Jeremy Bolt Introduces Beautiful Bastard

Fifty shades of deja vu

Beautiful Bastard

There's something very familiar about this story. Constantin Film have just snapped up the rights to an erotic novel, which began its life as Twilight fan fiction before morphing into the tale of an intern at a big company and her relationship with her powerful boss. And yet we're not talking about the saucy Fifty Shades Of Grey here (already in development as a movie at Universal). The book that's up for the Hollywood treatment in this case is Christina Lauren's Beautiful Bastard. Jeremy Bolt (Resident Evil) is the producer responsible for bringing it to the screen.

As an online phenomenon, Beautiful Bastard apparently actually pre-dates Fifty Shades, arriving in 2009 under the title The Office, and scoring more than two million downloads. It was then withdrawn for reworking by its pair of authors: "Christina Lauren" is a pen name for writing partners Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. We're trying to work out how they came up with their fiendish nom-de-plume. We just can't see what they did there.

The book as it now exists involves Chloe Mills, about to nail her MBA and start an illustrious career but distracted by an all-consuming love/hate dalliance with her tyrannical-but-smokin'-hot boss Bennett Ryan. "Chloe is so tempting he's willing to smash the rules if it means he can have her... all over the office!" slavers the blurb. Let off some steam, Bennett.

Beautiful Bastard is, of course, the first instalment of several, and the series continues with Beautiful Stranger. Constantin are thought to have paid a not-inconsiderable six figure sum for the nascent franchise. The next nut to crack will be the screenplay. If you want to bone up (sorry) while you're waiting, the first book is published in the UK in March, with the second bringing up the rear (again, sorry) in May.