‘Thirteen Lives’ Director Ron Howard & Star Joel Edgerton On The Commitment To Cultural Authenticity And Painting An Intimate Portrait Of This Harrowing Journey — Contenders LA3C

Thirteen Lives tells the true story of the attempt to rescue a group of young boys and their soccer coach who are trapped in a system of flooding underground caves in Thailand. This isn’t the first time that this story has been told, having been the subject of several documentaries previously, but director Ron Howard saw this film as an opportunity to paint a more intimate portrait of such a harrowing mission.

Speaking at Deadline’s Contenders LA3C panel, Howard and Joel Edgerton, who plays cave diver Richard Harris, spoke about the delicacy of the story and the importance of cultural authenticity during production.

Related Story

Viola Davis On Why ‘The Woman King’ Was Vital To Make Despite Everyone Turning It Down – Contenders LA3C

RELATED: Deadline’s The Contenders LA3C: Full Coverage

“We heightened a certain sense of empathy or understanding of what it might have felt like to be there,” Howard said. “I felt like our job was to make that [threat] immediate and present in an unsentimental, authentic way — in a way that reflected in very honest terms the power and the humanity of those choices. … There’s nobility in these choices that are made, and I wanted to reflect that in his honest way.”

Not only did the subject matter require some sensitivity, but the story also revolves around what Howard called a “case study in what is possible in cross-cultural collaboration.” Giving the proper representation to all the heroes in the story, including the Thai leadership and the 5,000 volunteers who helped save those innocent lives, was paramount for the director.

“I made that priority No. 1 from the moment I said yes, was to begin to research [and] to develop the collaborations, so that the quality control would be there — the creative control would be there to make sure the Thai side of the story would resonate with Thai audiences and authentically reflect the culture,” he said.

Getting that right required relinquishing a certain level of control over the cultural and religious aspects of the story that Howard might not have understood on his own. Edgerton said Howard did so with great care.

“This ability to trust everybody’s input — to me, that’s real power and real confidence,” the actor said. “It felt like a very exciting environment to be in not just because of the story but because everybody was sort of on their toes and really leaning into the experience.”

Check back Wednesday for the panel video.

Must Read Stories

New Streaming War Brewing? WBD Boss David Zaslav Takes Aim At Netflix Over Payment Terms

Weekend Take Near Low For 2022 Before ‘Avatar’ Sequel Soaks Up All The Air

Aubrey Plaza Talks ‘Serial Mom’, Sandra Bernhard & Adam Sandler: The Film That Lit My Fuse

Ceremony’s Return To NBC Still Tainted By Hollywood’s Distrust Of HFPA

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article

Previous post Helen Flanagan shows off ‘dreamy’ dining room ready for Christmas
Next post Betty White's Brentwood house TORN DOWN after selling for over $10.6M