EXCLUSIVE: The co-director of controversial Polish movie 365 Days, Barbara Bialowas, has been attached to direct an adaptation of the first novel in Vanessa Fewings’ romance series The Enthrall Sessions.
365 Days was a major talking point after its Netflix release this summer, sitting in the streamer’s top 10 chart after its release in numerous international territories. Prior to its streaming bow it had also been a box office hit in Poland, grossing $9M.
The controversy emerged from its subject matter. Billed as an erotic drama, the story follows a young Polish woman imprisoned by a Sicilian gangster who gives her one year to fall in love with him. It received criticism for its depiction of imprisonment and sex crimes. The singer Duffy wrote in an open letter to Netflix chief Reed Hastings that the film “glamorizes the brutal reality of sex trafficking, kidnapping and rape”. A petition to remove it from Netflix received close to 90,000 signatures, though the streamer declined to take it down.
Now, Bialowas is embarking on the adaptation of Fewings’ novel. Based on the synopsis, the filmmaker won’t be straying too far from her 365 Days territory.
The story follows Mia Lauren, a struggling young woman who starts working in a secret L.A. club for the elite, where she enters into an intense romance with its owner, the brilliant psychiatrist Cameron Cole, a doctor who treats patients with a unique brand of Jungian, sexual methods.
The filmmaker described the book as “fascinating and powerful.”
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Barbara Bialowas as the director for Enthrall,” said Fewings. “She’s shared with me her vision for the film, and I know fans of the series will be blown away.”
The author has penned a total of eight books in the series, the last of which, Enthrall Climax, was published in 2018.
Prior to shooting Enthrall, which is now raising finance, Bialowas will be embarking on a separate project in her native Poland. That film is not the 365 Days sequel, though Deadline understands the filmmaker is still attached to that.
Bialowas is repped by High Spot in Warsaw. Fewings is repped by literary agent Kimberly Whalen of The Whalen Agency.
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