Is 'Money Heist' ('La Casa de Papel') Based on a True Story?

Is 'Money Heist' ('La Casa de Papel') based on a true story or a real robbery? The hit Netflix series is set to conclude with a two-volume Part 5.

Shannon Raphael - Author

Sep. 3 2021, Published 10:28 a.m. ET

'Money Heist'
Source: Netflix

SPOILER Alert: This article contains spoilers for Parts 1 through 4 of Money Heist.

The popular Spanish Netflix series Money Heist (La Casa de Papel) focuses on a group of robbers led by the Professor (Álvaro Morte) as they attempt to steal from the Royal Mint of Spain (Parts 1 and 2) and the Bank of Spain (Parts 3-5).

The robbers, who were all hand-picked by the Professor ahead of the first heist, all have different skills. Every person is integral to each of the operations.

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Though the leader tries to plan for any and all possible roadblocks during the heists, the criminals often face unexpected issues, which leads to fighting within the group, tense interactions with the police, and even heartbreaking deaths.

The first heist was for the money, while the second heist was to save Rio (Miguel Herrán) after he's captured by Europol. Are either of the aforementioned burglaries based on true stories? Plus, keep reading to find out where the show was filmed.

'Money Heist'
Source: Netflix
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Is 'Money Heist' based on a true story?

Though Netflix has profiled real robbery stories with documentary shows like Heist and This Is a Robbery: The World's Biggest Art Heist, Money Heist is completely fictional.

While many people have likely fantasized over the years about taking the riches that are being made in a major mint or that are already inside a bank, the drama is not based on any particular robbery.

Writer Álex Pina and director Jesús Colmenar came up with the idea for the plot after working together on a prison series, Locked Up (Vis a Vis). The two had just created their own production company, Vancouver Media, and they recognized that there hadn't been a Spanish series about a heist before.

The plot isn't based on any real event, but interested viewers can visit some of the Money Heist filming locations.

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Where was 'Money Heist' filmed?

While the first two parts of the series take place in the Royal Mint of Spain, the manufacturing location was not actually utilized on the show. Most of the scenes for Parts 1 and 2 were filmed in the greater Madrid area.

The exterior of the headquarters for the Spanish National Research Council were used to represent the outside of the Royal Mint. Those intense rooftop scenes were actually shot on top of a building at the Technical University of Madrid.

'Money Heist'
Source: Netflix
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The sprawling estate where the Professor brought the robbers to plan the heist is located in Torrelodones.

The latter episodes took place largely at the Bank of Spain, but the outside of the government complex, Nuevos Ministerios, was used as a filming location.

Scenes were also filmed at the Netflix production hub in Tres Cantos. The Italian monastery where the robbers meet to go over the details of the second heist was actually located in Carrascal del Río in Spain.

The underwater vault scenes were filmed in the United Kingdom. Panama, Thailand, and Italy were also shooting locations for scenes from the beginning of Part 3, when the robbers are enjoying their riches.

Money Heist Parts 1 through Part 5, Volume 1 are available to stream on Netflix now. Volume 2 of Part 5 drops on the streamer on Dec. 3.

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