Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives recounts the true story of the global effort to rescue a Thai soccer team who become trapped in the Tham Luang cave during an unexpected rainstorm in 2018.
Faced with insurmountable odds, a team of the world’s most skilled and experienced divers – uniquely able to navigate the maze of flooded, narrow cave tunnels – join with Thai forces and more than 10,000 volunteers to attempt a harrowing rescue of the twelve boys and their coach.
With impossibly high stakes and the entire world watching, the group embarks on their most challenging dive yet, showcasing the limitlessness of the human spirit in the process.
The cast includes Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell, Joel Edgerton, Tom Bateman, Paul Gleeson, Pattrakorn Tungsupakul, Tui Thiraphat Sajakul, James Teeradon Supapunpinyo, Sahajak Boonthanakit, and Weir Sukollawat Kanaros.
William Nicholson wrote the screenplay from a story he co-wrote with Don Macpherson, while Howard also produces alongside P.J. van Sandwijk, Gabrielle Tana, Karen Lunder, William M. Connor, and Brian Grazer. The executive producers were Jon Kuyper, Carolyn Marks Blackwood, Marie Savare, Michael Lesslie, Aaron L. Gilbert, and Jason Cloth.
There were also contributions from Thai co-producers, Raymond Phathanavirongoon and Vorakorn “Billy” Ruetaivanichkul, and DP Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, who provided advised on the script, casting decisions, and making sure local perspectives were accurately reflected in the content.
The Imagine Entertainment/MGM project was shot in Queensland last year, having been lured to Australia via the Federal Government’s Location Incentive program.
Speaking at the launch of the trailer, Howard said the more he learned about the story, the more dimensional he thought it could be.
“This story is very important to Thai culture and understandably so,” he said.
“It’s a story they should be incredibly proud of because of the way the Thai Government and Thai leadership actually made this rescue possible.
The more I learned about it on a very emotional level, the more I realised that while the epicentre of this was the caves, the boys and the coach and the intensity of that rescue – it was very cinematic and intense and I wanted to capture that – there was also incredible involvement from other places.
“People took real risks – physical and emotional – as the stakes kept getting higher and higher.”
Thirteen Lives will release globally on Prime Video on August 5.