The Idea of You: Everything we know about Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway’s new R-rated film

On the left, Nicholas Galitzine in a black suit. On the right, Anne Hathaway at the 2023 MET Gala.

Nicholas Galitzine clearly has a penchant for starring in films based on novels based on fan fiction, with his latest movie, The Idea of You, starting off as a story about Harry Styles – kind of.

Galitzine has his role as Prince Henry in Red, White & Royal Blue to thank for his newfound superstardom (he was recently named as one of Variety’s top actors to watch). The sweet queer rom-com, directed by Matthew López, was based on the hit 2019 novel by Case McQuiston, and the novel itself started out as fan fiction. 

Red, White & Royal Blue swiftly became what is surely one of the most successful fanfiction-based movies of all time, having spent weeks dominating on streaming service Prime Video. With Galitzine’s new project The Idea of You, which he stars in alongside The Devil Wears Prada actor Anne Hathaway, he’ll no doubt be hoping for similar success.

This is what we know about the film so far.

What is The Idea of You about?

Fan culture hits hot and heady heights in this one, as a 40-year-old divorcee falls for a 24-year-old pop singer. 

Based on the 2017, debut novel of the same name by actress Robinne Lee, The Idea of You stars Nicholas Galitzine as Hayes Campbell, the frontman of hip and happening boy band August Moon. 

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Hayes has an abundance of fans, including one young girl Izzy (Ella Rubin) who ends up going to see August Moon perform at Coachella. She’s there with her mother Sophie (Anne Hathaway), who has recently split from her husband.

While at the festival, Sophie incidentally runs into Hayes, and thus they begin a secret, sordid love affair. As the pair’s romance intensifies, their very, very different lives begin to make things harder.

Nicholas Galitzine in a red jacket and black shirt on the red carpet for 2021 film Cinderella
Nicholas Galitzine will star in The Idea of You. (Getty)

In the novel, Sophie gets to enjoy a taste of the pop star life, until their love is discovered and goes viral. Sophie and Izzy are targeted by furious, rabid online fans, and Sophie must work out whether their love is worth the upheaval.

According to IMDb, it’s received an ‘R’ rating – meaning there’s some explicit langue, and some sexual content. Steamy.

Who stars in The Idea of You?

Other than Galitzine and Hathway, the cast list for The Idea of You isn’t exactly star-studded. Other than The Girl from Plainville star Rubin, other names involved in the film include Veep star Reid Scott, Bridesmaids writer Annie Mumolo, and In The Dark actress Perry Mattfeld.

However, the hype around Galitzine will probably be enough to pull in the punters. Alongside his huge Red, White & Royal Blue lead role, he’s also working on new, queer miniseries Mary & George and cameoed in recent queer comedy Bottoms, while fans already knew him from Camilla Cabello’s Cinderella.

Hathaway, too, is having a big year – alongside The Idea of You, she’s gearing up to release her LGBTQ+ thriller Eileen in December, while queer pop drama Mother Mary starring I May Destroy You star Michaela Coel is also in the works. 

Michaela Coel and Anne Hathaway against a love heart background.
Michaela Coel and Anne Hathaway will be mothering in Mother Mary. (Getty)

The Idea of You is written by Lee, alongside Kissing Jessica Stein creator Jennifer Westfeldt and the film’s director, Michael Showalter.

Is The Idea of You based on Harry Styles fanfiction?

This is a bit complex. While the book’s author Lee told Vogue that The Idea of You “was never supposed to be a book about Harry Styles“, rather just “a story about a woman approaching 40 and reclaiming her sexuality and rediscovering herself”, she has also suggested that Styles was at least somewhat on her mind while writing it.

She spent some time researching One Direction and began noticing similarities between Hayes and Styles, according to Vogue – but insists that to say he “inspired” the book is too “strong” a word. Hayes is, though, based on her “dream” guy – a bit of Harry Styles, mixed with a bit of Prince Harry and Eddie Redmayne, apparently.

Harry Styles presale tickets go on sale this week for his 2023 European tour.
Harry Styles. (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Harry Styles)

Then, in a GoodReads Q&A, she shared: “Hayes is very different from Harry Styles. I think people who are aware of Harry and/or want to picture Harry will. And that’s completely fair, as the most successful British boy band of the last ten years is One Direction.”

So, it remains to be seen how much the film adaptation will play on the Harry Styles comparisons, but with Nicholas Galitzine as the lead, they’ve certainly ticked the heartthrob box.

When is The Idea of You released?

There’s no word yet on when the film will be released into the world, though it reportedly wrapped filming in 2022. However, with the Hollywood actors’ strike ongoing, a release date is unlikely to be confirmed in the immediate future.

The Idea of You will stream on Prime Video.