The Tutor: The Psychological Thriller Is Not a True Story

‘The Tutor’ is a psychological thriller movie directed by Jordan Ross. It follows Ethan, a professional tutor to students from wealthy families in New York City. When Ethan is offered a lucrative assignment of tutoring a billionaire’s son, Jackson, he moves to a remote mansion. However, Ethan soon realizes that his latest student is highly obsessed with his personal life. The mysterious connection between Ethan and Jackson is explored as the narrative progresses. Given the film’s premise about a working-class teacher being tormented by a rich student, viewers might be wondering if ‘The Tutor’ is based on true events.

The Inspiration Behind The Tutor

No, ‘The Tutor’ is not based on a true story. The film is based on an original screenplay from screenwriter Ryan King. King is mainly known for his acting career, appearing in the recurring role of Billy in the 2020 comedy-drama series ‘Platonic.’ However, King is also a playwright and a screenwriter. His screenplay ‘Black Flies’ (co-written with Ben Mac Brown) was directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2023. Aside from his work in the film and television industry, King has also worked as a private teacher, and his experiences in the tutoring space led to the germination of the idea for the aptly titled ‘The Tutor.’

In an interview, director Jordan Ross revealed that King worked as a private tutor in New York City aside from pursuing a career as an actor and screenwriter in Hollywood. The side hustle saw King tutor the children of some of the wealthiest folks in New York City. King’s experiences of providing private coaching led to him writing the script for ‘The Tutor,’ with Ross confirming that King drew from his personal experiences while working on the screenplay. Ross stated that King told him stories about some of his bad interactions with his wealthy students and their parents, which inspired him to turn them into a dramatic thriller. However, none of Ross’ experiences were as drastic as the psychological torment Ethan faces in the film at the hands of his student, Jackson.

It is easy to see King’s experiences reflected in the film’s premise, which follows a working-class teacher in New York City tutoring children from wealthy families. However, Ross also noted that King’s real experiences were diluted with fictional elements to fit the style and tonality of the 90s thrillers and noir films. From Ross’ words, we can deduce that the movie is not directly based on any real events. Instead, it is the perfect example of a writer drawing from personal experiences to craft a compelling and engaging fictional narrative. As a result, the film provides viewers with the nostalgia of the 90s thrillers, along with some progressive ideas and relevant social themes.

Ross stated that he was drawn to King’s screenplay due to King’s personal stories about the world in which the film takes place. Furthermore, it allowed him to emulate the 80s and 90s thriller and noir films, which reflect the real world without a clear distinction between the protagonists and antagonists. Moreover, the narrative is framed as a cat-and-mouse thriller with a superficial exploration of the class divide that serves as a misdirection from the revenge plot. Although viewers might find flaws with the movie’s logic, it draws a sense of realism since writer Ryan King channeled his personal experiences to write the screenplay, albeit with heavy dramatization. Ultimately, ‘The Tutor’ tells a fictional story packed with shocking twists and unexpected turns.

Read More: Where Was The Tutor Filmed?