Is Heart of Stone Based on a True Story?

Image Credit: Robert Viglasky/Netflix

Directed by Tom Harper, ‘Heart of Stone’ is a spy action thriller movie that features compelling performances by Gal Gadot, Jamie Dornan, Alia Bhatt, Sophie Okonedo, Matthias Schweighöfer, and Paul Ready. The Netflix film follows Agent Rachel Stone as she must find a way to stop the Heart, a powerful AI tool, from falling into the wrong hands. Given the film’s explosive action sequences, timely themes, and character-driven narrative, viewers must be wondering if real events inspired it. If you are looking for details about the inspiration behind ‘Heart of Stone,’ here is everything you need to know!

Is Heart of Stone a True Story?

No, ‘Heart of Stone’ is not based on a true story. The movie is based on an original concept from writers Greg Rucka and Allison Schroeder, who have penned the screenplay. Ruck is best known for writing the 2020 action film ‘The Old Guard‘ apart from his career as an author. Schroeder co-wrote the script for the 2016 biographical drama movie ‘Hidden Figures,’ which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Tom Harper, whose credits include shows such as ‘Peaky Blinders‘ and ‘Misfits’ directed the screenplay.

Image Credit: Robert Viglasky/Netflix

The film revolves around Agent Rachel Stone, who works for MI6 while secretly being undercover for a mysterious benevolent spy organization known as the Charter. The film follows Stone as she attempts to stop the Heart, an all-powerful computer device, from falling into the wrong hands. The movie’s premise confirms that the story is not based on real events and exists strictly in the realm of fiction. However, an AI device serving as the McGuffin that drives the plot forward might feel timely and relevant given the current debate about Artificial intelligence in the real world.

Nevertheless, for most parts, ‘Heart of Stone’ is a character-driven action thriller that remains grounded in reality only through its action and deeply personal character motivations. When the movie was first announced, it was described as a female-oriented take on hit action franchises such as ‘Mission: Impossible‘ starring Tom Cruise and ‘James Bond.’ The main character’s background as an MI6 agent is reminiscent of Agent 007/James Bond. Meanwhile, the team dynamics and scale of challenges in ‘Heart of Stone’ emulate the spirit of the ‘Mission: Impossible’ movies.

Having said that, unlike the two mega-hit franchises, all the characters and story threads in the movie are original creations and do not pre-exist in some source material. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, lead star Gal Gadot spoke about the creation of her character Rachel Stone. “First of all, it’s a real-life character, meaning the tone of the film is very different than anything I’ve ever done. The character is very much grounded and gritty and raw,” Gadot said. Gadot’s personal experiences as a combat fitness instructor at the Israel Defense Forces likely also helped shape her character.

“I really wanted to tell a story of a real person that goes through a crazy journey and is told from a female perspective. That was something that excited me, that I wanted to show, that I felt like I hadn’t seen enough,” the ‘Wonder Woman‘ star added. Director Tom Harper also echoed Gadot’s sentiments in an interview with the Motion Pictures Association. “Before I started working on the movie, I spoke with Gal, and we both believed the core tenet of what we wanted to achieve was an action thriller grounded in reality,” Harper stated. In a separate interview, Harper highlighted how the film resonates with viewers on a deeper level by tackling the topic of AI tools.

Harper also noted that the movie attempts to answer some philosophical and ethical questions that arise from using such technology. Ultimately, ‘Heart of Stone’ is not based on a true story. The film tells a fictional story with original characters and socially resonant themes. It capitalizes on the tropes of action-thriller franchises but also remains grounded in reality through character motivations and strong female perspectives. Nonetheless, the movie is mostly meant to entertain the audience with its slick and explosive action sequences balanced with emotional moments and moral dilemmas.

Read More: Where Was Netflix’s Heart of Stone Filmed?