Is Manifest a True Story

Is Manifest a True Story? Uncovering the Facts Explained


  • Manifest merges mystery with real-life aviation enigmas, offering a compelling narrative inspired by the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappearance.
  • Featuring drama, fantasy elements, and prophetic visions, Manifest explores its characters’ emotional and societal reintegration.
  • This Netflix series provokes thoughts about family, loss, and the human response to unforeseen tragedies, encouraging viewers to delve deeper.

Is ‘Manifest’ a True Story &What Inspired ‘Manifest’?

No, Manifest is not a true story. Still, its premise is deeply inspired by a blend of fantasy elements and a real-life aviation mystery. This commercial airline drama captures the imagination with its vanishing and sudden reappearance of Flight 828. The passengers, missing from the world for years and returning as if only hours had passed, is a hypothetical scenario with fantastical elements rooted in personal drama as they reintegrate with society and families. Despite running for three seasons, being canceled, and then resurrected by Netflix for a final fourth season, its core, much like the mysterious messages and prophetic visions known as Callings, comes from an unknown source yet is inspired by true events.

Is ‘Manifest’ About Malaysia Flight 370?

While Manifest isn’t directly about Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, this real-life aviation mystery played a significant role in shaping the show’s narrative. The disappearance of Flight 370 has perplexed millions worldwide since the story broke in March 2014. With over 200 people on the plane that disappeared and was never found, despite extensive search-and-rescue efforts by multiple governments, the ongoing mystery and fate of the flight serve as a partly inspired backdrop for the series’ unexplained disappearance and fantastical elements.

How Did Flight 370 Influence ‘Manifest’?

The unexplained disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 significantly influenced Manifest. While not directly retold, this real-life tragedy lends a compelling event backdrop that captivated the public and made the series’ mysteries and fantasy sci-fi tropes feel relevant and real. The show’s creator, Jeff Rake, acknowledged that while the initial idea for Manifest predates the disappearance, the incident gave the project a newfound sense of reality and relevance, adding personal drama and mysterious messages to the mix.

Read also: Is High Water a True Story?

Did Real Events Make ‘Manifest’ Relatable?

Yes, drawing on real events like the Malaysia Flight 370 disappearance made Manifest more relatable to audiences. By framing its narrative around such a tragic and compelling event, viewers pondered what they would do in the passengers’ shoes. This connection to real-life tragedies, albeit with a dose of fantasy elements, enhances the series’ stakes, making it not just another thriller show but a reflective and engaging piece on human resilience and the mysteries that bind us.

Are There Other Movies Inspired by ‘Manifest’?

Are There Other Movies Inspired by 'Manifest'?

Indeed, the true story that inspired Manifest has also inspired other films, TV shows, and documentaries. Journalists, documentarians, and fiction writers have explored theories about what happened to Flight MH370, leading to various stories on paper and film. For instance, the 2014 movie A Dark Reflection addresses airline safety issues with a different approach, while Netflix’s documentary MH370: The Plane That Disappeared delves into the disappearance with interviews from those who investigated the flight. These projects, like Manifest, blend real circumstances with entirely fictional narratives to engage and entertain.

Was ‘Manifest’ Planned Around Flight 370?

Manifest’s creator, Jeff Rake, did not initially plan the story around Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. The pivotal role of the flight in the series came about serendipitously. Rake’s vision was shaped during a family trip to the Grand Canyon, pondering togetherness and separation. The disappearance of Flight 370 later added a layer of reality and urgency to his pitch, making the series more relevant and compelling in the context of real-life events, thereby enhancing the emotional investment viewers would have in the character arcs and personal drama that unfolds.

Also Read: Is The Secret of The Greco Family a True Story?

What’s Wrong with Netflix’s ‘Manifest’?

From my decade-long experience in movie story and blog writing, many shows need help maintaining viewers’ attention past their initial seasons. Netflix’s ‘Manifest’ was no exception. Despite its enthralling premise and unique plot, the series faced criticism for its pacing and execution. As the seasons progressed, character development became more linear and predictable, coupled with inconsistent performances from a talented cast, leading to a decline in emotional investment. The show’s attempt to balance fantasy sci-fi tropes with realistic approaches to personal drama seemed to lose narrative momentum, which contributed significantly to why some audiences stopped watching.

My Review of this Netflix series

Reflecting on Manifest, its captivating mystery and character-driven drama initially drew me in, much like the allure of Lost. The premise of Flight 828, returning after a bewildering five and a half years, combined with the mysterious messages and prophetic visions, promised an engaging central mystery. However, the series ultimately struggled with Pacing and Execution, making it a slow-paced watch that could not consistently capitalize on its potential. Despite this, Manifest offers a unique exploration of family, society, and the unwanted attention those returning from an inexplicable absence face. It’s a thriller show that, while flawed, remains a noteworthy attempt at blending real-life mysteries with fantasy elements to tell a story about separation, togetherness, and the human spirit’s resilience.

Manifest Series Details

Release DateSeptember 24, 2018 – June 10, 2021
Rating7.1/10 IMDb
72% Rotten Tomatoes
3.5/5 Times of India
ProducersJack Rapke, Jacqueline Levine
Jeff Rake, David Frankel (pilot)
Joe Chappelle, Len Goldstein
Romeo Tirone
Episode62 Episodes
GenresDrama, Supernatural
CinematographyTim Ives, Tim Norman
Joseph Bradley Smith
Sarah Cawley, John Inwood
Andrew Priestley
platform Available OnNetflix

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *