Netflix and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ production team announce cave rescue project


Netflix, the most popular TV streaming service in Thailand, are teaming up with the producers of the hit film “Crazy Rich Asians” for a production about the rescue of the MuPa (Wild Boar) football team from Chiang Rai’s Tham Luang caves last July.

The 12 young men and their coach were trapped in a flooded cave after going on a short after-football-training excursion.

Their dramatic 18 day rescue became huge global news and ended up as a massive international co-operative effort with expertise flying in from around the world to, firstly find the boys, then figure out a way to get them out. The waters were rising, there was a threat of more rains to come, the boys couldn’t swim – the problems seemed insurmountable.

But, eventually, a risky plan was hatched, and executed. All with a happy ending, perfect for a film or drama.

A lucrative mini-industry in retelling their story has grown, with local and international film companies and publishing houses vying for the opportunity to have access to the team and the caves as a filming location.

Coach Ekkapol Chantawong, the 25 year old who was also stuck in the caves with his 12 young football team members, is president of “13 Thumluang Company”, acting as an intermediary between the production companies, the other young team members and their families.

No financial details were offered at today’s media launch although earlier reports suggested the young men would score a tidy sum from the production. A representative from the Army, a former Government spokesperson, who is acting as an advisor the 13 Thumluang Company, said that the team planned to give 20% of any earnings to charity as the team members recognised they had been helped and assisted by so many people.

The Netflix project, which may be a doco-film or a mini-series, will include the real team members to partly tell the story, largely untold, of their fears as they waited inside the cave.

The director of “Crazy Rich Asians” Jon Chu will also join the project as co-director, along with a Thai director Nattawut Poonpiriya, whose 2017 heist thriller “Bad Genius” earned critical acclaim.

Northern Thailand News
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