Is The Idea Of You Really Based On Harry Styles Fanfiction?

Is The Idea Of You Really Based On Harry Styles Fanfiction?


  • “The Idea of You” is not based on Harry Styles fanfiction, despite some similarities between the character Hayes and Styles.
  • The book was inspired by Styles, according to author Robinne Lee, but it focuses more on the societal aspect of aging from the perspective of a woman.
  • The character of Hayes was crafted using influences from Prince Harry, Styles, and other men, along with the author’s own experiences, not from Styles fanfiction.

The Idea of You is rumored to be based on Harry Styles fanfiction, but here is the truth behind the new romcom’s inspiration. The Idea of You is a book by Robinne Lee that has been adapted for the screen by Amazon Studios, with Michael Showalter directing. The new romantic comedy-drama follows Solène Marchand, a 40-year-old single mother who takes her daughter to see the biggest boy band, August Moon, but ends up forming an unexpected romance with the 24-year-old lead singer, Hayes Campbell.

Anne Hathaway (Solène) and Red, White and Royal Blue cast star Nicholas Galitzine (Hayes) lead the cast of The Idea of You and are joined by Ella Rubin (Izzy), Reid Scott (Dan), Annie Mumolo, and Perry Mattfeld. After the announcement of the book adaptation in 2018, filming began on The Idea of You in 2022 in Georgia. Although there is no official release date yet, The Idea of You wrapped at the end of 2022 so usually it would be expected to be released in late 2023 or early 2024. However, with the SAG-AFTRA strikes currently taking place, there may be longer to wait for the rom-com.

The Idea Of You Is Not Based On Harry Styles Fanfiction

Galitzine to play a role inspired by Harry Styles; Hayes Campbell

The Idea of You‘s release date may be far away, but that hasn’t stopped interest in the film from rising with audiences keen to know all about Lee’s novel. Many have claimed the story was inspired by Harry Styles fanfiction, with Hayes being based on Styles. Although it is not uncommon for movies to be based on fanfiction, The Idea of You is not based on a previous fanfiction of the One Direction singer. Lee has revealed she was inspired by Harry Styles, hence the similarities between Hayes and Harry, such as being a young singer in one of the biggest boybands, but there is no specific fanfiction that is the basis of The Idea of You.

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In a Vogue interview, Lee confirmed that The Idea of You “was never supposed to be a book about Harry Styles”. A video of Styles she saw initially sparked the idea, but The Idea of You was “supposed to be a story about a woman approaching 40 and reclaiming her sexuality… at the point that society traditionally writes them off”. The romantic aspect of a 40-year-old woman with a 24-year-old pop star does hint at fanfiction tropes on the surface level. However, The Idea of You is more focused on the societal issue of aging and woman’s worth being mutually exclusive, not just a “classic, fuzzy romance”.

How Harry Styles Inspired The Idea Of You

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The Idea of You may not be based on Harry Styles fanfiction, nor is it necessarily about him, but it was inspired by him. After Lee watched the video of Styles singing and did some research, Lee revealed that his history of reportedly dating older women combined with her own history of dating a younger man was what created The Idea of You. Lee also told Vogue that she would write scenes that eerily played out in Styles’ life, such as a scene where Solène and Hayes were together on a yacht, with similar pictures of Styles and Kendall Jenner being later released in 2017.

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However, it turns out Hayes was more crafted by a male lead Lee had written in a semi-autobiographical novel earlier in her life. Lee took this main lead and changed him into a new character, using other influences to create her dream guy, “like Prince Harry, meets Harry Styles, plus a couple of ex-boyfriends, a little of her husband, and a dash of Eddie Redmayne”. Harry Styles may have sparked the initial storyline for The Idea of You but Hayes, the romance, and the commentary on Solène’s age and worthiness all derive from Lee’s previous work and experiences, and definitely not from Harry Styles fanfiction.

Sources: Vogue.