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Imagine Entertainment and MGM will roll cameras on Ron Howard’s upcoming drama Thirteen Lives, based on the 2018 Thai caves rescue incident, in Australia next March.
The Australian government is injecting AUD $13M into the project, which will use Queensland’s Gold Coast to double for Thailand.
Thirteen Lives is based on the true story of the 2018 Tham Laung cave rescue of a boys’ soccer team, who were trapped for days with no supplies and decreasing oxygen levels. A group of divers from all over the world came together to retrieve them.
Producers are Brian Grazer, P.J. van Sandwijk, Gabrielle Tana and Karen Lunder.
Australian Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said the production is expected to inject more than AUD $96M into the economy, directly creating around 435 jobs for cast and crew, as well as an equivalent 3,400 background extra days.
“Over the years, I’ve both enjoyed and creatively benefitted from collaborations with Australian artists and technicians in front of and behind the camera, from Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Chris Hemsworth to John Seale, Donald McAlpine and Andrew Rowlands and many others,” said Ron Howard. “From Thirteen Lives to the animated projected I am directing with Animal Logic in Australia, I am excited about the opportunity to film and work in Australia and dramatically expand on that list of collaborators whose sensibilities and work ethic I have long admired and respected.”
MGM’s President of Physical Production, Michele Imperato added, “We thank the Federal Government and Minster Fletcher for their great support and for welcoming the Thirteen Lives production to Australia.”
“Thirteen Lives will tell the remarkable story of the effort by many volunteers, including Australians, to undertake an incredibly complex rescue. And I am proud to say that this story will be told here in Australia,” Minister Fletcher said.
“In addition to recording this remarkable story for posterity, the production itself will create vital job opportunities and will engage the services of an estimated 300 Australian businesses. I understand this project will also undertake a significant amount of cutting-edge visual effects work here, a great opportunity for our local post, digital and visual effects companies.”