Is ‘Kaleidoscope’ based on a true story?

The Netflix series was loosely inspired by a real life heist

Netflix series Kaleidoscope follows a group of criminals, led by Leo Pap (Giancarlo Esposito), who aim to pull off a heist worth $7billion.

Created by Eric Garcia, the Netflix series follows Pap and his band of thieves, including Roger Salas (Rufus Sewell), Ava Mercer (Paz Vega) and Bob Goodwin (Jai Courtney), as they attempt to break into a vault during a storm which holds billions of dollars in bearer bonds.

The format for the series has attracted attention as it can be (mostly) watched in any order, aside from the closing episode ‘White’ which covers the actual heist.

Is Kaleidoscope based on true events?


Giancarlo Esposito in ‘Kaleidoscope’. CREDIT: Netflix

Sort of. The series is inspired by events on Wall Street that occurred back in 2012 in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which swept through the East Coast of the United States.

After the hurricane hit New York, an underground vault operated by the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp was flooded, which was linked to some of Wall Street’s biggest firms. It’s said the vault contained more than 1.7million bond and stock certificates which were soaked by water, including a reported $70billion in bearer bonds (via New York Post).

As reported by Reuters, the DTCC declined to disclose the value of the stocks and bonds affected, but a spokeswoman said it was a “very small percentage” of the $39.5trillion stored in the depository.

According to their annual report in 2013, the DTCC said 99.9 per cent of the certificates had been recovered and restored over the course of six months.

The mystery around the losses incurred led Garcia to the idea of using the premise as a basis for a heist. “That’s a perfect cover-up for a heist,” Garcia told Tudum. “If I’m doing a heist, I’m going to use Hurricane Sandy as my excuse.”


Other cast members in the series include Rosaline Elbay, Tati Gabrielle, Peter Mark Kendall and Hemky Madera.

Kaleidoscope is available to stream on Netflix now.

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