‘Happy Days’ Icon Ron Howard to Release Next Movie on Amazon Prime: What to Know

by Emily Morgan

Thirteen Lives, Ron Howard’s film based on a harrowing true story, will be released for streaming on Amazon Prime. Viewers can stream the film this August following a limited theatrical release. 

Directed by the former classic TV star, the film depicts the 2018 rescue of a soccer team who are trapped in a cave. 

Initially, the film was set to be released on Nov. 18, 2022. However, after Amazon closed an $8.5 billion acquisition deal with MGM in March, the release date changed. Viewers can see the film in a limited theatrical release in early August before it premieres on Prime Video.

“When we saw Thirteen Lives, we got incredibly excited about what this could be on a global premiere, about what this could do for customers all over the world,” Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said, per Variety. “It feels like the ultimate inspirational story of hope, determination and triumph.”

According to Salke, she predicts the film will follow the success of other launches such as Coming 2 America. “We know what that resonance can look like and feel like, not only for us, but for the talent and for everyone involved,” she said. “It felt like the perfect movie for that kind of strategy.”

Ron Howard’s ‘Thirteen Lives’ Expected to Garner Global Attention

Thirteen Lives tells the heroic story of a soccer team who finds themselves trapped in the Tham Luang cave. A rainstorm trapped them inside the cave system, making it difficult to breathe. Nearly 20 grueling days later, skilled divers successfully rescued all 13 survivors. 

The decision to release the film for streaming ultimately came down to several factors. First, the story’s global reach indicated to executives that it could be a worldwide success. They took into account that Amazon Prime has nearly 200 million subscribers. Additionally, after Amazon released films from Paramount, the streaming platform received more insight into how to best reach users. 

“The customers have spoken and we are definitely listening. So now we’re making it happen for viewers all over the world, who crave these films, to be able to see them the way they want — in their own homes as well as giving them a chance to see them in theaters,” Salke said.

“We want audiences to be able to have the opportunity to see and experience all its cinematic glory in the theater. So we’re going to move heaven and earth to make sure that we get that opportunity to as many people as possible.”

Amazon hopes to maintain a healthy relationship with filmmakers by changing its strategy to give the best experience. In addition to Thirteen Lives, Howard’s debut animated feature film will also be available to stream on Netflix. Ron Howard is adapting the 1971 classic children’s book, The Shrinking of Treehorn, for the screen.