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Thai Cave Rescue Sparks International Showdown From 6 Production Companies

12 boys and their coach were rescued from the Tham Luang Nang Non cave on July 10

Thailand’s recent cave rescue has sparked a showdown between six production companies that have expressed interest in developing a film, according to multiple reports.

“Five international film production companies have proposed to the commerce and foreign ministries that they make a movie and a documentary about the rescue operation,” Thailand’s culture minister Vira Rojpojchanarat said Thursday, as reported by Thai PBS. Three of the companies have approached the Foreign Ministry for the rights, while two have contacted private agencies in Thailand, he said.

Aside from the five international production companies, Thai-Irish producer and director Tom Waller and his Thai production company De Warrenne Productions said it was working on a script based on the rescue operation, according to Variety.

Rojpojchanarat declined to share the names of the companies seeking to make a film about the rescue, but Pure Flix Entertainment announced it was seeking rights to the story. “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu and Ivanhoe Pictures said they would be developing a film as well.

On July 10, Discovery ordered a one-hour documentary special on the daring rescue.

According to Thai PBS, the Ministry of Culture is thinking about setting up a national ad hoc committee to take care of the copyright issues of the information related to the cave rescue operation, in order to protect the privacy of the 12 young soccer players and their coach.  The idea will be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration on July 24.

Twelve boys, aged 11 to 17, and their 25-year-old coach entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave on June 23 when heavy rain started to flood the cave and trapped the boys deep inside. On July 2, two divers found the group 2.5 miles from the cave mouth.

The rescue operation involved guiding the boys through a partially flooded cave system that took the life of one diver who attempted to reach the trapped soccer team. Some sections of the cave required climbing equipment, and one section that was flooded by stormwater was so narrow that the divers needed to remove their oxygen tanks in order to get through. By July 10, all the boys were rescued from the cave.