Justin Lin’s ‘The Last Days Of John Allen Chau’ Expected to Film in Los Angeles and Thailand in Fall 2023

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Director Justin Lin, best known for his work on the ‘Fast & Furious‘ franchise films, is set to tackle the story of John Allen Chau, an American evangelical Christian missionary, in his next feature film. According to reports, the project is expected to commence shooting in Los Angeles, California, and Thailand in Fall 2023. The film will be a stark departure from Lin’s recent directorial credits, which mainly include big-budget tentpole films in the action-adventure space. ‘The Last Days Of John Allen Chau’ is a drama film with religious themes, first announced in February 2023, with Lin signing on to direct.

The film was internally developed by The Gotham Group (‘The Maze Runner‘ trilogy), with Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Eric Robinson producing alongside Lin. The screenplay was written by Ben Ripley, whose previous credits include movies such as 2011’s ‘Source Code‘ starring Jake Gyllenhaal and 2017’s ‘Flatliners’ starring Elliot Page and Diego Luna. Ripley’s screenplay is based on the Outside Magazine article of the same name written by journalist Alex Perry.

‘The Last Days Of John Allen Chau’ will be a biographical film exploring the life and events leading up to the death of John Allen Chau. Chau was a Christian missionary who traveled to North Sentinel Island, India, to convert the Sentinelese, an indigenous people in voluntary isolation, to Christianity. However, Chau was reportedly killed by the Sentinelese. The film will reportedly focus on Chau’s search for identity, purpose, and belonging.

Based on Chau’s real-life story, we can assume that Thailand might serve as a double for the North Sentinel Island, which is situated between India, Thailand, and Myanmar. Meanwhile, Los Angeles could be the primary backdrop for depicting Chau’s life in the United States. However, the filming of ‘The Last Days Of John Allen Chau’ will likely be affected by the writers’ and actors’ strikes in the United States. Several film productions slated to occur in the Summer of 2023 have already been delayed, and if the strikes do not reach a quick resolution, the same could happen to the production plans for ‘The Last Days Of John Allen Chau.’

In June 2023, it was announced that actor Sky Yang had been cast in the titular role. Yang rose to prominence with his recurring role as Stephen Chen in the comedy-drama series ‘Holding.’ He also has a supporting role in ‘Halo,’ the television adaptation of the popular video game series of the same name. Yang is next expected to appear in Zack Snyder’s upcoming space film ‘Rebel Moon,’ which is currently undergoing post-production. The film will mark Yang’s first lead role in a feature film.

While no further casting announcements have been made, Jessica Kelly has been roped in as the casting director for the project. Andrew Schneider and Sal Gatdula are set to serve as producers under Lin’s Perfect Storm banner alongside Clayton Townsend. Alex Perry, Luke Speed, and George Heller are expected to take on executive producer roles.

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