ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese talks to Thirteen Lives director Ron Howard and producer Raymond Phathanavirangoon are about accurately portraying the true events on which the film is based. The movie is now available for streaming via Prime Video.
“Thirteen Lives tells the extraordinary true story of the massive worldwide effort to rescue a Thai soccer team trapped in the Tham Luang cave during an unexpected typhoon,” says the synopsis. “Faced with insurmountable odds, a group of the world’s most skilled and experienced divers – uniquely able to navigate the maze of flooded, narrow cave tunnels – joined the Thai forces and more than 10,000 volunteers to attempt a harrowing rescue of twelve boys and their coach. With impossibly high stakes and the whole world watching, the group embarked on their most challenging dive yet, showing the boundless human spirit in the process.
Tyler Treese: Ron, some filmmakers just focus on the kids and the divers, but instead, you give this amazing overall look. We saw the rescue work being done by volunteers, and the involvement of the government. Can you tell that decision? Because I think it really paid off.
Ron Howard: Early on, after I read Bill Nicholson’s screenplay, I thought, “What an amazing story, what great moments in the movie.” I immediately followed my own research just to make sure that things really happened, and they were really, really true, but I started to learn more and more, and I literally wrote on my script cover, the first which draft I read. , I said, “Anatomy of a Miracle. I started to feel that, while we really wanted to do different events, and that was the focus of the action and the suspense, and the real life and death thing, but I knew a lot of other brands of heroism and courage shown, and I thought you would not forget it. They cannot go to that cave without food. They couldn’t enter that cave without the water pumping system going on when the medical team was there.
I feel it’s important to say, “This is what it looks like, people.” If you want to achieve something good. It’s not just one thing. It’s not just one person riding to the rescue, it’s a group of people who have gotten into this mindset, it might be a long shot, but we’re going to take the time that we have now, the resources that we have it now, we’re not looking anywhere else. We’ll just look at ourselves and give what we can and try to make it happen. And I really hope that’s a takeaway for people who watch the movie.
Nicely put, and Raymond, this is an amazing story. Like we were on set with thousands of people coming together to save the lives of these boys. How satisfying is it to know that you really helped honor the heroes of these people who really sacrificed?
Raymond Phathanavirangoon: I mean, you know, I’m just a little bit of a cog in the whole thing, but my real duty is to honor what Ron actually told me, which is…when we started, he said, We’ve been through this pandemic. , the world is destroyed by fraud, social, political. And there is this real-life story that gives a lot of hope because it shows that when people come together without all the barriers to each other, we can really achieve something really good. And isn’t that an important message we have in the world today? Where there is a lot of division going on. ” And I thought that was right, because yes, of course, this is a story that takes place in Thailand involving Thai children and the whole country needs to come together. But bigger than that and a country, it’s really about the people as a whole. I think that’s a message we really need today.
Ron Howard: I realized that there is a lot of interest, novelty, and entertainment value in Thai culture. Because we see it in the movies, but usually, it’s kind of an action thing, it’s maybe crime-based, and it’s cool. But mostly in Bangkok. And when I started to understand this story, there was another aspect of Thai culture that was very unique, very powerful, and had a great impact on this story, including the spirituality of the Northern region of Thailand participating in it, and even. the European divers who entered without knowing anything about it, many of them told me that there, they felt something, that there was some kind of something about the spiritual energy of the place that could be felt.