As many as six movies are in the works on the dramatic Tham Luang cave rescue, cited Thailand's Ministry of Culture on variety.com.
Five international film companies have expressed interest in producing movies and documentaries about the rescue operation of the Wild Boars football team and their coach, said Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat on July 19.
Three have approached the Foreign Ministry, while two have contacted private agencies in Thailand, he said. At least one Thai-based company is also developing a film.
Discovery Channel is the first to roll out its hour-long documentary Operation Thai Rescue, which was aired on Jul 13 in Singapore.
So eager were production companies that before all 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach were extracted from the flooded cave over the 17-day rescue period, two production firms already had eyes on the story, with one even scouting locations near Chiang Rai, according to variety.com.
Among the directors helming the Tham Luang-based movies is Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu. “I refuse to let Hollywood #whitewashout the Thai Cave rescue story!" he said on Twitter, adding, “There’s a beautiful story about human beings saving other human beings. So anyone thinking about the story better approach it right and respectfully".
Chu's announcement came after Pure Flix Entertainment, known for Christian and family movies, announced their decision to seek the movie rights. Its co-founder Michael Scott is partially based in Thailand and his wife is said to have grown up with the Thai Royal Navy SEAL who died bringing oxygen to the boys.
The Thai-based outfit that has expressed interest is DeWarrenne Productions headed by Thai-Irish Tom Waller. The producer-director had said on variety.com that his script would "focus on the Thai elements and the unsung heroes".
Rojpojchanarat noted that Thailand's military government has formed a committee to oversee all film projects linked to the rescue mission. “The committee will be concerned about the accuracy of the story, the rights of the [team], the rescuers and other related agencies, as well as the image of Thailand,” Rojpojchanarat said.
“They will also be concerned about the impact of film production to the film locations. We are pleased to support both Thai and international film productions to make a movie and documentary on Mu Pa (Wild Boars) if they follow Thai laws.”
READ MORE | Full coverage of the search and rescue operation: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/topic/Thailand-cave-rescue