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Thailand cave: Museum and film in the works for Tham Luang

July 12
09:09 2018
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Media captionRescuers carry one of the boys on a stretcher

The cave complex in northern Thailand where 12 boys and their football coach were trapped for more than two weeks is set to be turned into a museum.

Rescue officials said the museum would showcase how the operation unfolded, predicting it would be a "major attraction" for Thailand.

At least two companies are also looking to make a film telling the story of the rescue.

The rescued group are all now recovering in hospital.

  • How the Thai boys were rescued
  • Who are the Wild Boars?

Video has been released showing them in good health and in good spirits, though they will stay in quarantine for a week.

The Thai Navy Seals have also published dramatic footage of the operation itself, showing how expert divers navigated the Wild Boar football team through the perilous journey to the surface.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe boys give peace signs as they recover in hospital

On Thursday, the Navy Seals were given flower garlands and an enthusiastic welcome as they arrived at a military airport south of the capital, Bangkok.

What will happen to the cave?

The Tham Luang cave is one of the largest cave systems in Thailand. It lies under the mountains around the small town of Mae Sai, in northern Chiang Rai province on the border with Myanmar.

The area is largely undeveloped with only limited tourism facilities.

"The area will become a living museum, to show how the operation unfolded," Narongsak Osottanakorn, the former governor and head of the rescue mission, told a news conference.

"An interactive data base will be set up. It will become another major attraction for Thailand."

However, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has said precautions will have to be implemented both inside and outside the cave to safeguard tourists.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The boys' story has gripped the world

It is not clear if the museum will be operational all year round, as Thailand is prone to heavy floods during the monsoon season, which lasts from June until October.

It was the sudden onset of that rainy season that trapped the boys deep underground while they were exploring.

Hollywood movie?

Two production companies are racing to turn the extraordinary story into a film.

Even before all 13 people had been brought out, US studio Pure Flix - which makes inspirational Christian films - had announced its producers were on the ground interviewing rescue workers,

  • Key questions on Thai cave rescue
  • The heroes who saved the Wild Boars

Studio co-founder Michael Scott, who lives in Thailand, said his wife had grown up with Saman Gunan, the former Thai Navy Seal member who lost his life during the mission.

"To see all that heroic bravery in the cave, and to get all the divers out, it's just such a touching event and so personal to me," he said in a video on Twitter, filmed at the rescue site.

But according to Los Angeles-based Ivanhoe Pictures, they have been officially picked by the Thai government and navy to develop the film.

  • The doctor who chose to stay in the cave

US media quoted the company as saying the film would be directed by Jon M Chu. He last partnered with Ivanhoe in directing the forthcoming romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians.

Concerns are already being raised on social media that any film would focus more on the international characters while downplaying the role of Thais.

Chu insisted on Twitter that his film would be fair.

Skip Twitter post by @jonmchu

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


End of Twitter post by @jonmchu

Skip Twitter post 2 by @jonmchu

We have the power to not only MAKE history but be the historians that RECORD it too. So that it’s told correctly and respectfully. Couldn’t just sit here watching how others would “interpret” this important story.

— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) July 12, 2018


End of Twitter post 2 by @jonmchu

The 12 boys and their coach first made their way into the cave on 23 June but found themselves trapped after heavy rains caused it to flood.

They were found by British divers after nine days and eventually rescued in an operation that involved dozens of divers and hundreds of other rescue workers.


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