Is Gone for Good Based on a True Story?

‘Gone for Good’ is a French thriller drama miniseries that centers around Guillaume and his missing girlfriend. The show follows the distraught boyfriend’s investigation as it leads him down a dark path and reveals not just his missing girlfriend’s but also his own family’s dark secrets. The story is full of intrigue and switched identities but is still believable enough for parts of it to have happened to people in real life. Could ‘Gone for Good’ have some basis in reality? Let’s find out.

Is Gone for Good a True Story?

No, ‘Gone for Good’ is not based on a true story. The show is based on the novel of the same name by writer Harlan Coben and created for screen by David Elkaïm and Vincent Poymiro. A prolific author known for his mysteries and thrillers, Coben has penned a vast body of work spanning multiple series and standalone novels, many of which have been adapted to screen in the form of films and television series. ‘Tell No One’ became his first book to be adapted and was made into a French film of the same name in 2006.

‘Gone for Good’ is the product of a multi-million dollar deal between the author and Netflix, which reportedly has a term of five years. Under it, 14 of his books will be adapted into content for the streaming platform, with the author being involved in the productions in various capacities. What is perhaps one of the most important aspects of the deal that spawned ‘Gone for Good’ is that it takes the works of an American author and puts them in various international settings, making the result a cultural blend that is likely more interesting to the streaming platform’s vast international audience. Therefore, ‘Gone for Good’ is based in France, while ‘The Innocent‘ is set in Spain, and ‘The Woods,’ in Poland. All of these series, and more, are based on novels of the same name by Coben.

The author retains a degree of creative control over the adaptations, meaning that the series match his creative visions. The format is also flexible and can be tweaked to fit his novel, as opposed to having to follow a pre-set format. This allows for more creative freedom and is likely what allows ‘Gone for Good’ to have the interesting format of each of its 5 episodes centered around the backstories of the 5 main characters of the story. In an interview with Deadline, the author said: “If I was trying to do TV series 20 years ago, which I wasn’t, the episodes would have to be 40 minutes, start with a crime, end with a crime, 22-episode seasons, that would not fit what I do. Netflix does…For my kind of storytelling, streaming fits.”

‘Gone for Good’ is a true work of fiction based on the work of one of the most prolific fiction authors in the business. The show follows many of the themes he is known for or enjoys, including those of familial bonds, long-running mysteries, and multiple twists. So well known is his fictional storytelling prowess that, apart from his long list of literary awards, Harlan Coben was also the first writer in more than a decade to be invited to write fiction for the New York Times op-ed page. According to the author, he is almost constantly writing or thinking about writing and creating new ideas for fresh material. Therefore, the series ‘Gone for Good’ is based on one of his many ideas and gets a further layer of complexity because of its setting being moved from America (where the novel is based) to France.

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