Is Reacher Based on a True Story?

Developed by Nick Santora, Amazon Prime Video’s thriller series ‘Reacher’ centers around Jack Reacher, a former United States Army Military Police Corps official. Reacher’s arrival in Margrave, a rural Georgia town, results in unforeseen consequences that involve him in a series of murders. The crime series progresses through Reacher’s attempts to find the truth behind the murders and his personal loss. As Reacher and Margrave authorities dive deeper into the crimes unraveling astounding conspiracies, you must be wondering whether the show is connected to real-life crimes and figures. Let’s find out!

Is Reacher a True Story?

No, ‘Reacher’ is not based on a true story. Nick Santora developed the show based on British thriller author Lee Child’s ‘Jack Reacher’ novel series and the protagonist Jack Reacher. The narrative of the first season covers the events of ‘Killing Floor,’ the first novel of the 26-book series. “It’s the foundational story in the Reacher myth. He’s learning how to be Jack Reacher,” Child said about the narrative of the book and the show to EW.

Image Credit: Shane Mahood/Amazon Studios

Season 1 of ‘Reacher’ and ‘Killing Floor’ revolves around the homicides that transpire in a quiet town in Georgia, against the backdrop of counterfeit bill dealings in the town. Even though the characters, events, and the principal narrative are fictitious, Child was highly inspired by the United States’ redesigning of the country’s paper currency in the late 1990s to conceive the novel. Reacher’s investigation in the first season of the show and the book does touch on the international links and dealings of counterfeit United States currency within its fictional realm.

Santora’s adaptation of the book to the screen was guided by author Lee Child. The writer is one of the executive producers of the show and was involved in the creative phase of the production. “Lee created a beloved character, and I thought trying to help make that character live on TV was a great challenge. I knew I’d always have Lee there to make sure everything about Reacher and the story was exactly how he wanted it. If Lee liked the product, we were doing it right,” Santora said to EW. Santora’s television version also includes Frances Neagley, a character that is not in ‘Killing Floor.’

If the show gets renewed, we can expect more ‘Jack Reacher’ novels to get adapted for the show. When asked about the possibilities of another season, the cast and crew of the show did reveal the possibilities of developing the show as a multi-season project, adapting one book per season.

Image Credit: Shane Mahood/Amazon Studios

While Jack Reacher novels always rely on fiction for their main narrative and characters, real-life influences and inspirations are regular as well. “I think thrillers need to be rooted in real-life – although I have learned that if I can imagine it, it’s already happening somewhere. Literally, you can’t make this stuff up,” Child revealed in an interview with Penguin Random House.

Although Jack Reacher, the protagonist of the show and the books, is fictional, Child was inspired by the physique and appearance of English rugby legend Lawrence Dallaglio to characterize Reacher as a physically well-built man. Rather than a true story, the origin of ‘Reacher’ lies in a novel series that has sold over a hundred million copies worldwide. “If you’ve loved Reacher, then this [the show] is as close as you will ever get to him on the screen. Trust me: It’s perfect,” the author further told EW.

Read More: Where is Reacher Filmed?