On July 10, 2018, the world rejoiced as all 12 boys and their soccer coach, who had been trapped in a flooded Thai cave system since June 23, made it out safely. Many are calling the 18-day ordeal a miracle, and rightfully so. More than 1,000 people from all over the world contributed to the rescue efforts, which claimed the life of former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Kunan, 38. They raced against the clock as Monsoon season rains began, threatening to seal the Tham Luang Nang Non cave off until October. At some point as my wife and I watched the ordeal unfold on TV, I turned to her and commented, "I wonder how long it will take for there to be a true story movie about the Thailand cave rescue."
It turns out that Pure Flix CEO Michael Scott, who had been in the Southeast Asian country (his wife grew up there), was already trying to secure the rights to a Thailand cave rescue movie. “We’re here really looking at this as a movie that could inspire millions of people across the globe,” Scott said in a Facebook video clip filmed near the rescue site. “We’re just kinda here witnessing the events, gathering some contacts and everything to really tell a story about the international effort — the entire world coming together to save 13 kids trapped in this Thai cave.”
Scott, who produced God's Not Dead and strives to maintain Pure Flix as "the most trusted family-friendly video-streaming source on the web," called the cave rescue an "incredible story," adding, "I'm so excited for [the movie]." In his video, he noted that his wife grew up with the ex-Thai Navy SEAL who was killed of asphyxiation during the rescue.
With the boys from the team still in the hospital (where they will remain for a week), is it too soon to be planning a movie about the Thailand cave rescue? Michael Scott doesn't think so. Can we blame him? Similar stories have sparked near-instant movies, and the 2015 film The 33, about the trapped Chilean miners, grossed $25 million worldwide. Still, there's a fine line between creating a drama that could inspire millions (much like the real story has), and rushing to exploit the events for financial gain. It's hard not to assume the latter when talks of a true story movie happen so quickly. Then again, Scott knows that if he doesn't secure the rights now, someone else will, and we'll get a movie regardless.
The footage contained in the video below was taken by the Thai Navy SEALs who found the boys and their coach alive in the cave.