Netflix to serialise Thailand cave rescue that gripped the world

Netflix is teaming up with the company behind the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians to produce a miniseries about the perilous rescue of 12 young soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave in Thailand.

The California-based streaming giant and SK Global Entertainment signed an agreement for the dramatisation at the Culture Ministry on Tuesday in Bangkok.

Financial details weren’t revealed, though earlier local reports said the soccer team members would each get 3 million baht ($94,000) for the rights.

The boys and their coach became trapped in the cave in mountainous northern Thailand in June last year after heavy rains partially flooded the complex.

An international rescue effort using specialist cave divers brought each of them out, one after the other, gripping the world as the drama unfolded over two weeks.

A former Thai Navy SEAL died during the operation, which involved navigating narrow, submerged and sometimes pitch-black passageways.

"Thailand is a very important market for Netflix and we’re looking forward to bringing this inspiring local, but globally-resonant story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds to life, once again, for global audiences," said Erika North, director of international originals at Netflix.

Engineers from billionaire Elon Musk’s rocket firm Space Exploration Technologies built a high-tech, kid-sized submarine to aid in the rescue, but it ultimately wasn’t needed.

The cave rescue miniseries will be directed by Thailand’s Nattawut Poonpiriya and Jon M. Chu, who put together Crazy Rich Asians.

Netflix has about 150 million paid subscribers globally and remains the dominant paid streaming service. The company spent more than $7 billion on programming last year.

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