'True Memoirs Of An International Assassin' Isn’t A True Story, Despite Its Title
Netflix continues to expand its original movie offerings this month with the release of the new comedy, True Memoirs of an International Assassin. Unlike the last couple of Netflix original comedies, this one doesn't star Adam Sandler. Instead, it features his buddy Kevin James as an aspiring spy novel author who is mistaken for a real secret agent after his book is published as a nonfiction account against his will. A wild tale, for sure, but is True Memoirs of an International Assassin a true story?
No. Despite it's title, nothing about the film is true, and mistaking it for a nonfiction movie would basically follow the plot of the film. In the movie, James' character turns his novel, called Memoirs of an International Assassin, over to his publisher — who changes the title to True Memoirs of an International Assassin. That one word results in the book's classification being changed from fiction to nonfiction, and Joe ends up becoming embroiled in an international conspiracy when criminal mastermind El Toro (Andy Garcia) believes him to be the legendary assassin known as "The Ghost" and hires him to assassinate the president of his Latin American country. It's then up to a badass DEA agent, portrayed by Zulay Henao, to help get Joe out of trouble. So since the movie is a complete work of fiction, where did it come from?
The film was written by screenwriter Jeff Morris, who previously was probably best known for penning the 2014 TV movie, Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever. Morris' script for True Memoirs had been floating around Hollywood for some time, and it appeared on The Black List (the coveted list of the industry's best unproduced screenplays) back in 2009, according to Deadline's Nikki Finke. It wasn't until 2015 that Netflix bought the rights to the comedy.
Even though the plot isn't real, a lot of the stunts seen on screen are. The film is by far the most action-heavy James has ever done, and the actor told Today in a recent interview that he performed a good number of them himself — though he had no interest in doing any that involved heights. "A lot of my own, yes," James said when asked if he did many of his own stunts. "I'm not good with heights. We were up in a helicopter .... I lock up, I just can't move. It's tough to act when you're up there that high. Other than that, we prepared so much for this movie. We drilled for like a month beforehand just working out and choreographing the fights." One person for whom the movie was all too real was actor Génesis Rodríguez, who had to pull out of the film after injuring herself while performing a stunt (Henao replaced her in the cast).
True Memoirs of an International Assassin certainly isn't a true story, but a lot of the action seen on screen is very real indeed — just ask Rodríguez.