Illustration of woman reading alongside cat

Cat Person: the viral story that changed the narrative around bad sex is getting a movie

Posted by for Film

Cat Person promises to be a brilliant psychological thriller of a movie, boasting a bevy of stars from Succession and Locke & Key.

Cat Person, a short story written by Kristen Roupenian, set the world on fire when it was published in the New Yorker back in 2017. 

Painfully relatable to many women at the time, it spun a story about a young woman named Margot, who – after a series of dynamic-shifting texts between her and a man named Robert – decides to have sex with him to avoid an uncomfortable situation.

“Her revulsion turned to self-disgust and a humiliation that was a kind of perverse cousin to arousal,” reads one memorable line from the viral story.

The essay – which was described by many on Twitter as being “bizarre, awkward, relatable and horrifying” – went on to become the magazine’s most downloaded fiction of the year. And, even now, just saying the words ‘Cat Person’ triggers a deluge of feelings in those who read it and were moved by it at the time.

Unsurprisingly, then, it’s been confirmed that Cat Person is at last getting a star-studded film adaptation. Here’s what you need to know.

What’s the plot of Cat Person?

Much like the original Cat Person essay, the film will explore the “hellscape” of modern romance as it exposes the power dynamics between 20-year-old college student Margot and 34-year-old Robert.

It has been described as a “psychological thriller,” so we imagine it will be leaning heavily into the short story’s more unsettling vibes throughout its runtime.

Who stars in Cat Person?

Succession’s Nicholas Braun and Locke & Key star Emilia Jones have signed up to portray Robert and Margot.

Nicholas Braun attends the SAGindie Actors Only Brunch At Sundance Film Festival at Cafe Terigo on January 26, 2020 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Fred Hayes/Getty Images for SAGindie)
Nicholas Braun will star in the psychological thriller as Robert.
Emilia Jones attends Netflix's "Locke & Key" series premiere photo call at the Egyptian Theatre on February 05, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
Emilia Jones stars as Margot in Cat Person.

No other casting details have been announced so far.

What are people saying about Cat Person?

The film, which will be directed by none other than Susanna Fogel (she of The Wilds and The Flight Attendant fame), tells Variety: “Using Kristen’s excruciatingly well-observed short story about the horrors of dating as the jumping off point for an actual genre film, Cat Person will explore the hellscape of modern romance and the idea that we have all been the villain in someone else’s story, and the victim in others.” 

Colour us intrigued.

When will Cat Person hit cinemas?

We have a wee while to wait, sadly; the film has yet to be made, and will begin world sales at this week’s Virtual Cannes Market.

We have a feeling, though, that it’ll be snapped up quickly and brought to our screens sometime in 2023.

Watch this space.

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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