Discovery Channel will debut the first documentary feature (of what looks to be the start of many more to come from Hollywood) chronicling the rescue of Thailand’s Wild Boars soccer team from a flooded cave.
Operation Thai Cave Rescue will be an hourlong television special airing Friday, July 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery Channel. This will be followed by an airing on Saturday, July 14 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Science Channel.
The documentary “unpacks the human and scientific drama behind one of the most difficult and heart-palpitating rescues attempted in human history,” an official description from Discovery reads. “With exclusive early access to men and women — including family members — who have been living and breathing the events, Operation Thai Cave Rescue focuses on the triumph of the human spirit and the extraordinary scientific and technological innovations used to complete this miracle rescue.”
Twelve boys from the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach found themselves trapped in a cave in Thailand on June 23 when flood water cut them off deep inside the cave. After 18 days, all members were finally rescued thanks to an international cooperative effort, including 19 divers and assistance from the Thai Navy SEALs. The rescue mission resulted in the death of a former Navy SEAL, according to BBC News.
The final rescue mission on Tuesday, July 10 took nine hours to complete.
“We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave,” a message on the Thai Navy SEALs Facebook page reads.
ITN Productions produces Operation Thai Cave Rescue for Discovery Channel. Jon Bardin and Andrew O’Connell of Discovery serve as executive producers with ITN’s Ian Russell.
The film will attempt to “explore and unpack every angle of this remarkable rescue operation,” including questions about why the boys were there and how they managed to survive more than two weeks without proper food and water.
The folks at Discovery aren’t the only ones looking at the cinematic quality of this harrowing event. A U.S. film crew, including Pure Flix Films managing partner Michael Scott and Adam Smith of Bangkok-based KAOS Entertainment, arrived on location and conducted “preliminary interviews around the Tham Luang cave site,” according to AAP (via Stuff.co.nz). They also reportedly planned to bring in a screenwriter.
“I see this as a major Hollywood film with A-list stars,” Scott, whose faith-based Pure Flix Films has been involved with the God’s Not Dead movies, said.
“There’s going to be other production companies coming in so we have to act pretty quickly,” Smith added.
AAP also reported they aim to start production on a film in 2019, once a “name” screenwriter becomes attached to the project.