Is Jack In 'No Escape' Based On A Real Person? The Owen Wilson Character Is An Everyday Hero

The new action thriller No Escape features Owen Wilson as an American who finds himself trapped in a violent war zone in Southeast Asia. His character Jack is an engineer who has come to the continent for work, bringing along his wife and children. Lake Bell plays Wilson's wife Annie, and Pierce Brosnan plays an English expatriate named Hammond who becomes an ally to Jack and his family during the tumultuous events of the film. Political unrest resulting in violence is unfortunately a real recurring phenomenon in human history, and more than once has a foreigner become enmeshed in the conflict while visiting another nation. So is Jack in No Escape based on a real person?

Wilson's character is entirely fictional, as is the film itself. But Jack is a significant figure not just for the movie, but also for Owen Wilson's career. This character represents a major departure from many of Wilson's previous roles — which was exactly why he was the ideal fit for the movie. Bold Films CEO Gary Michael Walters told Variety, “We loved the idea of working with Owen outside his normal pocket. He plays an every-man action hero so it’s not James Bond — it’s much more credible.”

To back this up, here are some of the other movies in which Wilson portrayed a regular guy just trying to do the right thing.

Marley And Me


Wilson played John in this heartwarmer of a film about a rambunctious yellow lab. John has to learn to balance his responsibilities as a reporter, dad, husband, and pet owner, resulting in an exploration of his relationships with these various roles versus what he really wants in life. Super relatable and super touching... but grab the tissues.

Hall Pass

Rick in Hall Pass was another every-man role for Owen Wilson, as this character was a bonafide nice guy struggling with his marriage. On paper, the film is about the debauchery that occurs when two couples take a "break" from marriage, but there are actually some incredibly poignant human moments in it. Many of these come from Wilson, like when he talks about the memory of his wife falling asleep with her head on his chest for the first time. Aww.

Wedding Crashers


Wilson played yet another "John" in Wedding Crashers, the quotable comedy about two guys who con their way into strangers' weddings for the purpose of getting it on with the female guests. Although Wilson's character starts out as a manipulative phony, we see another side of him when he falls in love with Rachel MacAdams' character Claire and starts to realize that all of his sexual misadventures aren't ultimately fulfilling. Bonus points to Wilson for keeping a straight face while delivering the line "You know how they say we only use ten percent of our brains? I think we only use ten percent of our hearts."


Owen Wilson is obviously no rookie at playing relatable characters. In various roles, he represents men who are flawed but are intrinsically good, making us want to root for them to overcome both their internal and external struggles. Wilson's portrayal of Jack in No Escape therefore showed the character as a regular guy who will do whatever it takes to protect his family — a true hero, as opposed to a superhero.

Images: Giphy (3), Warner Bros