Is Vanquish Based on a True Story?

‘Vanquish’ is an action thriller directed and co-written by veteran screenwriter and director George Gallo. The movie takes place in a bleak, unnamed city that serves as the setting for a retired, twisted ex-cop (Morgan Freeman) who blackmails his caregiver by kidnapping her daughter. It also stars the dashing Ruby Rose as the caregiver, Victoria, who happens to be an ex-Russian drug courier.

The blackmailed mother proceeds to go on a rampage, leaving a trail of baddies in her wake while collecting large bundles of money for her blackmailer. A slick action movie with a sinister plotline featuring crooked cops and kidnappings, could ‘Vanquish’ be inspired by some dastardly events that actually occurred? We decided to dig around and see if the movie might be steeped in reality, and here’s everything we found out!

Is Vanquish Based on a True Story?

No, ‘Vanquish’ is not based on a true story. The story for the film was co-written by director George Gallo and was originally conceived by the movie’s other writer, Samuel Bartlett. Reading the first draft of the story made Gallo envision Morgan Freeman for the role of the twisted ex-cop, and the Oscar Award-winning actor agreed to the project. Gallo subsequently rewrote the role with Freeman in mind. In the case of the other lead, Ruby Rose’s character Victoria, Gallo mentioned that he rewrote her character tougher as she played more of a victim in the original draft.

Wanting to make a contained action movie that could be shot amidst the safety regulations of the pandemic, Gallo envisioned a world for the film that was slightly removed from reality but still believable. The streets and public areas seem ominously empty throughout the movie, emphasizing the feeling of solitude. This could also be a pointer to the empty streets during the pandemic, something that Gallo possibly channeled in his movie because it is surreal yet believable. Even interior scenes are rarely populated by any more characters than the ones that are needed for the scene.

Gallo also pointed to Korean gangster movies as part of his inspiration for ‘Vanquish.’ The energetic pace and sense of humor that is usually seen in Korean cinema is something the director attempted to transpose into his action thriller. Hence, despite the story of the movie being a familiar one, Gallo approached it from a different perspective, making it feel fresh.

The writer of the first draft of the story, Samuel Bartlett, is no newcomer to thrillers either, having written and directed a short film (‘Damage Control’) as well as a full-length feature (‘Intersection’) in the genre. In fact, his 2020 film ‘Intersection’ is based on a similar premise which sees the protagonist, a conman, being blackmailed into doing dangerous tasks by his son’s kidnapper. Like Gallo, it is likely that with ‘Vanquish,’ Bartlett took a familiar idea and approached it from a new angle, giving rise to the glossy and surreal action thriller.

Read More: Where Was Vanquish Filmed?