Documentary feature The Rescue plunges into the 2018 harrowing rescue of a Thai boys’ soccer team and their coach by a team of extreme divers. The film, from Oscar-winning filmmakers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, premieres on Disney Plus on Friday, Dec. 3 in English-speaking territories, followed by a global streaming release later in the month.
In summer 2018, a short outing after soccer practice became a two-week saga of survival after monsoon rains trapped twelve boys and their coach in a labyrinthian cave in Northern Thailand. Within days, thousands of people had descended on the area to try to help. Anticipation and anguish hung in the air until all were found, trapped in a pitch-black chamber two kilometers deep into the cave. The next question—immediate, obvious, and confounding—was how to get them out.
The Rescue is the retelling of one of the most extraordinary rescues seen in modern times. With exclusive interviews and never-before-seen material, the film takes viewers into the cave, highlights the efforts of the Royal Thai Navy SEALs and US Special Forces to rescue the team, and details the expert cave divers’ venture to dive the boys to safety.
“At its core, The Rescue is a story about a collection of people of all different nationalities, languages and cultures working together to achieve a common goal,” said Vasarhelyi and Chin, who also produced Oscar-winning documentary Free Solo, in a statement. “In making the film, we were reminded of the beauty of humanity, especially after the last several years where the world has seemed more divided than ever before. We are thrilled to be able to bring the film to audiences across the country and around the world through Disney Plus and allow viewers everywhere to discover this extraordinary story of human triumph and compassion for themselves.”
Concurrent to the trailer, Hollywood Records and Disney Music released the original song “Believe,” from Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc, co-written with Gary Go and Daniel Pemberton, along with the full original soundtrack from Academy Award-nominated composer Daniel Pemberton.
“The Rescue is an incredibly intense and thrilling cinematic experience. However, the directors Jimmy and Chai wanted the audience to leave with a sense of release and hope and tasked us with writing a song that was unashamedly optimistic and that captured, in their words, the idea you could ‘believe in the impossible,’”said Pemberton in a statement.
“There are two key moments in the film we all found ourselves drawn to: when the U.K. divers first encounter the boys in the cave, Rick Stanton simply says the word ‘believe’ over and over again in surprise and shock, and later when US Marine Derek Anderson asks ‘what does the impossible look like?’ We all wanted a song that captured that feeling, that elation, and that moment of hope when all thirteen boys, against all odds, were brought out alive. It’s been a fantastic journey working alongside Gary Go and Aloe Blacc to create something that hopefully represents that very unique moment of global positivity and optimism.”
“The world’s biggest problems are only as complicated as our willingness to join as a global community to solve them,” added Blacc. “I believe that together we can overcome any obstacle.”