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Viewers Threaten to Boycott Titan Submersible Movie: "Such Bad Taste"

Five people were killed on the attempted voyage to the Titanic wreckage less than four months ago.

In June, the world watched as the search for the Titan submersible went on for four days, only to end in tragedy when it was discovered that all five people aboard had died early in their journey. Now, plans for a movie about the submersible have been announced, but the backlash to this news has been swift. Many people have responded to the report by saying that it's far too soon for a movie to be made about the disaster, while others are promising to boycott the film if it is made and released.

Read on to find out more about the movie in development and the angry response it has already received.

RELATED: 7 Oscar-Winning Movies That Are Offensive by Today's Standards.

The Titan tragedy happened four months ago.

Flowers placed at an anchor at King's Beach at the port of St John's in Newfoundland, Canada in memory of those lost in the submersible photographed on June 23, 2023
Jordan Pettitt/PA Images via Getty Images

On June 18, the Titan submersible was reported missing after it lost communication with the ship from which it was deployed. The passengers aboard Titan were there for tourism reasons, attempting to view the wreckage of the Titanic off the coast of Newfoundland. The fact that those passengers were making the trip for leisure and not research, as well as their extreme wealth, led to some backlash amid the costly rescue mission. One of the five people on board was Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate, the company that ran the submersible experience. The others were Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, businessman Hamish Harding, and businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman Dawood.

Branches of the U.S. and Canadian military were involved in the subsequent search for the vessel. On June 22, debris was located, and it was determined that the submersible had imploded, killing all five people within.

RELATED: Netflix Slammed for "Exploiting" Titanic Sub Tragedy as Users Threaten a Boycott.

A film version is reportedly being made.

OceanGate flags photographed on June 20, 2023
rarrarorro / Shutterstock

On Sept. 29, Deadline reported that the production company MindRiot Entertainment plans to make a movie about the submersible tragedy. According to Deadline, the working title for the film is Salvaged, and it will be co-produced by MindRiot's E. Brian Dobbins—who also produced the 2022 comedy-horror film The Blackening—and co-written by Justin MacGregor and Jonathan Keasey. The movie will reportedly take place before, during, and after the submersible went missing.

In a statement, Keasey said that the film plans to explore the media coverage of the disaster.

"The Titan Tragedy is yet another example of a misinformed and quick-to-pounce system, in this case, our nonstop, 24-7 media cycle that convicts and ruins the lives of so many people without any due process," the statement reads. "Our film will not only honor all those involved in the submersible tragedy, and their families, but the feature will serve as a vessel that also addresses a more macro concern about the nature of media today."

Keasey added, "Truth is all that matters. And the world has a right to know the truth, always, not the salacious bait crammed down our throats by those seeking their five minutes of fame."

Social media slammed the project.

After the plan for the movie was announced, many people spoke out online to express their distaste at the idea.

"Jeez arent the families still grieving?" wrote one X (formerly Twitter) user. Another wrote, "The embodiment of 'too soon.'" Another user shared, "we will NOT be watching." Someone else posted regarding the news, "Another reminder that humanity sucks. WTF?"

One X user posted, "Of course they are. You better bet if Hollywood can make even a dime off of a tragic event they're gonna squeeze every dollar out of it they can." Another said, "This is such bad taste."

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A documentary is in the works, too.

Some X users said that they were hoping that the announced movie would be a documentary. "Not sure if a movie is the correct move, but maybe a documentary about all the negligences the team made," wrote one user. Another said, "Hopefully a documentary rather than a live action one – and even a documentary seems kinda too soon."

Well, a documentary is on the way, too. Earlier in September, Deadline reported that MindRiot Entertainment was working on a docuseries focused on former OceanGate mission director Kyle Bingham, who was with the company from 2018 to 2023. This project also has the working title Salvaged. As reported by Deadline, Bingham directed two successful expeditions to the Titanic wreckage and has been involved in other submersible trips.

"Our series is about a hero and a vision for exploration that is beyond courageous," Keasey said of the docuseries. The filmmakers said that they were given access to footage from the time of the tragedy and stated that Bingham's actions "rival any action or superhero movie."

Keasey continued, "Our series will simply correct a narrative of hate and vitriol that much of the world has been fed about human beings, their families, and those who still suffer. This desire to pile on hate and not allow people to grieve is horrendous … People like Kyle deserve the world's admiration, not condemnation. And that's exactly what our series will show—factually and empirically. The truth is, no one knows what we know, and we're very humbled Kyle entrusted us with his story."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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