Thailand Cave Rescue to be Immortalized on Screen

Christian entertainment company working to claim movie rights.

Rescuers make their way down at the entrance to a cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach went missing, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, Monday, July 2, 2018.

By Allegra Thatcher Published on July 11, 2018

The miraculous rescue of 12 Thai boys and their coach glued people the world over to their TV screens. Now the harrowing tale is heading to the big screen.

According to Huffpost, Pure Flix co-founder and CEO Michael Scott is already gunning to secure the movie rights. In fact he has a vested interest in the story.

Close to the Action

Scott is partially based in Thailand. According to Variety, Scott personally witnessed the drama to save 12 boys and their coach after they were trapped underground on June 23. For four days, he helped at the rescue scene. The rescue, racing against rising waters, took place July 8-10.

Said Scott, “The bravery and heroism I’ve witnessed is incredibly inspiring, so, yes, this will be a movie for us.”

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The entertainment company behind such faith-based hits as Do You Believe, God’s Not Dead and The Case for Christ hopes to honor those involved in the rescue and inspire people with their story. “We’re here witnessing the events and gathering some contact information to really tell a story about the entire world coming together to save 13 kids trapped in a cave on the Chinese border,” he said.

A Desire to Honor the Heroes

The company has already begun talking to actors, producers and partners to get on board with the project, Pure Flix co-founder David A.R. White told The Wall Street Journal.

It is a story of faith and community. It is the story of sacrifice: of a coach who gave his food to his boys, and a Thai Navy SEAL who gave his life.

It’s also a story Scott knows personally. Scott’s wife was a childhood friend of Sgt. Saman Kunan, who died bringing oxygen to the trapped boys. She helped plan his funeral. 

The Drawbacks to the Limelight

But the story doesn’t end with the rescue. It doesn’t necessarily end happily for the rescued.

Reuters noted the story is eerily similar to that of 33 gold miners in Chile trapped underground for 69 days in 2010. The story received worldwide publicity, including the 2015 movie The 33. However, little publicity has been given to the horror the rescued men experienced afterwards. Most suffered psychological breakdowns, anxiety and unemployment in following years.

Luis Urzua, former mine foreman and member of the trapped crew, tutored the Thai media on how to handle the cave escape. He cited concerns of shock and maladjustment to normal life. He endorsed keeping boys’ identities private until they can “reintegrate with their former environment.”

Urzua also urged the boys to beware the fame they will receive from now on. Hollywood players in addition to Pure Flix are already interviewing witnesses and volunteers at the scene of the rescue, according to Reuters.

The Filmmakers Work

Filmmakers have their work cut out in securing rights from the boys and their families and gathering funding for expensive underwater filming. They will also have to choose an angle from which to tell the tale.

“Clearly the children are the heart of the story,” literary agent Judi Farkas said. “We don’t yet know who led the rescue effort. We don’t have enough details of the story yet to know whose point of view to tell it from.”

It is a sensitive topic, and Pure Flix hopes tell a story that both entertains and tells a true story, said Variety. White emphasized that the goal is to honor those involved, rather than exploit them for fame.

With the correct balance, the company hopes to immortalize the three weeks which turned the heads of the world.

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  • porcupineman1454

    A better headline: “Vultures swoop in to exploit boys’ story before they’re even warm in their hospital beds.” Are you kidding me with this fawning article?? Let us be honest – if it was a secular company adapting the story, the praise from The Stream would be much diminished.

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