Is The November Man A True Story?

The 2014 action-packed political thriller ‘The November Man’ bares a world of lies, deception, and conspiracy before the audience. Roger Donaldson paints a compelling picture of the titular character in this high-voltage CIA operative drama. The story follows Peter, a retired CIA agent whose life turns upside down as he embarks on a mission to save an old acquaintance in Moscow. The acquaintance is an aid to political leader Arkady Fedorov, and she has unearthed some terrible secrets about him.

The following story reveals a conspiracy of international scale, while Peter must rush to rescue a key witness named Mira Filipova, who has pertinent information on Fedorov. Although the high stake story is gripping and provocative, you may seek to know whether the story is grounded in reality. In that case, let us investigate the matter.

Is The November Man Based on A True Story?

No, ‘The November Man’ is not based on a true story. However, the thriller packs credible wall-to-wall action sequences with a tale fraught with political intrigue to keep the genre fans hooked. The film was directed by New Zealander film director Roger Donaldson of ‘No Way Out’ fame, who executed the production from a script penned by Michael Finch and Karl Gajdusek. The screenplay, in turn, was based on ‘There Are No Spies’ by Bill Granger, the seventh book in the series ‘The November Man’ from the author’s oeuvre. Although the director made some changes in the initial story, the skeleton remains the same in the film adaptation.

After his stints at ‘James Bond’ franchise forays, Pierce Brosnan was looking for an exciting script to work on. Brosnan’s business partner Beaumarie St. Claire stumbled upon the book and sent a copy to Brosnan. He loved the sound of the title and was appalled by the complex character sketches crafted by the writer. The script was finalized, while Brosnan went on and did another movie. Then Roger Donaldson was attached to the project by the recommendation of Brosnan himself. The two were already familiar with each other due to their work in ‘Dante’s Peak.’ The movie is massive in scope and scale, and it is something unique to Donaldson’s direction.

The acclaimed director also brought a practical outlook to the filming, set designing, and stunt coordination and the movie feels organic as all the pieces come together seamlessly. Although action thrillers often rely on spectacles, ‘The November Man’ delivers a political thriller of commendable strength that relies on the story as much as it depends on action sequences. However, some changes were made in the original story to felicitate filming. The story is set in Berlin, and although the director wanted to film in Germany at first, it was not feasible due to cost expenditure.

In the meantime, he chose to film the movie in the city of Belgrade in Serbia, which lends the film a unique look. In the early moments, Peter asks Hanley whether they are still in Berlin, to which Hanley replies that the base of operation has been shifted to Belgrade. This is how the director seamlessly incorporated the change in setting without altering much of the story. In the end, the film may come off as fictional, but its heart lies in its final celebration of humanity. Albeit a work of fiction, the movie conceals some universal truth in its careful handling of the humane characters.

Read More: Where Was The November Man Filmed?