Netflix has signed a deal with Crazy Rich Asians producer SK Global to release an original scripted series about the 2018 Thai cave rescue.
SK Global owns the life story rights of the 12 teenage boys and their soccer coach, Ekkaphon Chanthawong. Last summer, the team was trapped in the flooded Tham Luang cave system for nearly three weeks as water levels slowly rose. Their rescue took a massive amount of coordinated effort from more than 10,000 people, and captivated a global audience.
A Thai government official said Thursday that as part of Netflix’s deal, each of the boys and Chanthawong will receive 3 million Thai baht — around $100,000. “We can confirm that we are working on an original scripted miniseries with SK Global and 13 Tham Luang Company Limited to bring the incredible story of the Thai cave rescue to audiences worldwide on Netflix,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.
Thai media outlets have indicated local digital channels will be granted special permission from Netflix to screen the series’ first episode, per Variety.
In order to land the deal, Netflix had to make an application to Thailand’s ruling military government, which has a hand in controlling the rights to the boys’ and Chanthawong’s story. A number of other companies have received approval and are currently producing projects about the rescue, including Universal, Pure Flix Entertainment and De Warrenne Pictures. First to release will likely be De Warrenne’s The Cave, from Thailand-based director and producer Tom Waller, which focuses on the people who came to the boys’ and Chanthawong’s aid. It’s currently in post-production.