Thai Cave Rescue to Become Film From 'God's Not Dead' Producers
Pure Flix Entertainment will adapt the harrowing story of a boys soccer team trapped in a cave for the big screen.
The rescue of a boys soccer team trapped in a cave in Thailand, a gripping news story that has received worldwide attention, will become a movie from Pure Flix Entertainment, the faith-based production outfit behind the God's Not Dead film franchise.
Michael Scott, the CEO and co-founder of Pure Flix, has been on the scene of the rescue for several days, as he lives in Thailand part-time. "The bravery and heroism I've witnessed is incredibly inspiring, so, yes, this will be a movie for us," Scott told The Hollywood Reporter during a phone call from Thailand.
Scott said he will likely release the pic under Pure Flix's more mainstream banner called Pinnacle Peak, which is also releasing Little Women. "It's not necessary to make this a Christian film, just an inspirational one," he said.
Scott said he has spoken to some of the 90 divers involved in the rescue mission and, via his Thai contacts, some of the family members of boys who were trapped in the cave, though not the boys themselves as they are still hospitalized. The team's ordeal began June 23 when rising water trapped them inside a cave, and the last of the dozen boys and one coach were rescued on Tuesday (July 10).
The producer said he will be lining up screenwriters in the next few weeks and the film will be co-produced by Adam Smith of Kaos Entertainment. It will carry a budget of $30 million to $60 million, larger than most movies from Pure Flix and Pinnacle. Scott shot five films in Thailand between 2008-2011, and he tentatively plans on shooting the cave movie in the country, as well.
Scott said the story became even more "personal" to him when former Sgt. Saman Kunan died Friday (July 6) while volunteering as a rescuer, since Kunan was his wife's friend. "This isn't just about a movie, it's about honoring everybody involved, including the soldier who died," he said.
"This was truly a team effort involving Brits, Aussies, Americans and Thais, and the divers told us incredibly stories," Scott said. "They had less than five meters' visibility, fought harsh currents and used a buddy system of two divers for each boy rescued. It was a monumental effort."
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.