'Eye In The Sky' Isn't A True Story, But Helen Mirren Tackles Some Serious Real-Life Issues

In the Information Age, there is a vast amount of technology available that can be used for either good or bad purposes, and this raises some moral dilemmas. Such issues of ethics are at the heart of Eye in the Sky, a new film starring Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul about drone warfare. The movie, in theaters March 11, focuses on a counter-terrorism mission that takes a twist when drones reveal new information about the terrorists' situation. It's a heart-thumping thriller that tackles pertinent political matters, but is Eye in the Sky a true story?

Alas, although the movie looks at real-world issues, Eye in the Sky is fictional. In an interview with KCET, director Gavin Hood praised screenwriter Guy Hibbert for creating a script that "generates a conversation" about issues of morality in drone warfare. Interestingly, though, Hood insisted upon one major change to the original script: he wanted the lead character to be female. Hood explained to KCET that he was motivated to make this decision because "this is the future of warfare and more and more women are in these jobs." And so Helen Mirren was brought on board, delivering a performance that feels as authentic as any "based-on" story. And it isn't the first time that Mirren has been so convincing in a role that it seems like it could be based on true events. Here are some other Helen Mirren movies that might have you scratching your head wondering whether or not they're true.


True? Yes! This 2015 biopic chronicled the life and career of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Mirren played real-life gossip columnist Hedda Hopper.

Woman In Gold

True? Yup. Mirren's character Maria Altmann was a real-life Jewish refugee who waged a legal battle against the Austrian government to reclaim a family painting that had been stolen by the Nazis in Vienna.

The Hundred-Foot Journey

True? Nope. This film about a rivalry between two drastically different restaurants was based on Richard Morais' novel of the same name.


True? Yes — Mirren plays Alma Reville, wife of Alfred Hitchcock, in this movie based on the non-fiction book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.

State Of Play

True? No. This movie, also starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, and several other stars, is a totally made-up political thriller. Mirren's character Cameron Lynne, a newspaper editor, was equally fictional.

It can be hard to judge whether certain Helen Mirren movies are based on true stories, but in the case of Eye in the Sky, that hardly seems to be the point. What matters more is that the movie raises relevant questions about a type of warfare that is becoming more and more common. And if there's one person to tackle such questions, it's Helen Mirren.

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