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Is Swarm Based on a True Story? Is the Series Intentionally Draws Comparisons to Reality?

Swarm established itself as a contentious and unsettling hit series when it was made available on Prime Video. In the seven-part drama, we follow Dre (Dominique Fishback), a young woman who is obsessed with pop star Ni’Jah (Nirine S. Brown) and ends up going down a dark path she didn’t expect.

It turns into a story about murder and lies, and actors and social media stars like Billie Eilish and Paris Jackson, as well as Rickey Thompson, show up – But does the show tell a real story?

The first line of each episode is: “This is not a made-up story. Any resemblances to real people, living or dead, or real events are done on purpose.” So, while you’re watching the show, you’ll definitely think of a certain megastar. Are other parts of the drama also based on real events?

Read on to find out everything you need to know about the real story behind Swarm, but be warned: there are spoilers for the series ahead.

Is Swarm Based on a True Story?

Most of Swarm is fictional, but some of it is based on things that really happened. Janine Nabers, who made Swarm, talked to Shondaland about it and said: “The pilot episode is based on something that actually happened on the internet. We started the story there and added real events that happened in the United States between 2016 and 2018.”

Janine said this to explain the event: “Lemonade came out in April of 2016. On the same night, there was a rumour that a woman named Marissa Jackson killed herself after watching this visual album because it showed that a powerful man was cheating on one of the most beautiful and successful pop stars of our time.”

Is Swarm Based on a True Story

Janine also said: “I live in Houston, Texas, and the last name of my best friend is Jackson. People in Houston sent each other a lot of texts like, “Yo, who is this Marissa Jackson? Is this story true?” And that was on the internet for a while, and people who were making fun of this woman who had killed herself by tweeting horrible things about her.”

Janine finished by saying, “It was a little bit of a spark for this show, and that’s when I started looking into all the crazy stories we’ve heard online or in real life about this particular musician and how we could bring them to life and make them our own.”

In other words, Dre is not a real person, but her personality and actions were based on stories from real life.

Is Billie Eilish’s Character Based on a Real-life Event?

Billie Eilish‘s first role as an actress is as Eva, a warm and friendly person who you can’t help but like and then immediately be suspicious of. On the way to a music festival where she hopes to see Ni’Jah, she and her commune run into Dre.

Dre is invited into the group’s house and stays there because a friend has promised him free tickets to the festival they are all going to. Together, they all go on hikes and do “EU,” a form of therapy that is led by Eva, who is the executive director of the group for women. Dre is asked to do one, and when she does, she reveals who she really is and what happened to her.

Is Swarm Based on a True Story

Even though Eva only shows up in one episode of the show, it has made many viewers wonder if the cult-like group is based on real life. Well, it does add a chilling element of the real-life crime to Swarm.

Nabers told The Hollywood Reporter that Eilish’s character was based on the NXIVM cult and its leader Keith Raniere, who was sentenced to 120 years in prison and fined $1.75 million in 2020 for sex trafficking. She said, “In the world, there was a cult that was very popular at the time.

“And that’s the true-crime part of that episode. And I think that when people think of artists or famous people, they think of the cult of Taylor Swift or the cult of the Beatles or whatever. What we were really interested in was seeing someone who worships at the altar of “something,” and we wanted to find out what the “cult of the mind” is.

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