First, the Cave Rescue. Now Comes the Movie

US producers are already at the site in Thailand
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2018 1:40 PM CDT
First, the Cave Rescue. Now Comes the Movie
The last four Thai Navy SEALs come out safely after completing the rescue mission.   (Royal Thai Navy via AP)

If you found yourself thinking that the daring rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave would make a terrific movie, the sentiment might be closer to reality than you think. Two US producers already are at the site, reports “I see this as a major Hollywood film with A-list stars," says Michael Scott of Pure Flix films, which is based in Arizona and Los Angeles. Scott, who is married to a Thai woman, and co-producer Adam Smith have been conducting as many interviews as they can and plan to bring in a screenwriter ASAP. It's a safe bet bigger studios won't be far behind.

  • Niche movies: Pure Flix specializes in inspirational films, notes USA Today, with the biggest one so far called God's Not Dead (2014), which grossed $70 million. Another connection for Scott: His wife went to school with the Thai Navy SEAL diver who died in the rescue effort.

  • The kids' health: The soccer team (called the Wild Boars) and their coach remain quarantined in the hospital, but doctors say they all are relatively healthy so far. Two of the boys, however, might have lung infections, reports the AP. Doctors are slowly getting the boys back to eating normal food. Assuming they remain free of more serious infections and parasites, the New York Times notes that another ailment might loom: PTSD.
  • Meditation: So how did the 25-year-old coach manage to keep 12 boys calm throughout an ordeal that lasted two weeks? Meditation appears to have played a key role, explains Vox. Coach Ekapol Chanthawong, 25, lived with monks in a Buddhist monastery for a decade, and he reportedly taught the boys to mediate to conserve their energy and remain calm.
  • Um, Elon? Entrepreneurial CEO Elon Musk traveled to Thailand with a kid-sized submarine that was ultimately deemed impractical for use in the rescue, reports the Verge, not to mention a little late on the scene. Adam Clark Estes of Gizmodo finds Musk's role in this "baffling" and more of a publicity stunt than a sincere offer to help. "Musk is very serious about the idea of being a real-world Iron Man." The BBC rounds up other not-so-flattering sentiments.
  • The mission: What the Thai SEALS did was incredibly difficult and dangerous, explains New York Times reporter John Ismay, who served as a diving officer in the US Navy from 2003 to 2010. "The rescuers were swimming through underwater passages, then surfacing and walking to the next flooded section and diving again," he says. "They had to repeat that process, and to do so with children—many of whom reportedly could not swim. Everything here was a trade-off between traditional safety considerations and operational necessity." The Guardian has graphics of the cave complex to explain the particulars. It also collects photos here.
  • Summing it up: "We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave," says a statement from the Thai SEALS. "Everyone is safe."
(Read more Thailand stories.)

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