The Locksmith (2023): Is the Movie Rooted in Reality?

‘The Locksmith’ is a thriller film directed by Nicolas Harvard, marking his feature directorial debut. It stars Ryan Phillippe and Kate Bosworth in the lead roles. The movie revolves around Miller Graham, an expert locksmith who is recently released from prison. Miller tries to make up for his mistakes in the past by rekindling his relationship with his ex-girlfriend and daughter. However, things get complicated after his daughter is kidnapped. Given the film’s narrative, viewers must be questioning its connection to reality. If you are wondering whether ‘The Locksmith’ is based on a true story, here is everything you need to know!

The Locksmith is an Original Work

No, ‘The Locksmith’ is not based on a true story. The film is based on an original story written by Blair Kroeber. Kroeber is primarily known for his work as a producer and story editor on the reality TV series ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race.’ He devised the concept of a film revolving around a master locksmith who is sent to prison after a job goes sideways. Kroeber’s story treatment was then turned into a screenplay by John Glosser, Joe Russo, Chris LaMont, and Ben Kabialis. Eventually, the script came to Nicolas Harvard made his directorial debut with the film.

Harvard primarily worked as an assistant director on several popular films, such as ‘Do Revenge,’ ‘Me Time,’ and ‘The Contractor.’ In an interview, Harvard opened up about the conceptualization of ‘The Locksmith.’ Harvard wanted to make his directorial debut with a crime thriller film. As a result, he read several scripts over the year, but ‘The Locksmith’ stood out for the first-time director. Harvard stated that the family aspect of the story attracted him to the script, and he worked with the writers to develop the story further.

The film’s primary theme is redemption, as the protagonist, Miller Graham, tries to fix his past mistakes after getting released from prison. For actor Ryan Phillippe who plays the role, the theme resonated and attracted him to the film. “I like the redemptive aspects of the character that he was a guy who was trying to right some wrongs of his past,” Phillippe said about his character in an interview with the Cinema Scholars. Phillippe also compared the movie to crime thrillers from the 1970s.

On the other hand, Harvard was influenced by the neo-noir genre while crafting the movie. The director revealed that initially, the script was very male-centric. However, after several rewrites, the creative team settled on a draft that gave equal importance to Kate Bosworth’s Beth Fisher, the significant other of Miller. As a result, the film also creates a diverse perspective by diving deep into its characters and fleshing out them in several dimensions. Moreover, Harvard wanted to portray the safe-cracking scenes in the movie authentically. Therefore, actor Ryan Phillippe learned how to pick locks, and Harvard also hired actual locksmiths as consultants while filming the movie to obtain an authentic output.

Ultimately, ‘The Locksmith’ is not inspired by any real events. It is a fictional story that highlights a man’s journey for redemption while utilizing the tropes of the crime thriller genre. However, by showcasing the lock-picking ability of its protagonist, the film delivers a fresh take on the tried and tested theme. Moreover, Miller’s affection for his family allows the viewers to connect with the narrative emotionally, giving it a semblance of reality.

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