Netflix has boarded SK Global Entertainment’s project to bring to screen the dramatic Thai cave rescue of 2018. It is now envisaged as a Netflix Original series, rather than a movie.
The news was announced Thursday by Lt. Gen. Werachon Sukondhapatipak, a representative of Thailand’s ruling junta. He said that authorities had granted exclusive and lifetime rights to direct contact with the 12 boys and their soccer coach, who were trapped for two weeks in June and July last year in flooded caves near Chiang Mai. He said the 13 would each be paid about $94,000 (THB3 million) with additional sums paid to other organizations involved in the rescue.
“We can confirm that we are working on an original scripted miniseries with SKE Global and 13 Tham Luang Company Limited to bring the incredible story of the Thai cave rescue to audiences worldwide on Netflix,” a Netflix spokesman told Variety. Thai media reported that local digital channels would be given the right to make a onetime broadcast of the first episode of the series.
The military government has spent several months sifting through applications to make an official movie version of events. At one stage, Variety was aware of more than six companies hatching cave rescue movie projects, though some appear to have dropped out.
Pure Flix Entertainment was first out of the gate, announcing a project less than a month after the largely successful rescue. Universal Pictures announced in September that it had teamed up with Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti, stating at the time that it had acquired the life rights of coach Ekkapol Chantawong, Dr. Richard Harris, Dr. Craig Challen and the 12 members of the Wild Boar team.
Thai-based director and producer Tom Waller, however, is likely to be the first with a completed movie. His film “The Cave” shot last year and is now in post-production.