded Thai cave in the actual words of e…

Thai Cave Rescue Has Everyone Making the Same Scarlett Johansson Joke

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Now that the anxiety over the rescue of a youth soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand has subsided, it’s time for the jokes — and the wags on Twitter apparently feel they’ve found the ideal butt in Scarlett Johansson.

Following news Tuesday that all 12 players and their coach had been rescued — and that Hollywood has already begun its inevitable rush to turn the real-life drama into a film — social media jokers turned its eyes to Johansson. And essentially made the same joke about the actress, who has more than once been criticized for seeming to take on roles outside of her race and gender.

“Congrats to Scarlett Johansson who just got cast as all 12 Thai soccer players,” one Twitter wiseacre chimed in.

Also Read: Scarlett Johansson Compared to ‘Yellowface’ Mickey Rooney for Trans Film Role

(Very) similarly, there was also, “Scarlett Johansson to play all 12 Thai boys in upcoming rescue thriller.”

“I hope scarlett johansson plays all 12 thai boys and their coach in the film adaptation,” read another, familiar-sounding post.

There were, thankfully, some variations on the theme. Such as, “I can’t wait to see the Oscar winning movie about the Thai Soccer team stuck in the cave that will inevitably be about an all white lacrosse team that gets stuck in a cave in Cabo staring Scarlett Johansson, Emma Stone, Tilda Swinton and a Thai person with a one line walk on role.”

Also Read: Here’s Scarlett Johansson’s Sarcastic Response to Critics of Her Casting in ‘Rub & Tug’

And, “BREAKING: in a shocking twist, Scarlett Johansson has NOT been cast as all 12 Thai children in the upcoming film about the cave rescue and instead will only be playing the role of the cave itself.”

And, “Scarlett Johansson just announced to play Thai soccer coach.”

Earlier this month, Johansson came under fire when it was announced that she would star in the upcoming film “Rub & Tug.” The film is based on the life of Dante “Tex” Gill, a massage parlor owner in Pittsburgh in the 1970s and ’80s, who, according to an obituary, was known as “the woman who prefers to be known as a man.” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obit also said Gill may have undergone “the initial stages of a sex change that made her appear masculine.”

Also Read: Michael Rapaport Catches Heat for ‘F–ing Awful’ Joke About Thai Cave Rescue Efforts

Online critics took that to mean Gill was a transgender man, and questioned whether Johansson, a woman, is the right person for the role.

The casting was also criticized by trans author Jennifer Finney Boylan, who in a New York Times opinion piece likened it to Mickey Rooney playing an Asian man in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

The actress found herself in a similar position last year, after she was accused of whitewashing for taking on the role of cybernetic hero Motoko Kusanagi in the live-action remake of “Ghost in the Shell.”

Johansson defended her casting in that role, telling “Good Morning America” host Michael Strahan that Kusanagi is an “identity-less” character because of her nature as a cyborg, which is where the series gets its title from.

“I think this character is living a very unique experience in that she has a human brain in an entirely machinate body,” Johansson said. “I would never attempt to play a person of a different race, obviously. Hopefully, any question that comes up of my casting will be answered by audiences when they see the film.”

Congrats to Scarlett Johansson who just got cast as all 12 Thai soccer players

– Maddy Cole (@maddyelisecole) July 11, 2018

First look at Scarlett Johansson in Thai cave rescue movie. pic.twitter.com/0FWH4MFTzZ

– Consequence of Sound (@consequence) July 11, 2018

Scarlett Johansson to play all 12 Thai boys in upcoming rescue thriller

– T Hux (@iwriterealgood) July 11, 2018

i hope scarlett johansson plays all 12 thai boys and their coach in the film adaptation

– lolly (@lollyadefope) July 10, 2018

I can’t wait to see the Oscar winning movie about the Thai Soccer team stuck in the cave that will inevitably be about an all white lacrosse team that gets stuck in a cave in Cabo staring Scarlett Johansson, Emma Stone, Tilda Swinton and a Thai person with a one line walk on role

– Dewayne “Not Dwayne” Perkins (@DewaynePerkins) July 11, 2018

BREAKING: in a shocking twist, Scarlett Johansson has NOT been cast as all 12 Thai children in the upcoming film about the cave rescue and instead will only be playing the role of the cave itself

– huntigula (@huntigula) July 11, 2018

Scarlett Johansson will play the role of the cave https://t.co/YVQWBstczl

– SALBAKUTA KINABALU (@keiakamatsu) July 11, 2018

Scarlett Johansson just announced to play Thai soccer coach. pic.twitter.com/91ivvslgf4

– Gary Janetti (@GaryJanetti) July 10, 2018

If they make a movie about those Thai footballers stuck in a cave I wonder which one of the boys Scarlett Johansson will play?

– Daniel Zennon ???’???” (@dzennon) July 5, 2018

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Michael Rapaport Catches Heat for ‘F—ing Awful’ Joke About Thai Cave Rescue Efforts

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Director Jon Chu Developing Second Thai Cave Rescue Movie

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu and Ivanhoe Pictures (producers of “Crazy Rich Asians”) are reteaming and developing a second film about the Thai cave rescue operation after Pure Flix Entertainment announced it was seeking the film rights to the rescue operation, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

“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,” Chu tweeted Wednesday.

“There’s a beautiful story abt human beings saving other human beings. So anyone thinking abt the story better approach it right & respectfully.”

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

Ivanhoe Pictures, an SK Global company, is currently in talks with the most senior officials in Thailand both on provincial and national levels. They are also in talks with multiple studios who have shown interest about this project.

Also Read: Producers of Cave Rescue Movie Have Deep Thai Connections: ‘We Didn’t Just Fly on Over for a Story’

The studio and it’s sister company, SKE, develop international and local language pictures for global audiences with a concentration in the U.S., India, Taiwan, South Korea and Latin America. Their upcoming projects include the three-part series “Ghoul” premiering on Netflix on Aug. 24; the feature film “La Caja” developed in partnership with Mexico City-based Lucia Films; and the upcoming feature “Crazy Rich Asians” set for theatrical release in the U.S. via Warner Bros. on Aug. 15.

All 12 members of the Thai boys’ soccer team and their coach have been now rescued after being trapped in a cave for weeks. The news broke Tuesday morning when the final four children and their 25-year-old coach were saved by Thai Navy SEALs.

Also Read: Colbert Hopes Trump Learns the Right Lesson From the Thai Cave Rescue: ‘Freeing Children Makes People Like You’ (Video)

The rescue operation involved guiding the boys through a partially flooded cave system that took the life of one diver who attempted to reach the trapped soccer team. Some sections of the cave required climbing equipment, and one section that was flooded by stormwater was so narrow that the divers needed to remove their oxygen tanks in order to get through.

The trapped soccer team, which consisted of boys aged 11-16, was found last Monday by a team of divers after a nine-day search. It was originally believed that the team would have to stay in the caves until the end of monsoon season, which would last for several more months. But after the rains flooding the cave worsened, a team of 90 rescue divers — 40 Thai, 50 foreign — were sent in to extract them as soon as possible.

Chu is repped by UTA and Artists First.

Variety first reported the news.

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Colbert Hopes Trump Learns the Right Lesson From the Thai Cave Rescue: ‘Freeing Children Makes People Like You’ (Video)

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Stephen Colbert began his monologue on “The Late Show” Tuesday night with some pointed jokes about Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, but his best zingers actually came after that, when he contrasted the story of the Thai cave rescue to that of the story of the United States’ detainment camps for immigrant children.

“In tough times like these, it’s nice to get good news every now and again. And I am so happy to report that all twelve Thai boys and their coach have been rescued from the cave they’ve been trapped in for more than two weeks. That feels good,” Colbert said, to uproarious cheers from the studio audience.

“It’s a great story that gives everyone hope, and reminds us of the importance of permission slips for field trips to flooded caves.”

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Then Colbert got to the point.

“Everybody loves this story. Are you listening, Mr. President? Freeing children makes people like you,” Colbert quipped, again to cheers from the audience.

“Meanwhile, the United States is still imprisoning thousands of migrant children that were taken from their parents. in a court ruling last month, the judge gave Trump until today to reunite all of the kids aged five and under with their parents. But the good guys over at ICE say that of 102 such children now in custody, authorities have been able to identify and locate the parents of only 54. Because when they separated the families, there was no reunification plan in place.

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“So there are 48 toddlers still in cages. These kids would have a better chance of being reunited with their parents if they went spelunking with a Thai soccer coach.”

So, yeah, it turned out that the Thai cave rescue story didn’t life Colbert’s spirits for all that long.

“Even the plan for the kids who are being returned to their parents is unsettling,” Colbert continued. “According to reports, in an effort to avoid media and protesters, staff at child detention centers have been instructed that they are to put the children in vans and take them to locations that are as yet unknown to them. So we’re at the point, as a nation, where the good news is that the government is throwing kids into unmarked vans. Next, we’re supposed to be cheering on America’s heroic sewer clowns.”

At this point, “The Late Show” displayed an image of Pennywise the Clown in the storm drain from the 1990 “It” miniseries.

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“But every detainee gets to go in front of an immigration court. Including recently in Phoenix, when a one-year-old had an appearance in front of an immigration judge, who said, ‘I’m embarrassed to ask it, I don’t know who you would explain it to, unless you think that a one-year-old could learn immigration law.’ They better hope not,” Colbert said as he slipped into an impersonation of a baby lawyer.

“Your honor, I may be a simple country baby, but even I can tell that the rank smell of oppression is in the air — possibly because I made boom-boom in my diddy,” Colbert said. “Your honor, permission to approach the bench for a fresh pair of Pampers, perhaps a handful of Cheerios to work on my fine motor skills? Where is justice? Where is justice, I say? Because justice rolled behind the couch and I lack object permanence.”

You can watch this portion of Colbert’s monologue from Tuesday’s episode of “The Late Show” in the video embedded at the top of this post.

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Michael Rapaport Catches Heat for ‘F—ing Awful’ Joke About Thai Cave Rescue Efforts

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Michael Rapaport’s sense of comedic timing was off a bit on Monday, as far as some Twitter users were concerned.

Podcaster and “Atypical” star Rapaport caught heat on Monday, after a tweet apparently touching on the efforts to rescue a youth soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand.

“I haven’t seen someone try to get a Thai boy out of a hole this frantically since I walked in on Kevin Spacey in the men’s room at Chuckie Cheese,” Rapaport wrote, in a wisecrack that also apparently hit on the sexual misconduct accusations against actor Kevin Spacey.

Also Read: Thailand Cave Rescue on Pause After 4 Kids Are Saved

Rapaport attributed the joke to “Anonymous Comedian 7/9/2018,” but many responses to the tweet were less than appreciative of Rapaport’s sense of humor.

While Rapaport had some supporters, including one responder who called the joke “smart humor.,” others didn’t find it funny.

“Fucking awful,” one critic of the joke wrote.

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“Too soon???!!” asked another.

Yet another critic found fault with the logic of the joke, asking, “Wouldn’t he be trying to get into thai boyhole? That makes more sense comically.”

“Delete it. This is weak sauce bro,” went another response to Rapaport’s tweet.

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“What the f— is wrong with you,” asked another response.

According to CBS News, four more members of the soccer team were rescued Monday, after four of the team members were rescued over the weekend.

The team members, who according to CBS range in age from 11 to 16, and their coach were stranded after they decided to explore the cave following a practice game and monsoon flooding blocked them in.

Read Rapaport’s tweet below.

I haven’t seen someone try to get a Thai boy out of a hole this frantically since I walked in on Kevin Spacey in the men’s room at Chuckie Cheese.

Anonymous Comedian 7/9/2018

– MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) July 9, 2018

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