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In ‘Thirteen Lives,’ Ron Howard directs the Thai cave rescue

It may be common etiquette to not spoil the end of a film, but Ron Howard learned years ago on “Apollo 13” that knowing the outcome of a story is different from knowing the story itself. And though the 2018 rescue of the Thai boys’ soccer team and their coach is considerably fresher in our collective memories, Howard saw in it a similar opportunity.

“You may know on a headline basis that things worked out well, but you don’t know what kind of personal struggles may be in store for the key characters,” Howard said. “Through dramatization, through good acting and scenes and moviemaking, you begin to connect emotionally with the characters in a way that you just can’t with a straight documentary or with news coverage.”

The story was in some ways tailor made for a Hollywood film with its happy ending and straightforward acts of heroism. The 18-day saga has already…

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