Is Kandahar Based on a True Story? Check the Plot and Cast

Are you wondering is Kandahar based on a true story? Check here to know about the real-life inspiration behind the story of the 2023 American action thriller film, “Kandahar”.
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by Aishwarya R R | Updated May 25, 2023

Is Kandahar Based on a True Story? Check the Plot and Cast


Kandahar is an upcoming American thriller directed by the brilliant Ric Roman Waugh and brought to life through the remarkable screenplay by Mitchell LaFortune. This star-studded film boasts Gerard Butler as both the lead actor and producer, alongside a talented supporting cast including Navid Negahban, Ali Fazal, Bahador Foladi, Nina Toussaint-White, Vassilis Koukalani, Mark Arnold, Corey Johnson, and Travis Fimmel.

Mark your calendars for an unforgettable cinematic experience as Kandahar hits theaters on May 26, 2023, courtesy of Open Road Films. The origins of this riveting tale can be traced back to June 2016 when Mitchell LaFortune, drawing from his firsthand experiences at the Defense Intelligence Agency during the tumultuous Snowden leaks, sold his captivating spec script, Burn Run, to Thunder Road Films. The script's powerful narrative became the foundation for what would evolve into the enthralling Kandahar.

In a captivating turn of events, Gerard Butler, renowned for his outstanding performances, took on the role of producer and lead actor for this highly anticipated project. Joining forces once again with Ric Roman Waugh, the visionary director behind the acclaimed films Angel Has Fallen and Greenland, Butler brings his immense talent and star power to elevate the intensity of Kandahar to new heights.

The cast further shines with the addition of Ali Fazal and Navid Negahban, who joined the production in December 2021, bringing their remarkable skills and captivating presence to the film. Production embarked on an extraordinary journey, commencing on December 2, 2021, in the majestic landscapes of Saudi Arabia, specifically in Al-Ula and Jeddah. Kandahar thus became the first big-budget U.S. feature to grace the stunning vistas of this remarkable country.

The ensemble was further enriched by the exceptional talents of Nina Toussaint-White and Bahador Foladi, who joined the cast in that same eventful month. With filming concluded in January 2022, Kandahar stands as a testament to the collaborative efforts and artistic vision that have brought this thrilling story to life.

With a blend of exceptional performances, masterful direction, and a captivating screenplay, this film promises to leave audiences spellbound. Brace yourself for an extraordinary cinematic experience that will linger in your mind long after the final credits roll, as Kandahar immerses you in a world of intrigue, danger, and unrelenting suspense.

Is Kandahar based on a True Story?

Yes,  Kandahar is based on a True Story. This Kandahar, helmed by director Ric Roman Waugh, delves into gripping real-life incidents, drawing inspiration from the experiences of a former military intelligence officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Afghanistan. From the very start, the trailer introduces Gerard Butler as a CIA agent, unraveling the plot of a government mission gone awry in Waugh's pulse-pounding cinematic masterpiece.

The narrative of Kandahar derives directly from the personal encounters of a former military intelligence officer, specifically during the tumultuous events of the 2013 Snowdown leaks. At its core, the story revolves around Tom Harris, an undercover CIA operative entrusted with the daunting task of neutralizing a catastrophic nuclear weapon that threatens an entire city. Despite accomplishing his mission, a leak in the intelligence exposes his cover, triggering relentless pursuit by Afghanistan's elite forces.

Now faced with a new mission, Tom Harris embarks on a treacherous journey alongside a local interpreter, traversing the unforgiving countryside with a single objective: reaching an old CIA base designated as their extraction point in Kandahar. However, with over 400 miles separating them from their destination, the duo must defy countless perils and race against the clock, striving to arrive at the extraction spot before it's too late.

Kandahar encapsulates the essence of a classic CIA mission, infused with a twist that weaves a gripping web of tension throughout the film. The knowledge that the script was crafted by an expert intimately familiar with such perilous missions only heightens our anticipation for a meticulously crafted action-packed experience.

So fans are prepared to be captivated by Kandahar, where the boundaries between duty and survival blur, and the stakes reach unprecedented heights. Brace yourself for an adrenaline-fueled journey that will keep you on the edge of your seat, as this well-crafted action movie unfolds with intensity, delivering an immersive and unforgettable cinematic encounter.

Kandahar Plot

Kandahar's intricate narrative springs forth from the spec script penned by Mitchell LaFortune, a former military intelligence officer, adding an undeniable layer of authenticity to the film. Set against the backdrop of the 2013 Snowden leaks, this cinematic gem presents a fresh and thought-provoking perspective on the unfolding events.

At the heart of the story, we find Tom Harris, a dedicated undercover CIA operative thrust into the depths of a hostile landscape in Afghanistan. As the plot unravels, Harris becomes a symbol of resilience and resourcefulness, accompanied by a vital Afghan translator who serves as a crucial ally. Together, they navigate a treacherous maze of challenges, evading the relentless pursuit of an elite special forces squad meticulously trained to apprehend them.

Kandahar weaves a tale of survival against insurmountable odds, highlighting the indomitable spirit of its protagonists. In the face of imminent danger and the ever-looming threat of capture, Harris and his companion embark on a daring journey, spanning a staggering 400 miles, towards an extraction point nestled in the heart of Kandahar, Afghanistan.

This film prompts introspection, urging us to ponder the complexities of loyalty, sacrifice, and the pursuit of justice. Through the eyes of Tom Harris and his unwavering resolve, we witness the harrowing realities of individuals caught in the crosshairs of geopolitical turmoil. Kandahar offers a poignant exploration of the human spirit, examining the lengths one can go to safeguard the greater good amidst chaos and adversity.

Prepare to embark on a cinematic experience that goes beyond mere entertainment. Kandahar beckons us to reflect on the intricate intricacies of life and the extraordinary journeys embarked upon by those who find themselves at the nexus of duty and survival. Brace yourself for a thought-provoking tale that will resonate long after the credits roll, as Kandahar sheds light on the triumph of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming challenges.

Kandahar Cast

Here are the cast and characters of the Kandahar movie:-



Gerard Butler

Tom Harris

Navid Negahban

Not revealed

Ali Fazal


Bahador Foladi

Farzad Asadi

Nina Toussaint-White

Not revealed

Vassilis Koukalani


Mark Arnold

Not revealed

Corey Johnson

Not revealed

Ravi Aujla

Not revealed

Ray Haratian

Ismail Rabbani

Tom Rhys Harries

Not revealed

Travis Fimmel

Not revealed

Olivia-Mai Barrett

Ida Harris

Rebecca Calder

Corrine Harris (voice)

Faizan Munawar Varya

Ahmed Nasiri

Kandahar Trailer

In an exhilarating turn of events, Kandahar unveiled its highly anticipated first-look images on February 10, 2023. As if that wasn't enough to ignite excitement, Open Road Films treated eager fans with an adrenaline-fueled trailer for Kandahar just a week later on February 16, 2023, unleashing a thrilling visual feast through their official YouTube channel.

From the very beginning of the trailer, Gerard Butler's commanding presence grabs our attention as he inquires about "the job" - an urgent mission centered around dismantling a perilous nuclear program. With this revelation, the movie's plot unfolds before our eyes, setting the stage for a pulse-pounding narrative. As the characters gear up and execute their daring attack, the screen showcases desolate landscapes, heightening the atmosphere of tension and anticipation.

In a captivating sequence, the trailer captures the explosive moment of the nuclear reactor's destruction, met with jubilation from the intelligence team. However, the euphoria is short-lived as news breaks, exposing Gerard Butler's character as the mastermind behind the audacious assault. With his true identity unveiled, he must now prepare to flee to the safety of an ancient CIA stronghold nestled in Kandahar, accompanied by his steadfast Afghan translator.

A race against time ensues, with our heroes facing a daunting challenge - covering a grueling distance of 400 miles in a mere 30 hours. As the trailer unfolds, suspense mounts, leaving us on the edge of our seats, eagerly questioning whether they will emerge triumphant in this battle for survival.

Get ready for a cinematic experience that will leave you breathless, as Kandahar pushes the boundaries of action and suspense. Brace yourself for an electrifying journey that will test the limits of courage and resilience. Will our heroes overcome the odds and emerge victorious? Only time will tell in this heart-stopping race against destiny.

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Is Kandahar based on a True Story - FAQs

1. What is the genre of the film Kandahar?

Kandahar is an action thriller film.

2. Who is the director of Kandahar?

The film is directed by Ric Roman Waugh.

3. What is a brief overview of the plot of Kandahar?

Kandahar follows the story of Tom Harris, an undercover CIA operative, who finds himself trapped in hostile territory in Afghanistan. When his cover is blown, he must fight his way to an extraction point in Kandahar, accompanied by an Afghan translator, while evading a relentless special forces unit.

4. When is Kandahar scheduled to be released?

Kandahar is slated for release in theaters on May 26, 2023.

5. Who are some of the key cast members in Kandahar?  

The film features Gerard Butler in the lead role as Tom Harris, along with Navid Negahban, Ali Fazal, Bahador Foladi, Nina Toussaint-White, Vassilis Koukalani, Mark Arnold, Corey Johnson, and Travis Fimmel in supporting roles.

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