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Ron Howard's 'Thirteen Lives' shows daring cave rescue in new feature

By Justin Klawans
1/5
Ron Howard's 'Thirteen Lives' shows daring cave rescue in new feature
A new behind-the-scenes featurette for Ron Howard's upcoming survival film "Thirteen Lives" shows a daring cave rescue. File Photo by Chris Chew/UPI | License Photo

July 20 (UPI) -- Acclaimed director Ron Howard has shown off the creative process of his upcoming survival film Thirteen Lives in a new behind-the-scenes featurette.

The video, released by Amazon Studios on Wednesday, shows off new footage of the film, as well as exclusive interviews with Howard and other members of the filmmaking team.

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Thirteen Lives is set to star Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell and Joel Edgerton. It is based on the 2018 Tham Luang rescue mission in Thailand, in which 13 members of a junior Thai soccer team became trapped within a cave by raging floodwaters, and had to be saved by cave divers.

All 13 were eventually rescued with mostly minor injuries, although two rescue workers lost their lives in the effort.

"There were so many things that should have gone wrong," Howard said of the mission, adding, "I've made a number of movies based on real events. But this was one where I wanted to be as journalistic as I could possibly be. One of the things I wanted to convey was that the Thai people saved these boys."

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"The Thai people really accomplished a miracle, and this movie is a really powerful case study in the anatomy of that miracle," the director said.

He previously told Deadline that the mission was "a tremendous tribute to cooperation, international effort, and forward momentum."

Thirteen Lives is just the latest project for Howard. The 68-year-old is known for his work both in front of and behind the camera.

His acting credits include a role in George Lucas' American Graffiti, and he is also remembered for starring in the iconic 1970s sitcom Happy Days.

Howard may be just as well known, though, for his directing chops, having helmed a number of standout films.

His list of directed films include Cinderella Man, Frost/Nixon, Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind. The last won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Howard.

Thirteen Lives will be his first feature film since 2020's Hillbilly Elegy.

The film was originally scheduled to be released by MGM in theaters on Nov 18. Following Amazon's purchase of MGM, though, the release date was changed.

Thirteen Lives will now have a limited theatrical run starting on July 29, and will begin streaming on Prime Video on Aug. 5.

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Anticipation for the film has been high, with Deadline reporting that the film had the best scores among test audiences in MGM's history .

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