Scarlett Johannson Fails to Ban French Novel


A French novel by Grégoire Delacourt featuring a character who looks like Scarlett Johannson will be translated and published in the UK next month. In The First Thing You See, a French mechanic meets a woman who he thinks is Scarlett Johansson, but she merely looks like the famous actress. Gawker reports that the real Johannson sued the author for defamation, hoping to stop the book’s translation into English. The judge levied minor monetary damages against the author but allowed the translation to go forward. The French novel has already sold 140,000 copies. It’s a safe bet Johannson won’t be starring in any future film adaptations.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →