Anne Hathaway’s new romcom isn’t the first Harry Styles ‘fanfiction’ to be made into a film
Posted by  badge Boss on Mar 08

‘From the acclaimed novel’ proudly declares The Idea of You trailer, which features as a single mum who falls for a much younger pop star.

Wish fulfilment to the maximum, the movie has already attracted attention as the novel in question — written by Robinne Lee — has long been likened to fanfiction.

In the new movie, Anne plays 40-year-old Solène Marchand, who meets her boyband love interest, Hayes Campbell, at and the pair spark an unlikely romance.

A swoon-worthy moment sees the 24-year-old heartthrob (Nicholas Galitzine) wave to her in the crowd while on stage with his fictional band August Moon.

While the author denies the direct comparison, the similarities between the Hayes and the former icon are hard to ignore.

For those unfamiliar, fanfiction is a genre of stories written by fans that takes existing people or characters and creates an alternative life for them.

The Idea of You is based off a romance novel from 2017 (Picture: Alisha Wetherill/Prime)
Fans have pointed out similarities of the leading man to Harry Styles (Picture: Prime)

Popularised by fandoms like , K-pop, and of course ‘Directioners’, most fanfics exist free to peruse on websites like Wattpad or AO3.

However, rather than post her Harry Styles-esque romance for free, Robinne’s The Idea of You was published as a steamy novel in 2017.

‘This was never supposed to be a book about Harry Styles,’ she revealed to in 2020, as both the novel and the singer’s popularity skyrocketed.

As she told blogger  in 2017, she had been innocently surfing the internet and ‘came across the face of a boy I’d never seen in a band I’d never paid attention to… It was like art.’

Boyband star Hayes Campbell falls for the mum of a fan after a fateful encounter (Picture: Alisha Wetherill/Prime)
The author admitted the character has some inspiration from Harry (Picture: Alisha Wetherill/Prime)
Some One Direction era pictures highlight the similarities (Picture: Kevin Mazur/OneD/Getty Images)

Harry — or Hayes — came more into focus as the author discovered her As It Was singer muse ‘often dated older women’ and so ‘the seed was planted.’

This is likely referring to his rumoured relationships with the late Caroline Flack, then 32, when he was 17 or romance two years later with Nicole Scherzinger, then 35.

While Robinne prefers to see her romantic hero as a nod to the British icon, the filmmakers are certainly leaning into the link with poses and outfits reminiscent of the star.

For August Moon’s singles, Carl Folk and Savan Kotecha are credited as songwriters, having previously penned One Direction’s hit What Makes You Beautiful.

Nicholas stated to he wished to create a character ‘akin’ to Harry but not a ‘shoddy imitation’, while Robinne previously stated that ‘inspired’ was the wrong word.

As bizarre as it may seem, this isn’t actually the first time a Harry Styles ‘fanfiction’ has been turned into a film series — who could forget 2019’s After?

Originally published on Wattpad, After had reached 544million readers in the first months, leading to a publishing deal for the book series.

Anne Hathaway stars opposite Nicholas Galitzine (Picture: Alisha Wetherill/Prime)
Only time will tell if it fairs better critically than After (Picture: Alisha Wetherill/Prime)

Supposed bad boy Harry and his bandmates were all named in the original fanfic but relocated to an alternative reality where they attended Washington State University.

The critically panned movie starred Selma Blair as well as Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Josephine Langford, and .

The franchise even and all five books have been adapted to screen, despite some instalments sitting at a 0% approval on Rotten Tomatoes.

Moving from the web to paperback meant After’s Harry became Hardin Scott but the likeness and nods to the band remained the same.

As for Robinne, she insisted to Variety: ‘I made him into my dream guy, like Prince Harry, meets Harry [Styles].’

The Idea of You lands on Amazon Prime on May 2, 2024, while After is available on Netflix and Prime now. has reached out to Harry’s team for comment.