Is Thirteen Lives Based On A True Story?

The true account of the soccer team that was stranded in a cave in Thailand before being rescued is the subject of Thirteen Lives, which debuted on Amazon Prime on Friday. This is the second feature film in less than a year to do so. However, you can’t hold filmmaker Ron Howard responsible for picking up the story so soon after the documentary, The Rescue, because it’s a remarkable one. These actual events, which occurred over the course of two weeks in June and July of 2018, are dramatized in Thirteen Lives. As the British divers who were a part of the international diver rescue team that eventually managed to free all of the trapped people alive, artists Tom Bateman, Joel Edgerton, Colin Farrell, and Viggo Mortensen play the main roles. Given that all of this actually occurred, it’s an exciting story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. And yet, did it? Read on to learn what we know about how faithful Thirteen Lives is to the real account of the Tham Luang Nang Non-cave rescue because Hollywood has a reputation for stretching the truth.

Is Thirteen Lives Based On A True Story?

Is 13 Lives Based On A True Story?

Yeah, “Thirteen Lives” is based on the real events that occurred when the Wild Boars team and their assistant coach became trapped in the Tham Luang cave in Northern Thailand when it became inundated owing to heavy rains. After the practice on June 23, 2018, the squad and the coach made the decision to once again explore the caves. Although the big rains hadn’t yet arrived, they were aware that the caves flooded during the rainy season. Sadly, the rain started early, trapping the squad and their coach inside the cave where they had to stay to prevent drowning. The parents became worried when none of the lads came home that evening, so they called the head coach, Nopparat Khanthavong. A youngster named Songpol Kanthawong, who had left the practice with his mother, told him about the caves, where he had discovered their bikes and other belongings, as well as the water that was obstructing their path. Khanthavong requested assistance from the authorities after realizing his squad was submerged. The Thai Navy Seals and villagers looked for escape routes for the lads during the initial days. 

However, because there was no means to get to the crew that had become trapped, a worldwide call for assistance from anyone with knowledge of cave diving who could assist in their rescue was made. Due to this, cave divers from all over the world gathered in Thailand. British cave divers Rick Stanton and John Volanthen were in charge of discovering the boys and their young coach. The two were assisted by French diver Maksym Polejaka and Belgian cave diver Ben Reymenants. For the first four days, they were unsuccessful in their search, and as the caves’ oxygen levels dropped, their hopes also declined.

The two guys eventually discovered all thirteen alive on Day 9, more than a mile and a half from the cave’s mouth. Even while everyone was relieved to learn that the squad was still alive, there was no simple method to get them out securely. They were already frail from spending more than a week imprisoned in the cave. Additionally, they had no prior expertise in cave diving, and there was no time to waste because, in a few days, the rains would start in earnest, making it difficult to rescue them. The intention was to sedate the lads and then bring them out while they were strapped to flexible stretchers, which is when Dr Richard Harris was called in with his experience in anaesthetics. Harris was unsure about the strategy’s viability.

Fortunately, the strategy worked, and all thirteen survivors were rescued, although some rescuers perished in the process. Ron Howard, the film’s director, learned a lot more about the rescue while making the movie, despite the fact that the entire operation had been well covered by the media and was an internationally recognized event. He learned there were a lot more details to the tale, particularly the contributions made by thousands of volunteers and rescues. Howard discovered that this was not the tale of a couple of heroes, with thousands of soldiers, hundreds of divers, and a lot more volunteers who kept the operation running.

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Thirteen Lives Story

The narrative of the Wild Boars team’s 12 players and assistant coach, who were trapped in the Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand, served as the inspiration for the plot of Thirteen Lives: The Rescue. Players had already explored the tunnels multiple times before they opted to do so again on June 23, 2018. Unfortunately, the rainy season came early, trapping the team inside the cave and putting them in danger of flooding. The Thai Navy and locals initially attempted everything to free the teenagers from the cave. The attempts, however, were in vain. From that point, the Thai authorities issued a global call for assistance, requesting assistance from anyone with knowledge of cave exploration. Then, to support the humanitarian effort, travellers from all over the world arrived in Thailand. The search was led by British divers Rick Stanton and John Vonlanthen, who are portrayed by Viggo Mortensen and Colin Farrell in the film Thirteen Lives.

The two also had aid from French diver Maksym Polejaka and Belgian adventurer Ben Reymenants. The situation grew increasingly challenging as time went on, mostly because the cave’s oxygen level dropped. The 12 players and the coach were finally located by the divers alive after nine days of searching. Dr Richard Harris, who is portrayed by Joel Edgerton in the film Thirteen Lives, was called upon by the group of rescuers to put the boys to sleep and bring them back to the surface while tied to flexible mats in order to get them out of the cave. Fortunately, the plan was successful. The rescue team was able to extract each boy from the cave one at a time. But several heroes perished in the process. One of the Thirteen Lives producers, Vorakorn Reutaivanichkul, outlined the movie’s aims in an interview with a British newspaper. The Brazilian Prime Video library has the survivor drama Treze Vidas – O Resgate.

Thirteen Lives Cast

Is 13 Lives Based On A True Story?

The principal actors in this terrifying story of peril, bravery, and global triumph are Viggo Mortensen and Colin Farrell. With over 35 years of acting experience, Mortensen is well known for his parts in the Lord of the Rings series, Green Book, which won the Best Picture Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards, and more recently, the sci-fi body horror movie Crimes of the Future. He portrays Richard Stanton, a British cave diver with the Cave Rescue Organization who specializes in rescues. Farrell, who was found more than 25 years ago, is a star as well. Among the Irish actor’s famous roles are The Lobster and the most recent box office sensation The Batman, in which his makeover and portrayal of the Penguin won over the audience. Additionally, viewers may anticipate seeing Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin, written and directed by Martin McDonagh, on October 21st, for the third time this year. Farrell portrays John Volanthen, a brave British scuba diver who utilizes his interest to volunteer and help with rescues, in the film Thirteen Lives.

As shown in the Thirteen Lives trailer, Stanton and Volanthen provide assistance to a group of regional officials and international rescue divers headed by Governor Narongsak of Sahajak Boonthanakit. The part of police colonel Kim in Only God Forgives, which Boonthanakit played in a minor capacity, and his more recent appearance in the action film Fistful of Vengeance on Netflix may be recognized by viewers. Joel Edgerton, who starred in the underappreciated 2021 fantasy picture The Green Knight and the biographical love drama Loving, is also a member of this roster of A-listers. Edgerton portrays Australian anesthetist and cave diver Richard “Harry” Harris, who joined the mission and put up suggestions for actions that were judged crucial to the rescue. Additionally, the cast includes Paul Gleeson as Jason Mallinson, Teeradon Supapunpinyo as Ekkaphon Chanthawong, Sukollawat Kanarot as Saman Kunan, Thiraphat Sajakul as Anand, Vithaya Pansringarm as General Anupong Paochinda, and Tom Bateman as Chris Jewell.

  • Richard Stanton

In Thirteen Lives, Viggo Mortensen, a three-time Oscar contender, portrays Richard Stanton, MBE, GM. Stanton, a representative of the British Cave Rescue Council, went to Thailand with John Volanthen to offer his assistance in saving the youngsters. The 12 boys and their trainer were perched on a slender rocky ledge in the “Pattaya Beach” chamber, and they were the first divers to come into contact with them. When Stanton and Volanthen discovered them alive, they had been stranded there for nine days. Stanton stated that he was “not calling it a miracle” in an interview with CNN on the rescue missions. I’m going to say that it was remarkable that all of these things happened in that order, he said. In Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and A Dangerous Method, Mortensen played the roles of Sigmund Freud and Aragorn, respectively. He also received Oscar nods for his performances in Captain Fantastic and Green Book, among other well-known roles.

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  • John Volanthen

In the movie Thirteen Lives, Irish actor Colin Farrell plays British diver John Volanthen, GM. With a day job as an IT consultant in Bristol, England, Volanthen cave dives as a pastime and volunteers for rescue operations. But in 2018, he worked with Stanton to lead a cave diving team that, between July 8 and July 10, 2018, rescued the 12 boys and their trainer. As a result, his life was forever altered. It’s kind of strange trying to teach someone to be you, Volanthen stated in an interview with Insider about the Golden Globe winner Colin Farrell playing him on television. It isn’t It’s not something I anticipated having to do, but after watching the movie, I saw that many of the habits he picked up weren’t ones I intended or tried to teach him. In The Batman more recently, Farrell played Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin, a position he will reprise in the same named HBO Max spin-off. In the movies Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, he played Percival Graves/Gellert Grindelwald and Detective Ray Velcoro in genuine detective David and the lobster.

What Is Behind The Thirteen Lives Scene?

The youngsters were alone and in the dark, so they were unaware of the enormous rescue operation that was taking place outside. 10,000 people, including 2,000 militaries, 200 divers, and volunteers from all over the world, toiled for more than two weeks to rescue the crew. The rescue mission—and the numerous people who participated in it—are dramatized in Ron Howard’s brand-new film, Thirteen Lives. The movie may be compared to one of Howard’s most well-known works, Apollo 13. Similar to Thirteen Lives, the 1995 thriller dramatizes a real-life catastrophe that was averted by a team of great brains working against the clock while millions watched in real-time.

Additionally, Howard made the decision to discuss some of the political concerns that led to the boys’ rescue. They were members of an ethnic minority living in Thailand without the same rights as citizens, and three of them, along with their 25-year-old assistant coach, were stateless. They were granted Thai citizenship following the rescue. The cave rescue has previously been featured in movies other than Thirteen Lives. 2019 saw the release of the Thai drama The Cave, and 2018 saw the debut of the National Geographic film The Rescue. However, Howard chose against doing a documentary because, despite sticking to the broad strokes of what happened, he was more interested in how to effectively depict emotions, such as anxiety, claustrophobia, and a sense of impending doom.

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How Did Thirteen Lives Come To Be?

Is 13 Lives Based On A True Story?

The movie Thirteen Lives is based on the true account of the heroic rescue effort of the thirteen trapped individuals from Thailand’s Tham Luang Nang Non-cave system. After a game in late June 2018, a junior football team with 11 to 16-year-old players and their 25-year-old coach went to the cave. The team was regrettably unable to flee to safety due to the torrential rain and rising water levels, which led to their trapping. Cave divers and rescuers from various nations joined the impossible attempt to save the team’s lives as the tragedy made international headlines. The team of rescue divers would search for the fourteen people who were trapped in the dark chamber for nine days.

Where Was The Film Thirteen Lives Filmed?

The filming of “Thirteen Lives” took place in Queensland, Australia, and Thailand. The film, which stars Colin Farrell, began main photography in March 2021, and it was completed in June of the same year. The production team was unable to film the entire biopic in Thailand due to the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 epidemic. But they were able to cooperate with the Sunshine State because of the sophisticated technology and amenities in Australia. Let’s immediately get started on the exact sites that are included in the survival film. The majority of the scenes for “Thirteen Lives” were shot in Queensland, an Australian state in the northeastern region of the nation. The City of Gold Coast was used by the production team to record several crucial scenes for the film. In particular, they established camps in the rural areas of Numinbah Valley and Mudgeeraba, both in the City of Gold Coast.

The Scenic Rim Region of Queensland’s rural communities of Springbrook and Canungra served as the backdrop for a number of outside scenes for the Viggo Mortensen-starring movie. Thai locations were used to film additional segments of “Thirteen Lives.” It made sense for the filmmaking crew to at least capture a few views of the countryside because the movie is set in a rural area. Thailand, officially known as the Kingdom of Thailand, is a nation in Mainland Southeast Asia. Thailand has served as a key shooting location for numerous films and TV series, so you could have seen some of its scenery in other projects. The Hangover Part II, Only God Forgives, and The Impossible are a few movies that are renowned for including the Asian nation.

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