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The man who inspired a Steven Spielberg classic has died

The man who inspired one of Steven Spielberg's classics has died, leaving fans of the movie reflecting on the strange story with real-life inspiration

Tom Hanks in The Terminal

Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the man behind the inspiration for Steven Spielberg‘s The Terminal, has died. The Terminal, a drama movie about a man who ends up living in an airport, released in 2004. The movie starred Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones in the leading roles, alongside Star Wars series star Diego Luna and MCU movie star Zoe Saldaña in the supporting cast.

The Terminal centred on a Hanks’s Viktor Navorski, a man from the fictional country of Krakozhia who gets stuck in an airport in New York following a violent military coup in his country which leaves him unable to travel back there. Left in a state of limbo, Viktor Navorski gradually makes his home in the airport and gets to know the staff and some frequent flyers, eventually falling in love with Zeta-Jones’s Amelia Warren.

Behind the fiction is a layer of truth, however. In 1988, an Iranian man named Mehran Karimi Nasseri was forced to stay in Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris after he had diplomatic trouble getting back to Iran. He eventually made a small corner of the airport his home, and he lived there for 18 years.

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Now, sadly, BBC news reports that Mehran Karimi Nasseri has died. He died in the airport where he had lived for so many years, after returning to live there once again several weeks ago. His story was certainly worthy of attention, and with the fact that the inspired the Spielberg romance movie, there will be many, many people across the world who continue to remember him.

For more on Steve Spielberg, who’s latest movie is the semi-autobiographical The Fabelmans, check out our guide to the Indiana Jones movies.