The rescue of 12 boys and their football team coach, rescued from the cave 18 days after they ventured underground, has captivated the world.
The rescue mission was indeed a highly risky one as a retired Thai Navy SEAL diver died last Friday (July 6) when he ran out of oxygen in the flooded cave.
John Volanthen returned to his home country after helping rescue the 12 boys. They will soon be able to meet them in person, but only while wearing protective clothing to reduce the risk of infection.
1 NEWS Correspondent Kimberlee Downs discusses the boys' new found global notoriety. In a grainy video captured on his GoPro camera that was later shown on TV news channels around the world, Volanthen told them: "Many people are coming".
They had gone into the Tham Luang cave in the northern province of Chiang Rai on June 23, for a quick excursion after soccer practice, when a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels.
Meanwhile, reports say the boys and the coach were sedated to stop them panicking during the unsafe rescue.
He went in to assess the boys' health and stayed with them for three days.
Indeed, it was almost another week before the first of the "Wild Boars" soccer team was brought out of the cave by elite divers who had, with Thai special forces, planned the rescue meticulously - but quickly, as more rains threatened.
Ewan McGregor, a British missionary in the city of Chiang Rai where the boys are now in hospital, said: "It really is a miracle and a result of prayer and I'm just excited to hear the testimonies of the boys when they're safe and well". The process lasted hours for each boy, and involved them getting through long passageways barely bigger than an adult body.
The SEALs commander, Rear Adm. Apakorn Youkongkae, said the soccer coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, determined the order the boys from the Wild Boars soccer team should be rescued in.
"My wife actually grew up with the Thai Navy SEAL that died in the cave".
But they pressed on and, on July 8, the rescue began.
With the crucial acquisition of Chu - known as the director of Now You See Me 2, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and the Step Up sequels - Ivanhoe's version of the Thai cave rescue story will likely manifest as the more prominent picture amongst what could become an array of adaptations. A movie about the Thai rescue could be made for less, Medavoy said, because filming in Thailand is cheaper.
Throughout the 17 day ordeal, elite Thai Navy Seals and other rescue operators were locked in a race against time due to heavy rain and rising water levels.
There were about a hundred people inside the cave for each rescue operation, Anderson said, and each boy was handled by dozens of people as their perilous movement through a total of nine chambers unfolded.