Above: (L come R) marine SEALs Matthew G. Axelson, Daniel R. Healy, James Suh, Marcus Luttrell, Eric S. Patton, and also Michael P. Murphy in Afghanistan. With the exception of Luttrell, every were eliminated June 28, 2005, by foe forces if supporting procedure Red Wings. Below: (L come R) Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Matt “Axe” Axelson (Ben Foster) and Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch) in Lone Survivor.

You are watching: Is the movie lone survivor based on a true story

Photos courtesy global Pictures


Much has been do of the accuracy that Lone Survivor, which has actually been commonly praised because that its realism and even called “one the the many realistic war movies of every time.” To carry out much the its authenticity, writer-director Peter Berg worked closely with Marcus Luttrell, the navy SEAL played by mark Wahlberg in the film, and the author of the memoir the the very same name. However, if the movie recreates plenty of of the realities of war in painstaking detail, it likewise diverges considerably from the real-life procedure Red Wings. In an short article on OnViolence.com, Michael and Eric Cummings detail numerous of the an imaginative liberties the movie takes through its portrayal of the mission. For example, Luttrell no flatline, Shah probably wasn’t a member of al Qaeda, and the final battle depicted in the film never happened. The write-up has been adapted and reprinted through their permission below.


Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Marcus Luttrell Didn’t virtually Die

Lone Survivor opens with voiceover together a dice Marcus Luttrell is airlifted earlier to a military base. As the aircraft lands, Marcus Luttrell literally dies. Here’s just how the screenplay reads:

Surgical fill working franticly to save Luttrell.

Tight on heart MONITOR: FLATLINE …

Pushing in on the flatline. Alarm screaming. Tight on Luttrell’s eyes beginning to glaze over. Dying.

According come Luttrell’s memoir, however, that was no in mortal danger. ~ the military Rangers rescue Luttrell, the military Rangers “radioed into base that I had been found, that i was stable and unlikely come die.” They additionally stop and have tea through the locals, which friend wouldn’t execute with a dying man.


Advertisement

Which local Afghan found Luttrell?

After the battle, follow to the book, Luttrell is discovered by a local man named Sarawa, who additionally tends come his wounds:

I observed the leader walk up to me. That smiled and also said his name was Sarawa.

In the film, a regional man called Gulab rescues him:

A 30 year old masculine GULAB, the leader, strong rugged handsome, measures forward. Hands up in peace.

GULAB: no Taliban.

According come Luttrell’s 60 Minutes interview, “That’s when an Afghan guy appeared. Luttrell later learned his name was Mohammad Gulab.” Luttrell might have changed this information to safeguard Gulab native retribution, yet Gulab is stated by name later in the memoir. (Though yes sir a difference there, too: In the film, Gulab stays behind after ~ Luttrell leaves. In the book, he joins Luttrell on the helicopter ride.)


Advertisement
Advertisement

Marcus Luttrell Wasn’t nearly Beheaded by Ahmad Shah’s Soldiers


*

Left: Taylor Kitsch as Michael Murphy in Lone Survivor. Right: Navy SEAL sublievenant Michael P. Murphy, eliminated in activity on Jun. 28, 2005.

Photos courtesy universal Pictures,U.S. Navy


Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Was Ahmad shaman Really al Qaeda?

Ahmad shah was an insurgent leader in Afghanistan, i beg your pardon is why the Marines in the Pech launched Operation Red Wings. But there is a large difference between a local, Afghan insurgent leader and also “one of Osama bin Laden’s the next associates,” as he’s explained in Luttrell’s memoir, or “a high-level al Qaeda operative,” together he’s described in the manufacturing notes and on the film’s main site. Follow to Victory suggest author Ed Darack, Ahmad shaman was not a member the al Qaeda and also had never met Osama bin Laden prior to procedure Red Wings. Shah Didn’t death 20 Marines in the Week prior to Operation Red Wings

In the film, Matthew Axelson (played by Ben Foster) insurance claims that Shah killed 20 Marines in the week prior to Operation Red Wings. (This case is in both trailers.) as iCasualties.org shows, the U.S. Walk not shed 20 Marines in the week prior to Operation Red Wings. Just two U.S. Soldiers or Marines died in Kunar province in 2005 prior to Operation Red Wings. In the week prior to Operation Red Wings, only 2 soldiers died in the whole country. Approximately that point, only 5 Marines had passed away in combat because the war started.

See more: (Everyth I Do It For You Country Song S About Missing Someone

Who Planned and also Led operation Red Wings?

Both the film and also the book much more or less ignore the function of Marines in conceiving, planning, and leading procedure Red Wings. The Marines brought in SEALs to gain accessibility to aviation support.