Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu, Thai filmmaker Nattawut Poonpiriya (Bad Genius) and Netflix, along with SK Global Entertainment (Crazy Rich Asians) have teamed for a forthcoming project about the rescue of a Thai soccer team trapped in a cave. The harrowing events and ultimately uplifting outcome that took place near Chiang Mai last summer has inspired several movie and TV stories based on the events. It’s unclear if the forthcoming Netflix project will be released as a feature film or in a limited series format.
“Like the rest of the world, we were riveted by the news of the Thai cave rescue. With the entire globe watching, this tragic human drama transformed into a beautiful, inspirational story of human beings saving other human beings,” Chu said in a statement. “Not only did this show the best of the human spirit overcoming even the worst of circumstances, it proved that we are stronger when we work together.
“Which is why, with the support of the Thai government and our partners at Netflix, SK Global and Starlight, we are honored and grateful to be able to share the full story of this massive, international effort in a unique multilingual format that will allow us to work with filmmakers from all around the world,” he continued. “Like the amazingly talented Nattawut “Baz” Poonpiriya, who understand the nuances and details of the local community in which this story unfolds.”
Poonpiriya, who will also serve as a director alongside Chu for the project, added, “This is an opportunity for me as a filmmaker — and also a Thai citizen — to write a thank you letter to the rest of the world.”
On June 23, 2018, 12 boys and their soccer coach became trapped inside a cave for over two weeks following a monsoon in Thailand’s Chiang Rai province. All 13 were rescued due to the Thai government and a team of diver’s efforts, although one diver died during rescue preparations.
Established by the 12 boys and their coach, 13 Thumluang Company Limited manages and protects the boys’ rights relating to their experience during the rescue mission. Thumluang Co. granted the rights to Netflix and SK Global Entertainment to tell their story.
“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,” 13 Thumluang Co.’s spokesman, Assistant Coach Ekkapol “Coach Ake” Chantapong, said in a statement. “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.”