The heroic rescue of 12 Thai youth soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave in 2018 led to a mad dash in Hollywood to turn a moment that captivated the world into a movie. Now one of the Hollywood projects based on that rescue, “Thirteen Lives,” became one of the new titles introduced by MGM during its CinemaCon presentation.
The film stars Viggo Mortensen, Joel Edgerton and Colin Farrell as three members of the international rescue team that discovered, to the surprise of the world, that the soccer players were still alive in the cave despite being trapped for 10 days. Then, with the world watching, the team devised a risky plan to lead the players one by one out of the flooded, dark caverns.
When asked in the footage presented at CinemaCon about whether the team could guarantee the kids’ safety, Edgerton says, “I can’t answer, because nothing like this has ever been attempted before.”
Other films presented by MGM include “Dog,” starring Channing Tatum as a war veteran tasked with taming an Army dog traumatized by her time overseas and hostile to everyone around her. A trailer was also released for “Cyrano,” a musical romance based on the 19th century play “Cyrano de Bergerac.” It stars Peter Dinklage as a talented poet mocked for his stature who is in love with a beautiful woman named Roxane. But when Roxane is smitten by another man, Cyrano decided to “love her from afar,” helping her crush woo Roxane by giving him beauitful poems to pass along as his own.
On the other end of the genre spectrum is “Samaritan,” a violent superhero film starring Sylvester Stallone as Samaritan, a bulletproof superhero who gave up his armor and lives quietly in a dystopian city as a garbage man. But when he saves a boy from attackers with his super strength, the boy encourages him to become a hero. And in this film, being a hero involves brutally smashing the limbs of gun-wielding henchmen in a burning building.
“Samaritan” is an original film, and the kind that MGM Motion Picture Group Chairman Michael De Luca promised that the studio would continue to release in the future. While the presentation was highlighted by a 9-minute sneak peek at the studio’s biggest franchise film, the James Bond blockbuster “No Time to Die,” De Luca promised that MGM would provide more than just IP.
“We know our obligation is to provide movies that clear a high bar for the theatrical audience. We are grateful for our franchises, but we know the future is all about originality, so we will work hard to give you what you need. We promise, we really promise we’ll work really hard to make sure it’s worth the wait,” he said.