Is Manifest based on a true story? (Is Manifest based on MH370?)

Manifest. (L to R) Josh Dallas as Ben Stone, Melissa Roxburgh as Michaela Stone in episode 406 of Manifest. Cr. Peter Kramer/Netflix © 2022
Manifest. (L to R) Josh Dallas as Ben Stone, Melissa Roxburgh as Michaela Stone in episode 406 of Manifest. Cr. Peter Kramer/Netflix © 2022 /

Manifest fans might still be waiting for the arrival of the final ten episodes of the beloved series, but the show is back in the headlines again thanks in part to the arrival of a new documentary series on Netflix: MH370: The Plane That Disappeared

In the new documentary, Netflix revisits the story of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 as it delves into the mysterious disappearance of the plane back in 2014. The documentary takes a look at the events surrounding the plane’s disappearance and with it the 239 people aboard who seemed to vanish from all radar in what has become one of the greatest modern mysteries.

The documentary’s release has left many wondering if MH370 is what helped to inspire the story of Manifest, which is of course built around a plane that goes missing and returns five years later.

While the show features many supernatural elements such as the Callings the passengers of Flight 828 experience, there are many plotlines in Manifest that are connected to real-life figures, artifacts, and events from history.

It’s also common knowledge that a flight going missing without explanation has occurred in the real world before, which seems to have many wondering if the core concept of the show was inspired by a true story with fictional elements added in for dramatic effect.

Is Manifest based on MH370?

While Manifest does reference real-life events, artifacts, and people, the show is not based on a true story and is purely a work of fiction stemming from the mind of creator Jeff Rake. That said, it turns out a real-life event did help the idea to take off!

During an interview with SYFY Wire, Rake acknowledged that Malaysian Airlines Flight 370’s disappearance did play a “pivotal role” in the show becoming a reality.

While Rake had come up with the concept for the show before the Malaysian Airlines flight went missing in April 2014 and attempted pitching the show to various networks, the disappearance of Flight 370 suddenly made his show’s concept seem “a little more real.”

As Rake noted, the events that unfolded in real-life created an interest in bringing the complex chronologies and mysteries of the series to life. This increased interest is what helped the show eventually be ordered to series, providing Rake with the opportunity to explore the stories he envisioned telling through the show.

Still, it’s important to stress Manifest was not based on what happened to Flight 370.

Manifest is streaming now on Netflix.

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