Is Netflix's Damsel Based on a Book? Movie Story Explained

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Millie Bobby Brown in Netflix's Damsel movie

With a Damsel book sitting on shelves worldwide, many fans wonder if the upcoming Netflix film starring Millie Bobby Brown is an adaptation of a previously published book.

Is Netflix's Damsel Based on a Book?

Millie Bobby Brown was first announced to be fighting a dragon in Damsel in November 2020, as confirmed by Collider.

Then, a report from The Hollywood Reporter from October 18, 2022, shared that Netflix would be collaborating with Random House Worlds and author Evelyn Skye to create a novelization based on the film's original screenplay.

This means that despite the book releasing before the movie, the novel was not created first. It was based on the same original screenplay used by the movie, which releases on March 8.

In a statement given to The Hollywood Reporter in October 2022, author Evelyn Skye shared how she "was given free reign to write [her] own version of the story:"

“The easiest way to think about it is this: Dan Mazeau wrote the original screenplay. I was able to read an early draft and was given free rein to write my own version of the story, which ultimately became the novel. Both the novel and the movie may stem from the same origin, but they are also each their own unique works of art."

The author further detailed how the two parties "could riff off each other's ideas" while also "preserving [their] own versions of the story in [their] respective mediums:"

"[It was] a unique, collaborative partnership... I got to read drafts of the screenplay, and the filmmakers got to read drafts of my manuscript. We could riff off each other’s ideas, building details from the novel into the movie and vice versa, while also preserving our own versions of the story in our respective mediums."

Skye also tantalizingly teased that for true fans, it'll be a "treasure hunt" trying to find the differences between the novel and film versions of the story.

What is Damsel Actually About?

Millie Bobby Brown, Damsel

With the two different versions of Damsel being based on the same script, one can reasonably assume that story details would carry over from one to another.

The synopsis (as seen on the author's website and the book's Amazon listing) does a great job of painting a vivid picture of what audiences should expect.

Millie Bobby Brown plays Elodie, a young woman from an impoverished land who wants nothing but to help her starving people. The opportunity to do just that happens when a representative of Aurea, a rich, yet reclusive kingdom, offers wealth in exchange for her hand in marriage to its Prince Henry.

Obviously, things don't go exactly as planned. Instead of being happily married to Prince Henry, she's instead tossed into a pit and left to die. Next thing she knows, Elodie is left to fend for her life against a fire-breathing dragon.

The synopsis goes even further to explain how Aurea has been building on dark sacrifices to gain the success and wealth it currently holds, the product of an arrangement that goes back for centuries, and the deaths of hundreds of women.

All of this information matches up with the recent trailer. That new footage also offers up glimpses of Elodie going up against the dragon itself and even, seemingly, making it out of the pit she's first trapped in.

[ Full Cast Damsel Movie - Every Main Character & Actor Who Appears (Photos) ]

Will There Be Differences Between the Two Versions of Damsel?

Even though the two versions of the story (the novel and Netflix film) are telling the same tale, there are bound to be some differences here and there—though it's not exactly clear what those are just yet.

But, according to the book's author, Evelyn Skye, the two mediums have their "own versions." So, while the broad story will undoubtedly be the same, some of the smaller details (likely stemming from point-of-view changes and internal character monologuing) may differ slightly.

Funny enough, many of the reviews for the books say some of the same things: the story is probably a better fit for film.

In their three-star review, One Book More noted how they "think this will transition well to film," while Books Tea Cup Reviews pointed out that it reads "like a screenplay"—which isn't surprising given where the story originates.

Crooks Books minced no words when calling out how "it's so blatantly obvious" that "it's written to be a film."

As for whether or not the movie version can garner some better word of mouth, audiences will need to wait and see.

Damsel hits Netflix on March 8.

- In This Article: Damsel
Release Date
March 08, 2024
Millie Bobbie Brown
Robin Wright
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.