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Is the Netflix series Echoes based on a book?

Madison and Victoria Abbott in Echoes
Madison and Victoria Abbott in Echoes (Image credit: Netflix)

The Netflix limited series Echoes has people talking. It’s a clever story of twin sisters who have switched places throughout their lives, but their carefully laid plans fall apart when one of the twins goes missing. We’ve already talked about where Echoes was filmed and what happened to the twins at the end of the series. Now fans are wondering whether the series was based on a book. 

Echoes is not based on a book. The series’ creator, Australian writer and director Vanessa Gazy, came up with the idea almost 10 years ago while she was in film school in 2014. 

Gazy, who is known for creating the original series Eden, first came up with the idea for Echoes during the Bundanon Trust Artist-in-Residence Program. It became the basis for a one-page outline she pitched during the Endemol Shine Australia’s Smart like a Girl: ROAR initiative in 2017. From there, the project started gaining momentum. 

In an interview with IT (opens in new tab), Gazy said the process of bringing Echoes to life over such a long period of time gave her a sense of how Netflix works. "It started as a much more domestic show set in Tasmania with references to Top of the Lake and True Detective. That’s not to say that some of those references are still not there, but over time, Netflix really wanted to expand the idea and make it more universal because they really saw the potential for international appeal."

Though Gazy was the one who dreamed up twins Gina and Leni (played by Michelle Monaghan) swapping lives, jobs and even husbands, she found that once the show was picked up for development she had to fight for her vision to come to life in the writer’s room. 

"Suddenly I was in this big American [writer’s] room sticking up for my show and sticking up for my ideas while working with the showrunner and writing team to get the show to the place it is now," she said. "It comes with a huge amount of joy but also heartbreak because you’re watching ideas you deeply love be binned and you’re trying to fight for them, but often there’s very little you can do."

The show turned out to be a big hit, quickly landing in the Netflix Top 10 TV Shows in the US after its August 19 premiere on the streaming service. Though there are no plans for a second season of Echoes, showrunners Quinton Peeples and Brian Yorkey have expressed a desire to continue Gina and Leni’s story and they’re awaiting a green light from Netflix. 

Echoes is available to stream on Netflix right now. 

Sarabeth Pollock
Editorial Content Producer


Sarabeth joined the Watch to Watch team in May 2022. An avid TV and movie fan, her perennial favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, true crime documentaries on Netflix and anything from Passionflix. You’ve Got Mail, Ocean's Eleven and Signs are movies that she can watch all day long.  

When she's not working, Sarabeth hosts a podcast dedicated to books and interviews with authors and actors. She’s also very close to realizing her lifelong dream of publishing a novel.