Based on the 2018 Thai cave rescue disaster, Ron Howard’s upcoming drama Thirteen Lives will start filming in Australia next March. The Australian government is investing AUD 13 million into the project, which they will use Queensland Gold Coast as the backdrop for Thailand.
Thirteen Lives is based on the real story of the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue of a boys’ soccer team that was stranded for days with no supplies and insufficient oxygen levels. A group of divers from all around the world came together to save them.
Paul Fletcher, Australian Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, said that the development is expected to contribute more than AUD 96 million to the economy, directly generating about 435 jobs for cast and crew and an average of 3,400 extra background 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 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.”
Fletcher also said, “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.”