Norm Macdonald adapted his book into a screenplay before he died
In addition to a Netflix comedy special, Norm Macdonald left behind a screenplay for a film adaptation of his celebrated book, Based on a True Story.
Geoff Edgers, Macdonald’s trusted scribe, wrote in the Washington Post that the Canadian comedian adapted his “memoir” into film form sometime around June 2020.
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.