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Is Netflix’s 'Spiderhead' based on a true story?

Bolavip US 6/18/2022 Natalia Lobo
© Twitter:@Netflix

Netflix is following the success of ‘Hustle’ with ‘Spiderhead’, a sci-fi movie starring Chris Hemsworth, who is going to return as Thor this summer, and Miles Teller, who recently also appeared in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ alongside Tom Cruise.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski, who is coming fresh from the ‘Top Gun’ sequel, the film is a dystopian story of prisoners who “consent” to take experimental drugs in order to live in better facilities and receive reduced sentences, while also “helping” humanity.

‘Spiderhead’ came out on the platform this Friday and people on social media can’t stop talking about it. The story, which is set in a near future, invites viewers to think about ethics and, with some terrifying turns, many wonder what’s the inspiration behind this film.

'Spiderhead': What's the inspiration behind the movie?

‘Spiderhead’ is based on a short story called “Escape from Spiderhead,” written by George Saunders for The New Yorker in 2010. The adaptation for the screen was written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who also wrote Deadpool.

Talking to Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker’s fiction editor when the story was published, Saunders said that in his stories he found himself “making a representation of goodness and a representation of evil and then having those two run at each other full-speed. . . . Who stays standing?”

While the story isn’t based on a specific real story, there’s been plenty of examples in history of experiments with drugs on people without their consent. From Tuskegee experiment in Alabama in 1932, where the subjects were 600 Black men, to the Nazi experiments in the concentration camps, there are many horror stories in reality.

The short story is still available for reading at the New Yorker. To many critics, the film differs in many ways with the original cautionary tale of the source material. However, the movie still questions some aspects of capitalism, which is one of the main elements of Saunders’ work.

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