Created by David DiGilio (‘Crossbones’), ‘The Terminal List’ is a military action-thriller series. The story follows Lt. Commander James Reece (Chris Pratt), a Navy SEAL platoon leader who loses almost his entire team when a mission in Aleppo, Syria, goes horribly wrong. After returning to the US, the only other surviving group member besides him seemingly dies of suicide.
Moreover, Reece begins experiencing headaches and hallucinations, and masked assassins kill his wife and daughter. This sets him off in the pursuit of revenge against everyone who brought pain and suffering to him and his loved ones.’The Terminal List’ offers a complex story about love, loss, and the Navy SEALs. If you are wondering whether it is inspired by actual events, we got you covered.
Is The Terminal List a True Story?
No, ‘The Terminal List’ is not based on a true story. Although, it seems to have some elements of reality embedded into its narrative. The Amazon Prime Video series is adapted from author Jack Carr’s 2018 eponymous novel, the first entry in the ‘James Reece’ book series. Five books in the series have come out — ‘The Terminal List,’ ‘True Believer,’ ‘Savage Son,’ ‘The Devil’s Hand,’ and ‘In the Blood.’ Carr is a former Navy SEAL in real life; like Reece, he used to be an enlisted SEAL sniper before serving as a Team Leader, Troop Commander, Task Unit Commander, and Platoon Commander.
As a SEAL sniper, Carr’s specialty was in communications and intelligence, and during his twenty years of service, he was deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the southern Philippines. In 2016, he left the Navy and currently lives with his wife and children in Park City, Utah. To prepare for his role, Chris Pratt worked closely with real-life Navy SEALs. In a May 2022 interview, David DiGilio explained the roles that former SEALs and other military veterans played in the show’s development.
“I think it really begins with former Navy SEAL Jared Shaw,” DiGilio stated. “Jared had worked with Chris on ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ and he also knew Jack through the teams. When Jack wrote his first book, Jared immediately got it in the hands of Chris Pratt, who then started pursuing it.” After learning that Antoine Fuqua (‘Mayor of Kingstown‘) was pursuing the rights to the first of Carr’s books, Pratt proposed that they should team up, and the other man accepted. Moreover, this is the first time they have worked together since ‘The Magnificent Seven.’
“Early in their [Pratt and Fuqua’s] conversations, they realized that there was such a great character here, such great conspiracies, and such a great story that it actually begged to be more than a two-hour movie, so they decided to make it a TV series,” DiGilio explained. The makers brought SEALs and other veterans to the writers’ room for technical advising and stunt work. Besides, there are also more than 25 actors with a military background that appear in the show. Carr cited authors such as Clive Cussler, Vince Flynn, Daniel Silva, Tom Clancy, David Morrell, and Michael Connelly as his inspiration in a May 2022 interview with Fox News Digital.
The author further complimented Pratt and Fuqua for their work on the adaptation in an interview with Washington Post Live in June 2022. “From the very beginning, what was important to Chris and Antoine was that, hey, if a veteran sat down and turned this on and watched it, at the very least they’d say, ‘You know what, these guys did their homework, and they put all this effort and energy into getting this right,'” Carr stated. Evidently, the creators of ‘The Terminal list’ draws certain things from real life in their attempt to tell an authentic military story, but ultimately, the show is not based on actual events.