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7 Popular Movies Based on Fan Fiction

7 Popular Movies Based on Fan Fiction

With the vast world of entertainment, sometimes art inspiring art can create something special. Fandom culture is something that propels every corner of the entertainment industry into the mainstream eye. When a film, TV show, or celebrity has a viral moment online, the world of fanfiction is opened with endless possibilities.



Fan fiction can be described as stories that are written to incorporate the likeness of characters and storylines in existing pieces of media. From music artists to movie heartthrobs, there is a fanfiction out there for everyone.

Recently, the buzz around the upcoming film The Idea of You starring Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway has all of us looking towards the roots of our love for fan fiction and how that translates to film. Often enough, fan fiction manages to grasp onto impeccable storytelling to gain an online reputation that translates to a novel, and eventually a film. Just in case you are interested in understanding the humble “fan fiction” beginnings of some popular films, you are in the right place. Here are 7 popular movies with roots in fan fiction, from the upcoming film The Idea Of You to Fifty Shades of Grey.

7 The Idea of You (2024)

During a time when we could use more and more rom-coms to scratch the hopeless romantic itch, the world is here to give us The Idea of You. Based on a book adapted from fan fiction about One Direction, The Idea of You follows pop group August Moon at the height of their career. Solène, played by Anne Hathaway is a woman in her forties that has given up on the idea of finding love.

However, when she catches the eye of August Moon’s leading man Hayes Campbell (Nicholas Galitzine), she finds herself knee-deep in a passionate romance that she is unable to resist.

Harry Styles Fan Fiction-Turned-Book, Turned Into Film

The Idea of You has been the talk of the town lately, mostly for its blatant display of its fan fiction origins. The Idea Of You is based on what was once a One Direction, specifically Harry Styles fan fiction. We know Styles and his mini presence in the film world with project like Marvel’s Eternals, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, and Olivia Wilde’s thriller Don’t Worry Darling.

However, this film is not based on Harry Styles the actor. With the new trailer having come out recently, connections to the popular boy band in the fictional August Moon are uncanny, to say the least. From the style of their music to even the name and look of the fictional band’s leading man Hayes Campbell (Galitzine), the narrative of this once online fan fiction being based on the British pop sensation One Direction is setting up this rom-com for a rollercoaster of fun. Streaming on Prime Video on May 2, 2024.

The Idea of You

Release Date
May 2, 2024

Anne Hathaway Nicholas Galitzine , Ella Rubin , Annie Mumolo , Reid Scott , Perry Mattfeld , Jordan Aaron Hall , Mathilda Gianopoulos

115 Minutes

Related: These 3 Rom-Coms Paved the Way for Netflix’s Players

6 The After Series

If you wondered what fandom kind of owned the world of fan fiction, look no further than One Direction. One of the most popular film series out there based on fan fiction has to be The After Series.

After, After We Collided, After We Fell, After Ever Happy, and After Everything put together one hell of a storyline following the passionate yet toxic roller-coaster romance between Hessa: Tessa Young (Josephine Langford) and Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes Tiffin). From unnecessary fights and insecurity to family drama and childhood trauma, Tessa and Hardin can only cling onto their unavoidable love for each other to hopefully see a brighter side to their futures.

Harry Styles Fan Fiction-Turned-Book, Turned Into Film – Part 2

The After franchise is widely known among fans of romance. Although the films are nowhere near masterpieces, they are dramatic, fun, and spicy. Well, After’s reputation started off as one of the most popular and notorious fan fictions on Wattpad. Author Anna Todd wrote a three-book series and almost 300 chapters of the “After” fan fiction where characters were based on the members of One Direction. Does the “H.S.” initials for Hardin Scott ring any bells? The character was once referred to as Harry Styles once upon a time. Stream on Netflix.



Release Date
April 11, 2019


5 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

The cultural impact of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise should be studied. The raunchy romance trilogy follows the relationship between Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). On a fateful day, Anastasia is tasked with interviewing billionaire Christian Grey for her college’s newspaper. However, upon stumbling onto the premises, Christian is enthralled by the young woman and the two fall deep into an inescapable romance.

Edward and Bella’s Erotic Alternate Universe?

Now, Fifty Shades of Grey does not follow the storyline of Twilight in any way shape or form. However, the very start of this pop culture phenomenon began with Twilight fan fiction where our 2 main characters were based on Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. Twilight is one of those franchises that transcends beyond its time.

The fandom culture that surrounded the franchise is beyond anything else touched in the young adult book-to-film world. Therefore, fan fiction was pretty inevitable. Well, the erotic novel series that turned into the films we all know was written by E. L. James with the iconic couple as her inspiration. Stream on Max & Prime Video.

Related: These Wattpad Stories Were Turned Into Movies & TV Shows

4 Gabriel’s Inferno: Part 1

If you were all aboard the Fifty Shades of Grey train, we’ve got your next watch under lock. Gabriel’s Inferno is another erotic romance that follows the easy-on-the-eyes Professor Gabriel Emerson (Giulio Berruti) whose entire career is put on the line when a relationship with his new graduate student Julia Mitchell (Melanie Zanetti) unravels his life as well as unearths the depths of his past.

Twilight Strikes AGAIN

With how massive the Twilight franchise is in popular media, of course, there will be more than one Twilight fan fiction to make it to the big screen! Gabriel’s Inferno is an erotic novel series written by an author that goes by the pen name Sylvain Reynard. This film franchise is an adaptation of what was once Twilight fan fiction “The University of Edward Masen,” Edward Masen being the human name of vampire Edward Cullen. Stream on Prime Video.

3 The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Speaking of young adult fantasy series being the inspiration for fan fiction that was adapted into a film, we have The Mortal Instruments. Based on a six-novel series, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones follows a young woman named Clary Fray (Lily Collins) as her world gets turned upside down when she finds out that she descends from a line of Shadowhunters.

In the wake of her mother’s disappearance, she goes into the Downworld to figure out how to tap into the ability to banish evil from the mortal world. Although the series had some promise to it, the film franchise never extended beyond the first film.

From Hogwarts to The City of Bones

Cassandra Claire’s viral Mortal Instruments novel series has nostalgia written all over it. During a time when multi-book dystopian/fantasy series were all the rage, the public threw their support at this one. The Mortal Instruments, however, came about from fan fiction rooted in the Harry Potter universe.

Although not a direct translation, certain characters developed in Mortal Instruments utilized the likeness of some Harry Potter characters, specifically from a fan fiction series called “The Draco Trilogy.” Rent on YouTube & Prime Video.

2 The Kissing Booth

The Kissing Booth

The Kissing Booth

Release Date
May 11, 2018

Megan du Plessis , Lincoln Pearson , Caitlyn de Abrue , Jack Fokkens , Stephen Jennings , Chloe Williams


The Kissing Booth movies are widely known as one of those published fan fiction success stories that also got its own film adaptation. There is no arguing that The Kissing Booth is one of the most popular young adult romantic comedies to be produced by Netflix. The films follow Elle (Joey King) and her childhood best friend Lee (Joel Courtney) as they navigate the ups and downs of high school together.

However, when Elle’s sights are set on Lee’s older brother Noah (Jacob Elordi) after running a kissing booth for a carnival, a romance of epic and awkward proportions grows.

A Wattpad Classic

The Kissing Booth started off on one of the biggest fan fiction platforms out there, Wattpad. Although not outright fan fiction in its barest form, the origins of this soon-to-be Netflix staple make it a great entry on this kind of list. In fact, The Kissing Booth franchise just shows that storytelling through any format has the potential for pop culture greatness. Stream on Netflix.

1 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a novel that will change your life, and the 2005 film adaptation starring Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet and Matthew Macfayden as Mr. Darcy is a romance lover’s dream film. However, take all of that classic story but add zombies. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a 2016 parody film that stars Lily James as Elizabeth and Sam Riley as Mr. Darcy.

The film follows the zombie plague that hits 19th-century England. Here, Elizabeth is at odds with skillful yet arrogant zombie killer Mr. Darcy and the two have to set aside their differences to fight the undead.

Jane Austin Novel + The Undead

Now, we all know that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies can be seen as more of a parody film. However, this film is self-explanatory fan fiction of itself, right? The film takes the likeness of the original work and creates a world that, although not entirely new, is a spin on the classic storyline. Rent on Apple TV & Prime Video.

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