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What we know about Netflix’s adaptation of the Tham Luang cave rescue

by Aiden

A retelling of one of the greatest rescues in history.

By Khushi Shah and Pooja Shah 

From 23rd June to 10th July 2018, twelve football players aged 11 to 16 and their 25-year-old coach were trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non Cave in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The trapped members had no food or supplies, no means of communication, and no oxygen, which fueled fears of hypoxia. In addition, the rescue team faced numerous challenges, including teaching the group basic diving skills, pumping billions of tonnes of water out of the cave, and the unfortunate death of one of the divers. After overcoming countless problems, the twelve boys and Coach Ek were rescued by an international team consisting of more than 10,000 people, including professional divers, representatives of governmental agencies, police officers,  and soldiers.  

The harrowing events received worldwide attention, including that of tech billionaire, Elon Musk, and numerous producers showed interest in making a movie or series based on the rescue. Finally, after two years in the works, Netflix has secured the rights to exclusively share the remarkable story and released some details about the series, its cast, and its production location. 

Thai Cave Rescue will be a “limited series” – meaning a run of 4-10 episodes, with Crazy Rich Asians (2018) director Jon M. Chu as one of its executive producers. The episode directors will include Kevin Tancharoen, the director of Warrior (2011) and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013); and Thai director Nattawut “Baz” Poonpiriya, of Bad Genius (2017) fame. Baz has stated that he plans to portray the authentic experiences of those who were trapped in the cave, and is confident in his partnership with the Asian American producers. 

Well-known Thai actor “Beam” Papangkorn Lerkchaleampote will take on the role of the boys’ football coach, Ek.

The role of “Coach Ek” will be played by “Beam” Papangkorn Lerkchaleampote who’s known for his role in The Stranded (2019). The 12 rescued boys will be played by Thai newcomers: Pratya Patong, Thanaphong Kanthawong, Songpol Kanthawong, Thanawut Chetuku, Thapanot Huttaprasu, Chakkaphat Sisat, Thanapat Phungpumkaew, Teerapat Somkaew, Rattapoom Nakeesathid, Watcharaphol Poungsawan, Apisit Saengchan, and Aphisit Yookham.

The shooting has begun in Chiang Rai and is planned for global Netflix release in 2022.

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