Thai cave rescue movie under way

BANGKOK • Tom Waller, a Thai filmmaker with Irish heritage, has started filming a movie featuring the multinational operation to rescue the Wild Boars football team and their deputy coach from the flooded Tham Luang cave in July.

The film, called The Cave, Nang Non, captures the tense international efforts to rescue the 13 members of the team that gripped the world’s attention for days.

The youngsters were praised for their bravery throughout their ordeal and rescuers were lauded for their successful life-threatening efforts to reach them.

Thai former marine Saman Kunan lost his life during the mission.

Waller told foreign media recently: “We want to tell the story of those brave people who selflessly risked their lives to save the boys and their coach. To do it right, we need to be as accurate as possible and that is why we are enlisting the help of the real-life heroes like Belgian cave rescuer Jim Warny and bringing him to Shannon Airport to retell his story.”

The film’s Facebook page shows a photo of Thai veteran actor Nirut Sirijanya sitting on a chair with the cave in the background.

Nirut is believed to play then Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn, who commanded the successful rescue operations.

Filming is taking place in Ireland and Thailand until the end of next month and the film is expected to be released next year.

Waller was a producer of independent feature films, with Butterfly Man (2002), Ghost Of Mae Nak (2005) and The Elephant King (2006) among the titles produced through his production company, De Warrenne Pictures.

In 2008, he produced Thomas Clay’s Soi Cowboy (2008), which was selected for the Un Certain Regard section in the Cannes Film Festival.

He has also served as a producer on the English-language debut of celebrated Thai director Prachya Pinkaew, with the Hollywood action thriller, Elephant White (2011), which starred two-time Academy Award nominee Djimon Hounsou and Golden Globe winner Kevin Bacon. Prachya is famous for directing Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior (2003) and Tom-Yum-Goong (2005), both movies starring Thai action hero Tony Jaa.

Most recently, Waller produced and directed Petchakat (2014), a biopic on Thailand’s last prison executioner, which won the prestigious “Tukkata Tong” or Golden Doll awards for Best Picture and Best Screenplay, given by the Thai Entertainment Reporters Association.

He also served as line producer for the action sequel, Mechanic: Resurrection, starring Jason Statham, Jessica Alba and Tommy Lee Jones, released by Summit Entertainment in 2016.


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