The movie telling the story of the 2018 Thai cave rescue will be filmed in Australia.
Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Rush) is set to direct Thirteen Lives, telling the true story of the incredible 2018 rescue effort to save a boys’ soccer team and their coach from Thailand’s Tham Laung caves. The film will be following a group of divers from around the world, including Australia and the UK, who united with the Thai community to achieve a seemingly impossible rescue mission.
“Over the years, I’ve both enjoyed and creatively benefitted from collaborations with Australian artists and technicians in front of and behind the camera, from Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Chris Hemsworth to John Seale, Donald McAlpine and Andrew Rowlands and many others,” Howard said in a statement.
“From Thirteen Lives to the animated projected I am directing with Animal Logic in Australia, I am excited about the opportunity to film and work in Australia and dramatically expand on that list of collaborators whose sensibilities and work ethic I have long admired and respected.”
The Imagine Entertainment and MGM picture will begin shooting in Australia next March, an endeavour backed by a $AUD13 million injection from the Australian government. The big production, which will find Queensland’s Gold Coast doubling as Thailand, is expected to provide employment to 275 Queensland cast and crew, as well as pump $AUD45 million into the local economy.
“The Gold Coast is one of few places in the world where the screen industry is booming,” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. “That’s thanks to the way Queensland has managed this health crisis – ensuring we can secure productions like Thirteen Lives that will create hundreds of local jobs and pump millions of dollars into businesses on the Coast.”
Added Paul Fletcher, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts: “I understand this project will also undertake a significant amount of cutting-edge visual effects work here, a great opportunity for our local post, digital and visual effects companies.”
Howard’s latest film, Amy Adams and Glenn Close starrer Hillbilly Elegy, was released on Netflix on November 24th.