Boy Swallows Universe: Are Ivan Kroll and Tytus Broz Inspired by Actual Drug Criminals?

In Netflix’s ‘Boy Swallows Universe,’ Eli Bell finds himself face-to-face with dangerous people when his drug dealer stepfather, Lyle, messes things up with his employers. The impact of Lyle’s actions creates a ripple in Eli’s life, which leads the boy to embark on an investigation against a local businessman and philanthropist while also dodging the murderous attempts of the henchmen who chase after Eli and his loved ones. The book draws material from the book of the same name by Trent Dalton, who revealed that he based a lot of characters in the story on real people. Do Tytus Broz and Ivan Kroll fall in that category? SPOILERS AHEAD

Tytus Broz and Ivan Kroll are Fictional Criminals

Trent Dalton based a lot of characters in ‘Boy Swallows Universe’ on the people around him, but after a point, the story branched away from reality into fiction, which is where characters like Kroll and Broz come into play. The character of Eli Bell is based on Dalton himself, but the character takes the background and simple characteristics of Dalton. After a point, his story diverges sharply from what happened to Dalton in real life. Eli’s parents, his brother, his stepfather, and even Slim Halliday are drawn from Dalton’s life. The villains, however, are concocted simply to serve the plot.

In the show, Lyle works for Tytus Broz and is punished when the boss discovers that Lyle has been stealing from him. To make him pay, he sends his good, Ivan Kroll, to teach Lyle a lesson. Lyle is torn away from his family in front of their eyes and is never seen again. In real life, things didn’t go down so brutally for Dalton. It’s true that his stepfather was a drug dealer, but Dalton never got too involved in his business to know who his stepfather was working for. Moreover, his stepfather was arrested by the cops and not kidnapped and killed by his employers. This event diverges the paths of Dalton and Eli, and from her, any villain that comes into Eli’s path is entirely fictional.

Tytus Broz is introduced in the show as a local business owner of a company that makes prosthetics. He is known to be a philanthropist and donates a lot to charities, becoming a respected and valued member of the community. What people don’t know is that Broz is not only a drug kingpin but also trades in organ trafficking. He is a very dangerous who doesn’t like to leave loose ends and is not beyond killing an entire family if that’s what it takes to secure him.

To execute his plans and keep his employees in line, Broz has Ivan Kroll. The man wears a mask on one side of his face, which people believe was damaged when one of Kroll’s enemies attacked him. Broz got Kroll the prosthetic for his face and, in return, bought his loyalty. Now, whomever Broz points a finger at, Kroll kills, not caring if the victim is a grown man or a child. Being a journalist who has reported on criminal activities, it is possible that Dalton based Broz and Kroll on some criminals he knew about. However, he has not specified if he based them on any particular people.

The presence of Broz and Kroll marks the danger that Eli lands himself in, first as a minor accomplice of his stepfather and later as a nosy journalist who is ready to do whatever it takes to expose Broz and his shady deeds. Through them, Dalton adds an endgame to Eli’s story, bringing his tumultuous story to a pause and giving it an ending that’s befitting of Eli and his family’s struggles while also giving answers to the questions that had plagued them for a long time.

Read More: Boy Swallows Universe: Is Slim Halliday Based on a Real Criminal?