'Thai Cave Rescue' to premiere Sept. 22 on Netflix

Netflix will release the upcoming drama limited series "Thai Cave Rescue," based on the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue, on Sept. 22. Photo courtesy of Netflix
1 of 5 | Netflix will release the upcoming drama limited series "Thai Cave Rescue," based on the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue, on Sept. 22. Photo courtesy of Netflix

July 27 (UPI) -- Netflix has revealed the release date and first details about its highly anticipated limited series Thai Cave Rescue.

The streaming service said Tuesday that the six-part series will debut on Sept. 22.


Thai Cave Rescue will tell the behind-the-scenes story of the 2018 Tham Luang rescue mission in Thailand, in which 13 members of the Wild Boars junior soccer team became trapped in a cave by rising floodwaters.

All 13 members were eventually rescued with minimal injuries, though two rescue workers were killed in the process.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix has been in the process of putting the rescue on screen since at least 2019.


Collaborating with a number of Thai filmmakers, the streaming service filmed the series entirely in Thailand, including within the real Tham Luang cave itself.

The production also used local Thai actors to fill out the majority of the cast.

While shot as a dramatized re-telling of the story, the series will be seen from the perspectives of the soccer players themselves, as well as their family members and the team of rescuers to help tell the story, Netflix said.

"For us, Thai Cave Rescue is ultimately a story about family and what we decide family should be," said the series' creator and showrunner, Michael Russell Gunn. "We intended for the show to cover not just the rescue operation but also what the Wild Boars went through inside the cave, and we believe our focus on achieving authenticity -- from characters and languages to locations and emotions -- will shine through and make an impact on viewers worldwide through Netflix."

"We began writing this show at the beginning of COVID-19 lockdowns in the United States. 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," Gunn added.


"Thai Cave Rescue is the first opportunity for audiences worldwide to see the Tham Luang story in a new and more emotional light," said director and executive producer Baz Poonpiriya. "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."

Netflix is one of a number of studios that have picked up the Tham Luang rescue for production.

The story will soon be seen on the big screen with Thirteen Lives.

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Ron Howard, Thirteen Lives is an Amazon Studios-helmed dramatization of the rescue mission. It will star Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell and Joel Edgerton.

Thirteen Lives will begin a limited theatrical run on Friday, followed by a streaming release on Prime Video on Aug. 5.

A 2021 documentary film, The Rescue, was produced by National Geographic and helmed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi.

A Thai-led version of the story, The Cave, was also released in Thailand in 2019.

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