Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 26 August 2019

Netflix to make a film about rescue of boys trapped inside Thai cave

The streaming giant is joining forces with the director of 'Crazy Rich Asians' for the project

Members of the Thai Wild Boards football team and their coach Ekapol Chantawong, top centre, have agreed that Netflix can produce a film based on their real-life rescue. EPA
Members of the Thai Wild Boards football team and their coach Ekapol Chantawong, top centre, have agreed that Netflix can produce a film based on their real-life rescue. EPA

Netflix is joining forces with the production company behind Crazy Rich Asians to make a film about the dramatic rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach.

The group made headlines last July, after being trapped in a flooded cave in northern Thailand for more than two weeks.

Netflix and SK Global Entertainment said they acquired the rights to the story from 13 Thumluang Co Ltd, a company that Thailand's government helped establish to represent the interests of the boys and their coach, who attended the news conference for the announcement on Tuesday in Bangkok.

Thailand's Culture Ministry first unveiled the deal in March, which was announced as a mini-series. Deputy government spokesman Weerachon Sukoondhapatipakat was quoted as saying that the families of the cave survivors would each be paid 3 million baht (Dh345,625).

Videos grabs show the boys and their 25-year-old coach are in good health in Tham Luang Nang Non cave. Thai navy Seals / Getty Images
The boys and their coach pictured trapped in the cave last year. Getty Images

A release date for the project wasn't disclosed.

The boys of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach became the centre of the world's attention after they became trapped in the cave on June 23 last year, with doubts they were able to find shelter from rising flood waters that poured in after unexpected rain. They were found by two British divers and brought out by an international crew of experienced cave divers who teamed up with Thai navy seals in a dangerously complicated mission that was successfully concluded on July 10.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to thank the people and organisations from Thailand and around the world who came together to perform a true miracle, by retelling our story," said Ekapol "Ake" Chanthawong, the boy's assistant coach who shared the ordeal with them. "We look forward to working with all involved parties to ensure our story is told accurately, so that the world can recognise, once again, the heroes that made the rescue operation a success."

epa07537921 Members of Thailand's Wild Boars football team attend a press conference to announce the 'Thai Cave Rescue Series Contract Exchange Ceremony' with Netflix, in Bangkok, 30 April 2019. According to Netflix, they had agreed Tuesday to team up with the SK Global, producers of 'Crazy Rich Asians' for the production of a mini-series based on the real-life rescue of the 12 members of the Wild Boars football team and their coach from a flooded cave in northern Thailand in 2018. EPA/DIEGO AZUBEL
Members of Thailand's Wild Boars football team attend a press conference to announce the Netflix deal. EPA

Tuesday's announcement said 13 Thumluang "has committed to donating 15 per cent of the revenues derived from bringing this story to global audiences to charity organisations that focus on disaster relief".

Jon M Chu, who helmed Crazy Rich Asians, and Nattawut "Baz" Poonpiriya, a Thai filmmaker, will be directors on the cave project.

"We are immensely proud to be able to support the retelling of the incredible story of the Tham Luang cave rescue," Erika North, director of international originals at Netflix, said in a statement.

"The story combines so many unique local and universal themes which connected people from all walks of life, from all around the world. Thailand is a very important country for Netflix and we are looking forward to bringing this inspiring local but globally resonant story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds to life, once again, for global audiences."

An independent film about the adventure, The Cave, was shot soon after the rescue and is supposed to be released later this year.

Updated: May 1, 2019 11:58 AM

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