Donald Glover’s newest series “Swarm” takes a horrifying turn when fame and obsession violently intersect. The dark first trailer stars Dominique Fishback as the troubled loner Dre, which explores the extreme lengths fans are willing to go to in order to protect the image of their favorite superstars. The series even references history by depicting some of the wildly imaginative stories that emerged from those Beyoncé headline-dominating days, even throwing a bit of truth into the mix.
The series left a question of whether Swarm is based on a true story. Prime Video’s nasty, acclaimed series has finally dropped – but is its tale of obsession based on real events? Is Andrea Greene a real person?
#1. Swarm is based on a true story?
The series masterfully blends fact and fiction. After tricking FX into making “Atlanta,” Donald Glover turned to Amazon Prime for his next subversive series. With fellow “Atlanta” writer and Houston native Janine Nabers, “Swarm” intermingles fact and fiction in the Beyoncé-inspired drama. This starts with the tragic death of Marissa Jackson (Chloe Bailey), who dies by suicide after she and her beloved Ni’Jah suffer an irrevocable heartbreak.
The original fabricated story, which “Swarm” draws inspiration from, gained traction in 2016 when a young woman by the same name was rumored to have died the same way. False reports said she committed the act after learning about Jay-Z’s infidelity with Beyoncé from her visual album “Lemonade.” This was ultimately debunked, though the story already made a lasting impact, as “Swarm” reiterates.
Another uncanny reference is seen when Dre’s obsession reaches scary new levels. She takes a bite out of Ni’Jah’s face, reminding viewers of the fever dream that was known as the “#WhoBitBeyoncé” phenomenon. These striking parallels take the unnerving nature of “Swarm” to the next level by showing the terrifying power of delusion, which frequently follows extreme obsession.
Related: How Did Chloe Die In ‘Swarm’? Ending Fully Explained
#2. Is Dre Based on a Real Serial Killer?
No, Dre is not based on a real serial killer. She is a fictional character created by Donald Glover and Janine Nabers for the Prime Video series. While Glover had been considering the idea of making a show about an obsessed fan who takes a darker turn, he saw a tweet that said: “Why does every Black woman on TV have to be a therapist or a funny best friend or someone looking for love or a teacher? We can be crazy. We can be serial killers too.”
Noticing that the stories of serial killers are generally reserved for white men, Glover and Nabers decided to break that pattern and create a serial killer of their own. “We wanted to take some of that white male energy and channel it into a Black woman who gives zero f—s,” Nabers said. Instead of showing Dre as entirely evil, they played with the idea of an anti-hero, in the lines of Don Draper and Tony Soprano, seen “through the lens of a Black, modern-day woman.”
Calling Dre “very much an alien in any situation she’s put in,” Nabers explained music’s role in her story. “Every person in the world has some sort of connection to music. So that was a very strong way in which we wanted to lead the audience into this character. The language she speaks is this star’s mythology,” she said. Seeing just how invested fans can be in the lives and art of their favorite celebrities, they made Dre an exaggerated version of the stans known to become aggressive on social media.
The creators of Dre looked toward characters like Erika from ‘The Piano Teacher.’ They also studied serial killers and characters known for their moral ambiguity. “I think a lot of those characters that we call iconic [rely] on their dangerousness and in their charisma and the power to hold space,” the co-creator of the series added. Actress Dominique Fishback, who plays Dre, revealed that she watched movies like ‘Monster,’ ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ to prepare for the role.
Source: The US sun
To add more authenticity to the character, the writers looked toward real-life events that they could incorporate into Dre’s story. Instead of creating some bizarre fictional thing that she does, they opted to search for similar things that have happened in real-life to make Dre’s actions more believable to the audience. For example, in one scene, Dre ends up biting Ni’Jah. This is a direct reference to the incident that happened with Beyoncé, who serves as the inspiration for Ni’Jah, at an after-party of Jay-Z’s concert.
Similarly, in one episode, Dre is so amazed by Ni’Jah in a concert that she runs to the stage to meet the singer she has worshipped as a goddess all these years. This incident is similar to what happened in August 2018 at a concert where Beyoncé and Jay-Z performed together. These details confirm that while Dre might be a fictional character, the creators of ‘Swarm’ have made sure to make her as realistic as possible.
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