'The White Lotus'
Source: HBO Max

HBO Max's 'the White Lotus' Is Definitely Twisty, but Was It Based on a Book?

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Aug. 8 2021, Published 6:39 p.m. ET

The latest in HBO Max's line of thrilling miniseries, The White Lotus, combines the joy of vacation with secret-keeping and satire. Fans have praised the show's twists and turns as well as its star-studded cast, but can creator, director, and writer Mike White claim all the credit for the show's success? Or was The White Lotus based on a book first, as many other HBO adaptations have been?

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Read on to find out what we know about The White Lotus, and if it was based on a book or not.

'The White Lotus.'
Source: HBO Max
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So, is 'The White Lotus' based on a book?

Typically, when shows or movies are adapted from page to screen, there's an acknowledgment of the adaptation somewhere in the credits. No matter how loosely or close to the material screenwriters follow the book, the line "Based on the book by" is mandatory to avoid cries of plagiarism (amongst other things.)

The White Lotus, however, makes no claims to be based on any adaptation. Creator, writer, and director Mike White has crafted this genius story all on his own, although it's safe to say that many who work at resorts could relate to taking care of unsympathetic and self-absorbed patrons. If there is a book with a similar premise to The White Lotus, this is merely a coincidence.

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'The White Lotus.'
Source: HBO Max

The Cinemaholic notes that the writing and inspiration come from Mike White's real experiences vacationing in Hawaii, where he now owns a writer's retreat on Kauai. However, this also allows him to more strongly hone in on the exploitation of the locals by wealthy vacationers who expect the world to be handed to them on a silver platter.

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'The White Lotus.'
Source: HBO Max

What are other shows Mike White has written or directed?

If you're already caught up on the latest episode or wishing The White Lotus' six episodes would never end, never fear! Mike White is no stranger to Hollywood, and he has a few other projects for you to check out before or after The White Lotus has finished.

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One of Mike White's most notable projects is School of Rock, which has accumulated cult status and also been adapted into a musical of the same name. Mike wrote the screenplay for the film, which stars Jack Black as an aspiring rockstar who becomes a substitute teacher after being given the boot by his band.

'The White Lotus'
Source: HBO Max
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Consequentially, Mike White also wrote another Jack Black film called Nacho Libre, this time as a monk and Lucha libre fan who participates in wrestling to earn money for the orphanage he works for. But Mike's projects haven't been all humor all the time, and in 2011, he wrote an HBO show titled Enlightened that focused on a self-destructive CEO determined to take back her life in rehab.

'The White Lotus.'
Source: HBO Max

Due to the critical acclaim The White Lotus is receiving, it wouldn't be a surprise if Mike continued to write the dramedy series for HBO. Maybe he will collaborate with Jack Black again in the future? We can't wait to find out.

The White Lotus is streaming on HBO Max and airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

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