Movie Based on 'After' by Anna Todd is Coming, Making Us All Fear For Our Souls
If you've been exasperatedly waiting for 50 Shades of Grey to fade from public prominence so that we can all go back to a pre-Christian Grey world and try to scrub this whole episode from human history, then you are kind of out of luck. For one thing, the movie still seems to be coming along fine, but more importantly another fan fiction erotic romance with a massive online following has now also been picked up as a movie. The story in question is After by Anna Todd and is — wait for it — One Direction fan fiction.
So that's the world we're living in, folks. And it's evidently not getting saner any time soon.
The three-book story, originally published chapter-by-chapter on Wattpad, has been clicked by more than 500 million people so it makes sense someone in Hollywood would be like, "We could totally make money off this, guyz," but that doesn't mean this whole thing isn't still bonkers. It's Harry Styles fan fiction. It has a description that reads: “A happy, optimistic young girl falls in love with a guy with a dark side that is addictive, and their relationship is a rollercoaster ride." It's written by a 25-year-old who once said, “I barely ever reread the chapter before posting because I overthink things and I feel like overediting or trying to use too many words can ruin the story.”
Look, I understand and embrace the fact that the Internet is giving people a platform who wouldn't otherwise have one. I theoretically think the democratization of writing is great. I'm also a staunch defender of fan fiction. But when a writer says she doesn't read things before she posts them, a part of my writerly soul dies — not to mention I can hear my editor screaming in pain from across the country. And when people collectively freak out over badly written, often unoriginal, stories that occasionally glorify an abusive relationship (*cough*50 Shades*cough) just because they happen to feature sex or something, I sort of wonder if the aliens wouldn't be doing us favor by just invading already.
Because it seems like this trend is not going to die off with 50 Shades of Grey after all. That post-50 Shades world we've been hoping for is going to be populated by still more 50 Shades-style works. So if you thought the world was ending before, just know that E.L. James was probably just the beginning. All we can really do now, I guess, is hope that her successors don't badmouth domestic violence survivors. Speaking of lowering our collective standards...
Hopefully, with time, the democratization of writing will mean that writers who do things like proofread are the ones getting the spotlight, but in the meantime, I guess the only thing to do is roll our eyes and speculate whether or not Harry Styles will play the main character based on him.