Netflix today announced that it is joining forces with SK Global Entertainment (Crazy Rich Asians, Delhi Crime), Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), and Nattawut "Baz" Poonpiriya (Bad Genius) to bring the dramatic story of the 2018 Thai Soccer Team Rescue to audiences around the world.
Netflix and SK Global Entertainment have been granted the rights by the 13 Thumluang Company Limited to tell the true story of how the 12 boys and their soccer coach were rescued after being trapped for two weeks inside of the flooded Tham Luang caves near Chiang Mai, Thailand during the summer of 2018. Said Jon M. Chu, a director on the project.
"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. 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, like the amazingly talented Nattawut "Baz" Poonpiriya, who understand the nuances and details of the local community in which this story unfolds."
Added Nattawut Poonpiriya, who will also serve as a director on the project.
"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."
Said Erika North, Director of International Originals at Netflix.
"We are immensely proud to be able to support the retelling of the incredible story of the Tham Luang cave rescue. The story combines so many unique local and universal themes which connected people from all walks of life, from all around the world. Thailand is a very important country for Netflix and we are looking forward to bringing this inspiring local but globally-resonant story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds to life, once again, for global audiences."
Added SK Global's Co-CEO John Penotti.
"With our partners, SK Global Entertainment is honored to bring to global audiences this story which captivated the world. Celebrating the heroes and survivors of the Thai cave rescue mission is a true privilege, and we are humbled to have succeeded in securing these rights."
Said Assistant Coach Ekkapol "Coach Ake" Chantapong, spokesperson of 13 Thumluang Co. Ltd.
"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. We look forward to working with all involved parties to ensure our story is told accurately, so that the world can recognise, once again, the heroes that made the rescue operation a success."
Said Lt. Gen. Werachon Sukondhapatipak, Spokesperson for the Committee for the Tham Luang Cave Mission, Chiang Rai Province.
"The Tham Luang rescue demonstrated mutual bravery, sacrifice, commitment and cooperation. By working with Netflix, we will work to give people a deeper look into the events and people that made the whole world stop, watch and cheer in June and July 2018."
Nattawut "Baz" Poonpiriya and Jon M. Chu will serve as directors on the project. John Penotti and Jon M. Chu will serve as producers alongside Chu's producing partner Lance Johnson, under their Electric Somewhere Company banner. Starlight Culture Entertainment Group will executive produce.
13 Thum Luang Co., Ltd. is a company established by 12 boys and their soccer coach who were rescued from the Tham Luang cave during the summer of 2018. The company is representing the 13 boys and acts on behalf of the shareholders, who are the boys themselves. The company is primarily set up to hold, manage, and protect the boys' rights in all aspects, including celebrity rights, life rights, copyrights and other intellectual property rights relating to the experience during the rescue mission from the Tham Luang cave. In addition, the company is a point of contact to the 13 boys. The company has committed to donating 15 percent of the revenues derived from bringing this story to global audiences to charity organizations that focus on disaster relief. This news comes direct from Netflix streaming service.