Evanna Lynch

Everything We Know About ‘Influenced!’: Oscar Wilde Adaptation Starring ‘Harry Potter’ Star Evanna Lynch

Evanna Lynch is set to star in a gender-bent, contemporary version of Oscar Wilde’s classic novel, ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray.’

Evanna Lynch is best known for portraying the insightful albeit offbeat and whimsical Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter franchise. Following Potter’s defeat of Voldemort, she went on to star in Addiction: A ’60s Love Story, My Name Is Emily, Madness in the Method, and more. Now, the 32-year-old Irish actress and activist is gearing up to take on the lead protagonist in Influenced! — a contemporary, gender-bent reinterpretation of Oscar Wilde’s magnum opus, The Picture of Dorian Gray (which has seen multiple cinematic adaptations dating back to 1945).

Influenced! may be the interpretation to take the most liberty with the source material, relying on the general premise but putting forth a more contemporary, millennial/Gen-Z-focused narrative. 

For reference, The Picture of Dorian Gray revolves around a portrait of the young and beautiful Dorian Gray painted by Basil Hallward, who happens to be buddies with a dangerous influence, Lord Henry Wotton. When Dorian meets this hedonistic aristocrat Henry Wotton, he comes to face the fact that his beauty will fade — a harsh reality for the man who, through Watton, has begun to enjoy the sensuous adventures, erotic rendevous, and splendid social hours his perfect face grants him. So, he sells his soul to remain eternally young. As Dorian stays wrinkle-free, his portrait ages — growing hideous with each sinful act and amoral escapade. 

The story is quite a timeless one. With themes spanning morality and corruption, social hypocrisy, youth and aging, loss of innocence, and the dangers of vanity and narcissism, it should come as no surprise that this story has been tackled by many different filmmakers — recently in 2009 with Director Oliver Parker and in 2021 with Director Tamara Harvey at the helm. Succession star Sarah Snook is even set to take to the stage in London’s West End to play 26 characters in a Dorian Gray stage interpretation in the Fall of 2024.

But, what is ‘Influenced!” about?

As for Influenced!, swap out the hand-painted portrait (that’s so 19th-century) for an Instagram profile. And, swap out the young and attractive, suave and cunning young Dorian for Dora — a makeup sales assistant who transforms into one of the world’s greatest influencers, according to Variety

Dora, rather than pursuing a life of debauchery, grows ruthless in her pursuit of unbridled Insta-fame. As she continues to take questionable actions as a result of egotistical ambition, her Instagram profile grows more hideous. Lynch plays Dora, but little is known about the rest of the cast at the time of writing. 

Evanna Lynch
Evanna Lynch | Bloomsbury Publishing

Who is behind the film?

Nick Wild, who worked as a producer on the short Talking With Angels, The Banishing, and the TV movie MyBad! wrote the screenplay and will direct the movie produced by Silent D Pictures’ Djonny Chen (No Mercy, Before Night Falls, A Long Way to Come Home) and Alchemy’s Lamia Nayeb St Hilaire (9 Dead Gay Guys, Punch). 

Why ‘Influenced!’ is important to Lynch 

As Variety notes, Lynch is a writer and activist who promotes mental health awareness and body positivity, making this film’s narrative all the more close to home for the Harry Potter alumnus. 

Lynch shared:

“Nick has written a hilarious script that vividly illustrates the slow mental and moral degradation that befalls a person who loses sight of the line between reality and a filtered imaginary life. With the algorithm always ten steps ahead, intuiting our next thought, ‘Influenced!’ is the story of an everyday trap that none of us can seem to avoid. I’m so excited to be playing Dora and to help bring this dark, interesting and ominous story to life.”

This one is sure to be an ultra-relevant (maybe too relatable) darkly comedic journey into the dangers and pitfalls of a social-media-crazed public. 

A release date has yet to be announced, but be sure to check back with Thought Catalog for premiere information and further casting announcements. 

About the author

Josh Lezmi

Josh is an entertainment writer and editor at Thought Catalog.