My Policeman: Brighton writer ‘still in shock’ movie starring Harry Styles is being filmed Brighton News

A novelist is delighted that filming has started on a film adaptation of her acclaimed book – starring Harry Styles.

Writer Bethan Roberts, from Brighton, gave the green light to Amazon and Berlanti Productions to create a feature film from his 2012 literary hit My Policeman, with production underway on the South Coast.

Bethan, who studied for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, has written a series of critically acclaimed novels since graduating.

The award-winning author said, “I’m still in shock.

“I didn’t think the film would ever be made – only 1% of films that start as a novel get funded.

L'Argus: author Bethan RobertsAuthor Bethan Roberts

“The producers were great and included me in some of their conversations.”

The film took around eight years to reach production, which is relatively quick for a book adaptation, Bethan said.

She added: “It’s very lucky, but filmmakers need a strong script first.

“Ron Nyswaner is the screenwriter, who wrote Philadelphia among other incredible films.”

Set in Brighton in the 1950s, My Policeman is the story of brass Tom, played by Harry Styles, his wife Marion, played by Emma Corrin and his male lover.

Bethan said the novel was her favorite work to date.

She said: “I have lived in Brighton since the mid-90s.

“I became fascinated by the works of EM Forster, including his remarkable relationship with a policeman in the 1950s.

The Argus: Bethan Roberts' Book, My PolicemanBethan Roberts’ book, My Policeman

“They were in love for 30 years, at a time when homosexuality was illegal, but they managed to negotiate a shared relationship with his wife. I took some of their stories and built My Policeman on it.

“It was important that I moved it to Brighton, not only because I live there, but because it was a different place in the 1950s.

“Fortunately EM Forster had a much happier ending than in the book, not that I’m giving spoilers.”

Bethan also writes short fiction films, including drama for BBC Radio 4, and is a past recipient of the Society of Authors Olive Cook Award and the RA Pin Drop Award.

It was in Chichester that she partly wrote her first book, The Pools, while completing her Masters.

The Argus: Harry Styles seen filming in Brighton this weekHarry Styles seen filming in Brighton this week

The novel, based on the fallout of a murdered teenage girl, landed her first book deal and propelled her to new successes – most notably her 2014 winner Mother Island, which received the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Award.

Bethan said: “My MA at Chichester changed my attitude towards writing.

“It gave me great confidence and I found people to read my writing and appreciate it.

“What helped was sharing experiences with others, putting words on a page and learning to read like a writer.”

No release date has yet been given for My Policeman, but it is expected to hit the big screen next year.

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2021-05-06 17:47:00