Emma Watson tipped for Maestra role

London’s literary lot flocked to Roland Mouret’s Mayfair fashion house on Bastille Day, to celebrate the launch of historian Anne Sebba’s new book Les Parisiennes in apt style. As guests oohed and ached over the French garments on display, Ian Hislop could be found ranting about BoJo’s mighty comeback: ‘It’s utterly unintelligible. All I can say is, what a lucky man’.

Oxbridge author Lisa Hilton arrived fashionably late at the do and wasted no time in updating partygoers on the development of her own novel Maestra, which tells the story of art expert Judith Ashleigh adventures across Europe after she is forced to go on the run. With the tome, the first in a trilogy, already proving to be a bestseller — though failing to please all the critics — a film adaptation is on the way. Hilton confided to Miss S that scriptwriter Erin Cressida Wilson — who also penned the screenplay Girl On The Train and Secretary — is currently staying at her flat while she gets to work.

Alas, those hoping for a movie to rival Fifty Shades of Grey will be left disappointed. ‘Yes there will be sex, but the story is not as erotic as people make it out to be,’ Hilton explained. ‘Anyone who compares it to Fifty Shades needs to get out more.’

So, who will play the book’s seductive — if deadly — heroine? ‘It’s early stages but we’ve talked about some surprising people,’ Hilton says of her discussions with film producer Amy Pascal, the former Sony exec. ‘Amy thinks Emma Watson would be great, but there’s also a Scottish actress called Joanna Vanderham, who isn’t very well known but I think would fit the bill, and a French actress called Stacy Martin too.’

Alas Hilton admits it won’t be up to her to make the final call. ‘The decision is with the studio,’ she says. ‘They are polite enough to pretend to care about me, but in the end they really don’t.’ Still, given that Hilton is currently letting film staff live in her flat, Miss S hopes that she is rewarded with some say.


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