‘Happy Days’ Icon Ron Howard Reflects on Upcoming Project, ‘Thirteen Lives’

by Samantha Whidden

With his upcoming film “Thirteen Lives” set to premiere on July 29th in select theaters, “Happy Days” icon Ron Howard is sharing more details about the upcoming film.

According to IMDb, Ron Howard’s “Thirteen Lives” follows a rescue mission that is assembled in Thailand where a group of young boys and their soccer coach are trapped in a system of underground caves that are flooding. The film stars Joel Edgerton, Colin Farrell, and Viggo Mortensen. Howard is directing the film.

In a post on Instagram, Ron Howard reflected on “Thirteen Lives” and what he learned throughout the film’s production. “Four years ago today, 12 boys and their soccer coach were rescued from the Tham Luang cave network in northern Thailand after 18 days. While making ‘Thirteen Lives,’ I learned so much about how much went into this miraculous rescue.”

Ron Howard then wrote about the hundreds of volunteers from all over the world that helped with the rescue efforts. “It is an honor to tell this story and I’m so excited to share it with you.”

“Thirteen Lives” will be in select theaters on July 29th and on Amazon Prime Video on August 5th.

Ron Howard Recalls When He Was First Approached About ‘Thirteen Lives’

Ron Howard recently spoke to Deadline about when he was first approached about the film. “I was working when it happened,” Howard explained about what he was doing when the rescue mission occurred. “My wife Cheryl was into it in a much more detailed way.” 

Ron Howard then recalled reading the film’s script and discovering more details about the rescue. “Neither [Cheryl and I] had any idea the sort of risks that were taken and the lengths [the rescuers] went to, to achieve this incredible rescue. It’s a tremendous tribute to cooperation, international effort, and forward momentum.”

The actor-turned-director also said that the rescue mission was a victory for the Thai people and the Thai government. “As a result, they’re very, very proud of it. They should be. They never took their foot off the gas and did everything they could, as a culture, as a governor, physically, emotionally, spiritually, to make this rescue happen.”

When asked how he captured the feeling of cold, darkness, and claustrophobia, Ron Howard shared that working on documentaries helped him be able to focus on those elements. “Documentaries are about being as comprehensive and informative as possible,” he explained. “Scripted versions of true events have to offer that as well, and yet, their promise also includes something else. It involves engaging the nervous system of the audience by relating to and connecting to those characters and their circumstances.”