Ron Howard is to direct 'Thirteen Lives', a drama based on Tham Luang cave rescue in 2018.

According to Deadline, the 66-year-old filmmaker will helm the movie, which tells the story of the boys football team from Thailand who became trapped in a cave after it was flooded by heavy rain.

An international rescue effort was launched, which made headlines across the world when all 12 boys, as well as their coach, were saved.

The script will be penned by 'Gladiator' writer William Nicholson and sources suggest the flick has similarities to Ron's 1995 movie 'Apollo 13', which earned nine Oscar nominations.

'Thirteen Lives' will face competition from a number of rival projects telling the story though, as 'Crazy Rich Asians' director Jon M. Chu is overseeing a Netflix series that will focus on the kids in the rescue.

'Free Solo' filmmakers Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi are also developing a film with Universal Studios and a NatGeo documentary on the dramatic tale is in the works.

Ron previously directed 'Star Wars' spin-off 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' and admitted that he loved making the movie, despite the high expectations of 'Star Wars' fans.

He explained: ''I had a blast making that movie, and it did remind me that I really enjoy that kind of playful storytelling and the action, and I love tech. I love actors more, but it's great what you can offer audiences.''

Ron opened up about how he spoke to franchise creator George Lucas about how to make a successful 'Star Wars' film.

The 'Frost/Nixon' filmmaker said: ''George Lucas is a mentor, a tremendous friend.

''He warned me, and he said, 'Hey look, it's for the fans, and yet you have to have the courage to hear them but tell the story you wanna tell.' So he's all for the galaxy expanding and experimenting. That's what he prefers the most. He gets most excited about those that wanna push the boundaries of what a Star Wars movie or TV show [can be].''