Ron Howard’s Thai Cave Rescue Movie Gets Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell & More

Academy award winning director Ron Howard has now tapped a hugely talented trio to lead his upcoming biographical survival drama Thirteen Lives, with Viggo Mortensen The Lord of the Rings, Green Book, Colin Farrell The Batman, and Joel Edgerton Warrior now signed on. Thirteen Lives will chronicle the real-life events of the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue that saw a junior football team and their coach trapped in a cave for a period of 18 days.

The three A-listers will lead a stacked supporting cast made up of all sorts of familiar faces including Weir Sukollawat (Malila), Thiraphat Sajakul (The Serpent), Sahajak Boonthanakit (The Serpent), Vithaya Pansringarm (The Prey), Teeradon “James” Supapunpinyo (Bad Genius), Nophand Boonyai (Only God Forgives), Tom Bateman (Death on the Nile), Paul Gleeson (The Thin Red Line), and Lewis Fitz-Gerald (Pitch Black).

Taking place in 2018, the incident was highly publicised at the time, as many professionals and the village itself came together to rescue and save the lives of members of a junior football team who were trapped inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand. Twelve members of the team aged eleven to sixteen, and their 25-year-old assistant coach, entered the cave on 23 June after football practice. Shortly afterwards, heavy rains partially flooded the cave, blocking their way out.

With rising water levels, time was of the essence to pool resources and figure out a way to carry out the seemingly impossible rescue mission. After spending around 17 days trapped in the cave, all twelve of the boys and their coach were rescued by an international team that included the involvement of over 10,000 people from divers and rescue workers to government agencies and soldiers.

Viggo Mortensen will play Richard Stanton, a rescue specialist from the Cave Rescue Organization and the British Cave Rescue Council who was awarded the George Medal, the second-highest civilian award for bravery. Colin Farrell portrays John Volanthen, a veteran cave diver who specializes in cave exploration and underwater rescue, while Edgerton portrays Dr. Richard Harris, an Australian anaesthetist and cave diver with over 30 years of experience who played a crucial role in the Tham Luang cave rescue.

As for the supporting cast of his new Ron Howard directed movie, Sukollawat stars as former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Kunan, with Sajakul playing Anand, a Thai Navy SEAL who proved to be instrumental in the rescue effort. Boonthanakit in on board to play the Chiang Rai province acting governor Narongsak Osatanakorn, alongside Pansringarm who will portray General Anuphond. Supapunpinyo stars as the junior football team’s coach, “Ek” Ekkaphon Chanthawong, and Boonyai will portray Thanet Natisri, a groundwater expert who was brought in by the Thai military in order to make the valiant rescue happen.

Bateman will star as Chris Jewell, a Diving Officer for the British Cave Rescue Council, with Paul Gleeson playing his colleague Jason Mallinson. Finally, Lewis Fitz-Gerald will feature in Thirteen Lives as Vernon Unsworth, a British diver and key member of the rescue team.

Thirteen Lives is due to film in both Australia and Thailand, with production set to begin this month. This comes to us courtesy of Deadline.

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