Netflix’s ‘Thai Cave Rescue’ Gets September Release Date

Based on the miraculous rescue of Thailand’s Wild Boars youth soccer team in 2018, Netflix’s Thai Cave Rescue will be released as a limited series on September 22, 2022. The six-episode series will be a dramatized retelling of how the 12 young soccer players and their coach were rescued after they became stuck in the flooded Tham Luang cave.

The streaming platform has partnered with filmmakers from Thailand and across the world for this series. In the aftermath of the 2018 rescue, rights to the various parties involved (rescuers, players, coach) were divided up in different deals. Netflix gained access to the players and coach, while National Geographic signed a deal with the rescue team (and subsequently premiered The Rescue at the Telluride Film Festival in 2021). Most recently, Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives is on a short theatrical run before it arrives on Prime Video. Before all of these titles, The Cave, by director Tom Waller, premiered at the Busan International Film Festival in 2019.

Thai Cave Rescue was filmed entirely in Thailand, with directors Baz Poonpiriya (One for the Road, Bad Genius) and Kevin Tancharoen (The Brothers Sun, The Book of Boba Fett, Warrior) onboard. “Thai Cave Rescue is the first opportunity for audiences worldwide to see the Tham Luang story in a new and more emotional light – centering the perspectives of the 12 Wild Boars, Coach Eak, and heroes like Saman “Ja Sam” Gunan, whose lives beyond the operation remain largely outside the public spotlight,” said director and executive producer Baz Poonpiriya in a statement. “I am very proud to have this opportunity to tell the stories behind the faces and names we have come to know well over the course of this world-famous rescue operation.”

“As a Thai American, I feel so incredibly fortunate to help tell this story through the lens and soul of the Thai people,” added Kevin Tancharoen, who also serves as director and executive producer. “I wanted to bring my experience of telling big superhero stories to the real world. One where real-life superheroes worked together for a common cause regardless of where they were from, and the only superpowers are the perseverance of the human spirit and what we can accomplish when we work together.”

Directors Poonpiriya and Tancharoen both also serve as executive producers alongside Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) and Lance Johnson (Troop Zero, The Equalizer) for Electric Somewhere; John Penotti (Crazy Rich Asians) for SK Global Entertainment; John Logan Pierson (Spenser Confidential, Patriots Day, Dare Me); and Tim Coddington (Mulan, Crazy Rich Asians, Marco Polo).

“We began writing this show at the beginning of COVID-19 lockdowns in the United States,” said Dana Ledoux Miller, co-showrunner, co-writer and executive producer. “It became an unlikely source of comfort to tell a story that is such a poignant reminder that even though we are so often defined by our differences – in language, belief, or socio-economic status – hope and resilience of the human spirit are universal. When it comes down to it, we are all at the mercy of nature.”

Thai Cave Rescue boasts a large Thai cast led by Papangkorn “Beam” Lerkchaleampote as Coach Eak, Thaneth “Ek” Warakulnukroh as Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn, and Urassaya “Yaya” Sperbund and Manatsanun “Donut” Phanlerdwongsaku as Kelly and Pim – fictional representatives of the real-world hydraulic engineers and park rangers that made the rescue possible. Suppakorn “Tok” Kitsuwan also joins the cast as former Navy SEAL diver Saman “Ja Sam” Gunan, while Bloom Varin plays army doctor, Colonel Bhak Loharjun. Local child actors were also cast in the roles of the 12 young soccer players.