That wasn’t the first mention of a cinematic adaption. In February 2019, Macdonald announced on Twitter that he had “begun the process of adapting Based on a True Story into a film”.
He did not update us, but, thanks to Edgers, we now know that he wrote a screenplay — albeit a rough draft — after his second stem cell transplant to treat his cancer, with which he was diagnosed in 2013. After another transplant and a later hospital stay that resulted in an infection, Macdonald passed away on Sept. 14, 2021, aged 61.
First titled Based on a True Story: A Memoir and then changed to Based on a True Story: Not a Memoir after people doubted the veracity of its outrageous plot, the 2016 book is a meditation on the concept of truth versus fact. The book is true, Macdonald had claimed, but not factual — the same that is said of great novels, since they can tell the truth of existence better than stringent non-fiction. Based on a True Story is considered one of the greatest comedic novels of all-time and almost certainly the most narratively complex celebrity “memoir”.
Keep on the lookout for a Based on a True Story movie after checking out Macdonald’s first posthumous release Nothing Special when it debuts on Netflix on May 30.