Say what you will about the Fifty Shades Of Grey books, but author E. L. James deserves to be commended for turning sexy Twilight fan-fiction into a reasonably big and successful multimedia career. Now, despite the book getting panned by critics, she’s even signed a movie deal with Universal for The Mister, her first non-Fifty Shades-related novel. The book isn’t good at all, at least according to our friends at Jezebel, but James’ name is apparently so valuable after those Fifty Shades books and movies (which also weren’t especially good) that a real movie studio like Universal wanted to give her money for it. There are better books and more respected authors who aren’t getting movie deals, but this is Mike Bloomberg’s America, and if James is getting money then she must be doing something right. (She’s British, but it still tracks.)
Anyway, this comes from Variety, which notes that The Mister was on the New York Times Best Seller list for nine weeks in 2019 and that there was a “heated bidding war” for the rights. It’s about a rich British guy named Maxim Trevelyan—which is either the best name or the worst name—who falls in love with his foreign housekeeper. (We’re going to say her name is something equally absurd, like Thundercloud Trapeze, even though we know it’s not.) Unfortunately for Maxim, Thundercloud is in the country illegally and is on the run from bad guys, and Jezebel says there’s a lot of creepy stuff with power dynamics where Maxim repeatedly gets excited by the fact that he’s doin’ it with his housekeeper. Also, apparently he says “fuck a duck” at some point. And his name is Maxim Trevelyan. And her name is (not) Thundercloud Trapeze.
No other details about the movie version of The Mister have been announced, but hopefully Universal is able to find a sufficiently charming British person to star as Playboy Magnificence—err, Maxim Trevelyan.