Netflix announces deal for film about Thailand's cave boys

BANGKOK — Netflix is joining with the production company for the movie "Crazy Rich Asians" to make a film about last July's dramatic rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach who were 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 Tuesday in Bangkok.

Thailand's Culture Ministry in March first unveiled the deal, announced as a miniseries. Deputy government spokesman Weerachon Sukoondhapatipakat was quoted then as saying that the families of the cave survivors would each be paid 3 million baht ($94,000).

A date for the project to be released wasn't disclosed.

The boys of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach became a center of world 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 organizations 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 recognize, once again, the heroes that made the rescue operation a success."

Tuesday's announcement said 13 Thumluang "has committed to donating 15% of the revenues derived from bringing this story to global audiences to charity organizations 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."

The rescue was a rare bit of feel-good news from Thailand, which has been mired in political conflict and heavy-handed military rule for more than a decade. The cave rescue also allowed the government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who had seized power in a 2014 military coup, to share in some glory.

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

You may also like these

Rescuers find bodies after China quake kills 19,...

Aug 9, 2017

Rescuers have gathered bodies amid rubble in an area shaken by a powerful earthquake in mountainous...

AP PHOTOS: Appeasing restless ghosts in Hong Kong

Sep 5, 2017

AP PHOTOS: Appeasing restless ghosts in Hong Kong in raucous celebrations marked by feasts and music

Chinese border calm as North Korea ramps up...

Sep 7, 2017

People in the Chinese city of Dandong along the border with North Korea say the global tensions...

The Latest: Trump vows to change 'one-side and...

Nov 9, 2017

President Donald Trump is vowing to change "one-sided and unfair" trade relations with China but...

Hong Kong actor Eric Tsang denies sexual...

Jan 17, 2018

Well-known Hong Kong actor Eric Tsang has vehemently denied rumors of sexual misconduct by him

Sign up now!

About Us

Gempak Media delivers the most talked and gempak stories on the Internet to you. Be the first to know about the latest news and don’t forget to share it around.

Contact us: sales[at]gempakmedia.com

Subscribe Now!