Ron Howard Sets a Cast for ‘Thirteen Lives’

Ron Howard has lined up an impressive list of talent for his next feature, which will tell the true story of the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a Thailand cave in 2018 when it flooded and trapped them. 

The film, titled Thirteen Lives, will tell this story of perseverance, one of humanity’s ability to help one another, and of a community coming together to save those who were in grave danger, as local farmers, civilians, and volunteers from around the globe aided the Thai government in this rescue mission, which ultimately cost one man, Thai Navy SEAL Saman Gunan, his life. 

As Deadline reports, the film will star 3-time Oscar nominee Viggo Mortensen, along with Colin Farrell and Joel Edgerton. Also in the large ensemble cast are Weir Sukollawat, Thiraphat Sajakul, Sahajak Boonthanakit, Vithaya Pansringarm, Teeradon “James” Supapunpinyo, Nophand Boonyai, Tom Bateman, Paul Gleeson, and Lewis Fitz-Gerald

The film will be written by Oscar nominee William Nicholson (Gladiator), and released by United Artists in the U.S., and Universal internationally. 

Production on the film begins this month, with plans to shoot in Australia and Thailand. 

Thirteen Lives will mark Howard’s first film since last year’s Hillbilly Elegy, one of Howard’s worst received films critically (our critic’s review was one of the more positive, finding enough to like in the picture despite its flaws), that nevertheless has proven a hit with audiences and received a fair share of awards attention. Thirteen Lives certainly has the goods on paper to make it one worth looking out for, especially with such a compelling true story being told. 


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Written by Mitchell Beaupre

Behold the Oscar Poster

The Lone Screenplay Nominee – 2015 Original Screenplay Race