Is the Terminal List based on a true story and will there be a season 2?

Viewers want to know if the Chris Pratt drama is based on true events

Terminal List based on true story as the Amazon Prime Video hit streams. Picture shows Chris Pratt pointing a gun
(Image credit: Amazon Prime Video/Future)

From the cast to whether The Terminal List is based on a true story and the possibility of a season 2 - we've answered all your burning questions.

The Terminal List starring Chris Pratt, landed on Amazon Prime Video on July 1,2022. Pratt is cast as Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander James Reece in the political action thriller, who is left devastated at the death of his entire platoon. While investigating the mysterious deaths his suspicions are aroused, and he begins to suspect a conspiracy. Reece draws on nearly two decades of warfare experience to hunt down those he feels are behind killing his teammates, avenging them by crossing names from his terminal list one at a time. 

It's not the only action-packed show available in a solid streaming line up this July - thanks to BBC thriller You Don't Know Me and Channel 5's beautifully filmed The Holiday landing on Netflix. Those seeking dystopian thrills, will also enjoy Netflix’s Spiderhead which delivers on sci-fi action and interesting filming locations.      

Is The Terminal List based on a true story? 

No, The Terminal List is not based on a true story. The series is instead based on the fictional novels of author Jack Carr. Carr was once a Navy SEAL himself, drawing on this experience to develop characters and plotlines. First published in 2018, the novel comprises a 5 book series:The Terminal List, True Believer, Savage Son, The Devil's Hand, and In the Blood.

In The Terminal List, not only are Lieutenant Commander James Reece’s entire team ambushed and killed in Aleppo, but also the aircrew sent to rescue them. Arriving home, further devastation awaits Reece when his wife and daughter are murdered by masked assassins. 

Reece suspects an act of war by a foreign enemy, but instead uncovers a government conspiracy at the highest level. Alone, and no longer bound by the structure of military command, Reece can ruthlessly avenge the deaths of his family and teammates. He carries out his revenge attacks with no regard for the laws of combat, or the rule imposed by law.

Adapting The Terminal List for screen

The Cinemaholic reported the adaptation of the book began with another Navy SEAL, Jared Shaw. Shaw had worked with Chris Pratt on Zero Dark Thirty, and also knew Jack Carr through his time with the Navy SEALS. 

On reading The Terminal List, Shaw ensured Pratt got hold of a copy. Pratt immediately pursued the book for a television adaption. Pratt teamed with  director Antoine Fuqua, with the initial idea of a film adaption. However, they were so drawn to the characters and conspiracies within the book, they decided a series was required to do them justice.

The Terminal List: A Thriller (Volume 1 Paperback) - £8.99 | Amazon

The Terminal List: A Thriller (Volume 1 Paperback) - £8.99 | Amazon

Written by New York Times bestselling author Jack Carr, read the book that inspired the Amazon Original series.

Pratt worked closely with real-life Navy SEALs to prepare for the role, and other military veterans came aboard to assist in the show’s development. Speaking to Digital Spy, Pratt discussed creating the authentic movements and body language of a special operator:

He said “that training in itself was probably the most specific training, beyond just being sure you can do push-ups and pull-ups and run and be physically fit and all that kind of stuff that you can do however you want to do. There's a specificity to the movements of them in battle that we really wanted to try to maintain so we could hit that level of authenticity that we're after”. 

a medium shot of actor Chris Pratt in Navy uniform next to an American flag

(Image credit: Courtesy of Prime Video)

 Terminal List: Cast 

  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation, Zero Dark Thirty) as Lieutenant Commander James Reece 
  • Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights, True Detective) as Ben Edwards
  • Constance Wu (Fresh off The Boat, Hustlers) as Katie Buranek
  • Riley Keough (It Comes at Night, Logan Lucky) as Lauren Reece
  • Jeanne Tripplehorn (Big Love, Criminal Minds) as Lorraine Hartley
  • Nick Chinlund (The Sopranos, Castle) as Rear Admiral Gerald Pillar
  • Matthew Rauch (Wolf of Wall Street, Labor Day) as Captain Leonard Howard
  • LaMonica Garrett (Sons of Anarchy, 1883) as Commander Bill Cox
  • Patrick Schwarzenegger (The Long Road Home, The Staircase) as Donald "Donny" Mitchell
  • Arlo Mertz (Mank, Wildling) as Lucy Reece       

Speaking to Collider about the many aspects of the book drawing him to the role, Pratt said “there were a multitude of draws for me that were emotionally driven, relationally driven, practically driven, and career driven. 

"I wanted to surprise people," he continued. "I wanted to do something I’d never done before. I wanted to produce something. I wanted to take something that was a book and turn it into something that lived on screen, and be a part of every single aspect, every step along the way. That was a challenge, and something I’d never done before”.

Praising Pratt’s performance, journalist Jim Schembri said “The Terminal List is another marker of how successfully Chris Pratt has evolved from being the hilarious klutz to the credible action hero”, adding “Pratt brings to his angry angel of vengeance a fragile underside that cuts into the righteousness of his actions”. 

Commending Pratt and his co-stars on social media, one Twitter user wrote “The Terminal List is one of my favourite things in entertainment this year. I was totally enthused by the plot and enjoyed a rare immersion as I revelled in the performances of Chris Pratt, Taylor Kitsch, and Constance Wu”.

How many episodes of The Terminal List?

There are 8 episodes in the series. Each episode is between 51 - 65 minutes in length, and all episodes arrived on Amazon Prime video at the same time. 

To stream the series, Amazon Prime membership costs £7.99 per month for a monthly subscription, or £79 per year for an annual membership. This includes all benefits that come with the membership. There is a 30 day free trial available prior to any commitment. 

For those only wanting to use Amazon's video service, a separate Amazon Prime Video subscription is available for £5.99 per month. This does not include any other Amazon Prime membership services. 

Will there be a season 2 of The Terminal List? 

A second season remains unconfirmed, but there have been hints made. Speaking to ComicBook, The Terminal List producer David DiGilio said he had his “fingers crossed” for a second season. 

He added “we're really lucky - Jack is writing at an incredibly fast pace, a novel per year. It's a little faster than we can make the shows, so he's maybe too far out. Just take a little break, I'd say. But we're really lucky, and I'd encourage anybody who loved season one, to go check out True Believer. It's an incredible read and it's a great blueprint for season two”.

Fans are certainly hoping to see the show return, with one writing on Twitter “I hope we don't wait too long for season 2 of The Terminal List. I enjoyed watching S1. Full of action and Chris Pratt's acting skills are unmatched”.

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Lucy Wigley
Parenting writer - contributing

Lucy is a mum-of-two, multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ of experience writing about parenting, family life, and TV. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and sharing why you - and your kids - should watch them.