Jon Chu, Thai Director Join Netflix, SK Global Project About Cave Rescue

Thai Cave Rescue - Getty - H 2018
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Jon M. Chu and Nattawut "Baz" Poonpiriya will bring the story of the 2018 Thai cave rescue of a soccer team to the streaming giant's global audiences.

It's official. Netflix and SK Global Entertainment (Crazy Rich Asians) are joining forces with directors Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) and Nattawut "Baz" Poonpiriya (Bad Genius) to bring the story of the 2018 Thai cave rescue of a soccer team to the streaming giant's global audience.

Netflix and SK Global Entertainment previously said they had been granted the rights by 13 Thumluang Co. Ltd. "to tell the true story of how the 12 boys and their soccer coach were rescued after being trapped for two weeks inside of the flooded Tham Luang caves near Chiang Mai, Thailand, during the summer of 2018." Chu was also previously understood to be in talks to work on the project about the story that captured worldwide headlines.

The partners didn't detail the format of the project, but it is expected to be a miniseries after initial talk focused on a possible film.

Poonpiriya and Chu will serve as directors. SK Global co-CEO John Penotti and Chu will serve as producers alongside Chu’s producing partner, Lance Johnson, under their Electric Somewhere Company banner. Starlight Culture Entertainment Group will executive produce.

"Like the rest of the world, we were riveted by the news of the Thai cave rescue," said Chu. "With the entire globe watching, this tragic human drama transformed into a beautiful, inspirational story of human beings saving other human beings. Not only did this show the best of the human spirit overcoming even the worst of circumstances, it proved that we are stronger when we work together."

Said Poonpiriya: "This is an opportunity for me as a filmmaker – and also a Thai citizen – to write a thank-you letter to the rest of the world." 

"We are immensely proud to be able to support the retelling of the incredible story of the Tham Luang cave rescue,” said Erika North, director of international originals at Netflix. "The story combines so many unique local and universal themes, which connected people from all walks of life, from all around the world. Thailand is a very important country for Netflix, and we are looking forward to bringing this inspiring local but globally resonant story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds to life, once again, for global audiences."

Added Penotti: "With our partners, SK Global Entertainment is honored to bring to global audiences this story which captivated the world. Celebrating the heroes and survivors of the Thai cave rescue mission is a true privilege, and we are humbled to have succeeded in securing these rights."

SK Global is an independent finance and production company based in Santa Monica and Singapore.