Thai cave rescue to be made into Netflix series

People holding an evacuated boy during the rescue operations for the youth soccer team and their coach inside a cave complex at Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park, Chiang Rai province, Thailand.
People holding an evacuated boy during the rescue operations for the youth soccer team and their coach inside a cave complex at Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park, Chiang Rai province, Thailand.PHOTO: ROYAL THAI NAVY

BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The world-famous rescue of the 13 young footballers who were trapped for nearly two weeks in a cave in Chiang Rai last year will make its way to Netflix soon, Thailand's Culture Ministry has announced.

"The series will be produced by Hollywood's SK Global Entertainment, which has been granted lifetime rights to contact the 13 young members of the Wild Boars football team," government spokesman Lt-General Werachon Sukondhapatipak said at an event at Bangkok's National Library on Thursday (March 7).

SK Global is behind Netflix hits such as Crazy Rich Asians, 9 And Half Weeks, Swimfan and the Age Of Adeline, to name a few.

Werachon said the footballers will earn about Bt3 million (S$128,334) each from the production, with some of the money going to organisations and foundations that were involved in the rescue operation.

The footballers - 12 kids and their coach - were trapped for more than a fortnight in the dark recesses of a winding cave before divers overcame complex obstacles to save them. One diver died during the rescue operation.

Sirisak Kotpatcharin, spokesperson for the 13 Tham Luang Company, which is in charge of the copyright, said the boys and their coach will no longer be allowed to give interviews about their experience without the company's permission.

The Netflix film is just one among many reported bids to bring the dramatic fortnight-long ordeal of the Wild Boars, as the young soccer players are called, to the screen.

Another dramatisation called The Cave will be released in time for the July anniversary of the gripping event.

Thai-born director Tom Waller said his film is authentic and focuses on the "unsung heroes", unlike the Hollywood adaptations which may create dramatic story arcs.