What’s Next For The Thai Cave Story: A Museum, A Movie, And A World Cup Cameo
It’s been a tense three weeks for the whole world as we stay tuned to the story of the 12 young boys and their soccer coach, who have been trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand. It was the most challenging and nerve-wracking underground rescue in history and just three days ago, July 10, the world breathed a sigh of relief as the 13 members of the team all emerged safe and sound from the ordeal.
Ever since the story of the Wild Boar soccer team stranded inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave network broke on June 23, things have progressed and developed in different ways. We will never forget the inspiring messages and support from people all around the world; British cave divers Rick Stanton and John Volanthen and their team who spearheaded the mission and first found the boys; Elon Musk who went out of his way to create a submarine that could help in the rescue in just eight hours; the thousands of army personnel and volunteers who extended their help to the success of the mission; Australian doctor Richard Harris who abandoned his holiday in Thailand to dive and stay with the team inside the cave for three days, and was the last person to emerge from the cave; Cedjie Aquino, the lone Filipino who joined as a volunteer for the mission; and former Thai Navy SEAL Seargent Saman Kunan who gave his life to the rescue operation.
Amazing that they are all out safe and appear to be relatively healthy... answered prayers.— Billy Baldwin (@BillyBaldwin) July 10, 2018
Honor and respect for hero and former Thai Navy SEAL #SamanKunan for his sacrifice in this remarkable effort.
Godspeed Saman Kunan.#ThamLuangRescue#ThaiCaveResue pic.twitter.com/X8bAgnoq9t
Currently, the boys and their coach are at the hospital to recover from the exhausting ordeal, and doctors are making sure they are physically, mentally, and emotionally fit to go back to school. Principal Kanetpong Suwan of the Mae Sai Prasitsart school, where six of the 12 boys studied, said that they will be making sure that the boys will be given lighter school load and exemption from tests once they come back. The other students were also instructed to be positive and normal around the boys, and not ask about the details of what happened.
Thai cave rescue: First pictures emerge of boys in hospital https://t.co/Lvz0Tg8Ge3— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) July 11, 2018
As the tension dies down, many people can’t help but ask, “What’s next?” It’s been the biggest and most inspiring story of the year. And surely, people from all sorts of industries are planning something big to celebrate the success of the rescue operation.
World Cup invitation
The young boys and the coach involved in the Thai cave story were part of the Wild Boar soccer team, and traversed the cave network as part of a team building activity. In fact, according to The Washington Post, the boys were asking about the 2018 World Cup results when the first Thai navy SEAL came down for them.
This was why when Fifa President Gianni Infantino learned about the boys, he immediately offered an invitation to the 2018 World Cup Final in Moscow, which will be held on Sunday, July 15. Although it was generous for Gianni to extend the invitation, the team might not be rested and recuperated enough to come down to Russia in time for the Finals.
Instead, when they have recovered, they can go and visit the Manchester United in England. The superstar team has invited them as well to the Old Trafford football stadium this coming season.
#MUFC is relieved to learn that the 12 footballers and their coach trapped in a cave in Thailand are now safe. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 10, 2018
We would love to welcome the team from Wild Boars Football Club and their rescuers to Old Trafford this coming season. pic.twitter.com/5CGMoD1Msq
There was indeed great support for the Wild Boards from the football community, and earlier this week, when France won the Semi-finals against Belgium, France’s midfielder Paul Pogba dedicated their win to the boys.
Cave to be turned into a museum
Thailand is fast becoming a popular tourist destination in Asia but even though the Tham Luang cave is one of the largest cave systems in Thailand, the area that surrounds it is largely undeveloped with very limited tourism facilities.
This is why in a news conference after the success of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osottanakorn, the former governor and head of the rescue mission, said that the cave will be turned into an interactive museum.
In a quote issued to BBC, Osottanakorn said, “The area will become a living museum, to show how the operation unfolded. An interactive database will be set up. It will become another major attraction for Thailand.”
Hollywood preparing to make a movie
The tension, the drama, the heroes, the success—it was a story made for the big screen. This is why as early as now, two production companies are already said to be racing to get the exclusive rights to turn the story into a film.
Even before all 14 members of the team were brought out of the cave, Michael Scott, co-founder of American independent Christian film and television studio Pure Flix, said that they are already on the ground interviewing rescue workers to hopefully develop the whole thing into an inspirational movie.
According to Scott, his wife is a childhood friend of Seal member Saman Gunan who lost his life during the mission, which made the event so much more personal to them.
Pure Flix joins the rest of the world in thanking God for answering prayers for the successful rescue of those trapped in the cave in Thailand.— Pure Flix (@PureFlix) July 10, 2018
Managing partner Michael Scott, from his home in Thailand, has been helping at the cave rescue in Chiang Rai the past 4 days. pic.twitter.com/htt1vN9oU1
Despite Pure Flix’s aggressive move, another Hollywood studio begs to differ. Los Angeles-based Ivanhoe Pictures says that they are already in talks with the Thai government to develop a film around the story. And at the helm of the project is Jon Chu, director of movie Crazy Rich Asians.
According to Jon, he refuses to let other Hollywood studios “whitewash” the film and divert the spotlight from the Thai members who made the rescue operation successful.
I refuse to let Hollywood #whitewashout the Thai Cave rescue story! No way. Not on our watch. That won’t happen or we’ll give them hell. There’s a beautiful story abt human beings saving other human beings. So anyone thinking abt the story better approach it right & respectfully.— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) July 11, 2018
The world celebrates the rescue
Film rights squabbles aside, the whole world is celebrating the success of the Thai cave rescue mission. Here are some of the tweets from celebrities, personalities, and political figures who held our hands during and after the ordeal.
Great news that they made it out safely. Congratulations to an outstanding rescue team!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 10, 2018
Sending love to the family and friends of Saman Kunan, a former Thai navy Seal, who volunteered to help rescue the Wild Boar team but lost his life in the process. His heroicism, selflessness and bravery will live on forever.— Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) July 10, 2018
Just when you think everything’s going to hell you wake up to the news that the boys were ALL rescued. There is a Gd!— Andy Cohen (@Andy) July 10, 2018
Delighted to see the successful rescue of those trapped in the caves in Thailand. The world was watching and will be saluting the bravery of all those involved.— Theresa May (@theresa_may) July 10, 2018
The Thai cave rescue was a team effort, and I’d like to congratulate and thank Langley’s Erik Brown for stepping up to help get the job done - you’ve made Canadians proud. https://t.co/fMiRvuSs6t— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 11, 2018
This morning I spoke with our @AusFedPolice divers and Dr Richard Harris. What an inspiring story of the human spirit. They have done Australia proud and we look forward to welcoming them home. pic.twitter.com/BpMdJPjyqS— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) July 11, 2018
?????? Amazing triumph of the human spirit!!!! ??????— Bianca Gonzalez (@iamsuperbianca) July 10, 2018
Thank you God! ???? https://t.co/RccHhNwIKW
The best news our dreary world had been waiting for. No politics, no fanfare, people rallied behind a team that showed resilience and true faith! https://t.co/XS7EYjn3Hm— GING REYES (@gingreyes) July 11, 2018