Is Kaleidoscope on Netflix based on a true story?

True crime and Netflix go hand in hand, so it's no surprise the streaming platform has taken on the heist genre with the epic new anthology series, Kaleidoscope.

Dropping on New Year's Day, the limited series has been on the scene for a while now, starting off its life back in 2021 under the working title, Jigsaw.

But with a cast that includes Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito and The Holiday's Jasper (Rufus Sewell), plus being loosely based on a New York IRL heist, it's hardly unexpected that the show has attracted *a lot* of attention.

Here's everything we know about the true story behind Kaleidoscope...

What is Kaleidoscope about?

For some context, the series follows a group of thieves organised by Leo Pap (Esposito) as they embark on a mission to break into a vault containing $7 billion in bonds.

The episodes focus on the lives of the criminals, including explosive expert Judy (Rosaline Elbay), weapons specialist Ava (Paz Vega), smuggler Stan (Peter Mark Kendall), safe-cracker Bob (Jai Courtney) and driver RJ (Jordan Mendoza) as well as Roger Salasthe (Sewell), the head of a corporate security company they're trying to take down.

Spanning 25 years - from 24 years before the heist to six months after - the series documents every aspect of the criminal activity.

How is Kaleidoscope based on a true story?

In short, the show is somewhat based on true events that happened during Hurricane Sandy. Back in 2012, the hurricane caused destruction throughout the Caribbean and the US East Coast, leaving $81.9 billion in damages in its aftermath.

However, Wall Street was also financially affected by the storm, as a whopping $70 billion in bearer bonds went missing. Cue the inspiration for the series.

Kaleidoscope "is loosely based on a thing that might have happened," showrunner Eric Garcia told Netflix's Tudum.

"That’s a perfect cover-up for a heist. If I’m doing a heist, I’m going to use Hurricane Sandy as my excuse," he added.

While there may not have been a group of thieves involved in real life, both stories include lots of water. When the hurricane made its way to NYC in late October of 2012, floodwaters entered a large depository underneath downtown New York. The vault in question housed over 1.7 million stock and bond certificates - all of which were soaked by the water, including the $70 billion worth of bearer bonds.

So, if you're into heists, programmes based loosely around true crime, plus interactive shows (Kaleidoscope randomises the order the episodes are played to challenge your perspective on the characters), then this series will definitely be up your street.

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