World 12.7.2018 10:24 am

Thai cave rescue to inspire film adaptation

This undated handout photo taken recently and released by the Royal Thai Navy on July 7, 2018 shows Thai Navy soldiers in the flooded Tham Luang cave during rescue operations for the 12 boys and their football team coach trapped in the cave at Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province. Picture: AFP Photo / Royal Thaui Navy.

This undated handout photo taken recently and released by the Royal Thai Navy on July 7, 2018 shows Thai Navy soldiers in the flooded Tham Luang cave during rescue operations for the 12 boys and their football team coach trapped in the cave at Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province. Picture: AFP Photo / Royal Thaui Navy.

Should all go to plan, the Thai cave rescue story will be released through Pure Flix subsidiary Pinnacle Peak.

A film based on the July 2018 cave rescue of 12 Thai youth soccer players and their coach has been announced by Pure Flix Entertainment.

Hot on the heels of a successful 18-day cave rescue that attracted international interest comes news that a US production company is preparing a feature film adaptation.

The successful rescue attempt was completed on July 10, 2018, with the extraction of the final four boys and their 25-year-old coach soon followed by news that a US production company is seeking to adapt the true story into a feature film.

Pure Flix is primarily associated with religious material such as the 2014 God’s Not Dead college campus faith movie which, while poorly received by the wider film review community, went on to make $64 million at the worldwide box office on a $2 million production budget.

Should all go to plan, however, the Thai cave rescue story will be released through Pure Flix subsidiary Pinnacle Peak, as “it’s not necessary to make this a Christian film, just an inspirational one,” one of its co-founders, Michael Scott, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Scott spends part of his time living in Thailand and, after spending several days at the rescue site, said he had spoken to some of the divers involved as well as members of the families whose children were stuck in the cave; volunteer rescuer Saman Kunan, an ex-Navy diver who died during the rescue, was a friend of his own family.

“This isn’t just about a movie, it’s about honoring everybody involved, including the soldier who died,” he explained.

In related news, The Discovery Channel has announced that its hour-long documentary special, Operation Thai Cave Rescue, will debut on July 13, with a repeat showing the next day on the Science Channel.

It is to reveal “the human and scientific drama behind one of the most difficult and heart-palpitating rescues attempted in human history,” per a circular sent to Entertainment Weekly, “with exclusive early access to men and women — including family members — who have been living and breathing the events”.

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