Solace (2015): Is the Movie Based on Real Life?

With Anthony Hopkins, Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Abbie Cornish in the lead roles, ‘Solace’ is a mystery thriller film that revolves around a psychic doctor John Clancy who sees people’s past, future, and traumas and gets an insight into their lives. This ability comes particularly handy when the FBI seeks his help to find a serial killer who leaves no evidence or DNA that can be traced back to him. But the situation goes haywire when they find that the killer has the same abilities as Clancy and always stays two steps ahead.

Directed by Afonso Poyart, the 2015 movie has every element of a good thriller to keep the viewers hooked. As the story progresses, tension and anticipation also increase. Moreover, the narrative is so crisp and compelling that one cannot help but wonder if the film is inspired by true events.

Solace is a Work of Fiction

No, ‘Solace’ is not based on a true story. The movie’s narrative stems entirely from imagination and is brought to life on the big screen. Written by Ted Griffin and Sean Bailey in the year 2000, the script needed some tweaks, which were later made by James Vanderbilt and Peter Morgan (not officially credited). The multi-dimensional facets are adopted to give life to every character, which is especially what makes them interesting. It lets each character have a story of their own. Everyone is dealing with their demons, but Clancy is the one burdened with knowing them all.

Producer Beau Flynn was among the first to hear the screenplay and story for the movie in the early 2000s. He knew instantly that this story was made for the big screen. He told Writing Studio: “Solace is a film that makes people think. These were characters I cared about and there were issues the story dealt with that transcended morality and humanity. In dealing with euthanasia and end-of-life questions, fate, and the right to live, it touched on a lot of provocative subjects. First and foremost, Solace was entertaining, but it also had an impact, making it a very different and special film.”

The production house New Line Cinema showed interest in the script, but they wanted the movie to be molded as a sequel to the blockbuster murder mysterySe7en’. They wanted the film to follow the former’s story and be titled ‘Ei8ht’ with the talented actor Morgan Freeman reprising his role as the detective. This script would have made Freeman’s detective gain psychic abilities to solve such crimes. The idea was scrapped when the director of ‘Se7en’, David Fincher, expressed his dissatisfaction with the thought. As a result, the movie was worked on as an individual project.

When talking about the plot of his directorial, Poyart mentioned, “The film has an influence of Se7en and Silence of the Lambs, but tried to flee the genre. I do not think Solace is a serial killer movie, it is only its outer layer. In the background the film is much more than that, talking about life and death, and raises some interesting moral dilemmas.” Even the award-winning actor Anthony Hopkins agreed that the script was exceptionally well written, which is the reason he came on board. “If it’s well written, it’s always interesting and this was well written. It is a very, very good script,” said Hopkins.

The story is tightly knit and has powerful characters that have a past and story of their own. This makes them appear more human and lets us understand their perspective better. Thus, taking everything into consideration, we infer that even though there are various cold cases with the FBI where the killer vanished without a trace, Afonso Poyart’s ‘Solace’ is not inspired by any actual incidents.

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