Is Netflix's Obsession a remake of Damage?

Here's what inspired the new series

a still of Charlie Murphy and Richard Armitage in Obsession based on the book Damage
(Image credit: Future/Netflix)

Audience members watching the steamy new Netflix drama want to know if Obsession is a remake of Damage? The 1992 film starring Juliette Binoche and Jeremy Irons.

From the glamorous and glossy Obsession filming locations to the attractive all-star cast (Happy Valley's Charlie Murphy and Fool Me Once actor Richard Armitage) - there's a lot to like about new Netflix mini series Obsession. The story centres on a sexy and secret affair between William and his son's fiancée Anna, that pushes boundaries in the bedroom and leads to deadly consequences in the real world.

Viewers have lots of questions about the show, and many are keen to have the mysterious Obsession ending explained, while others want to know if Obsession is actually a remake of ninetie's film Damage. We've shared details of what inspired the Netflix show.

Is Netflix's Obsession a remake of Damage?

Yes, Netflix show Obsession is essentially a remake of 1992 film Damage, which is based on the 1991 novel Damage by Josephine Hart. Like the novel and subsequent film, the story follows the affair between a dad and his son's fiancée.

In Hart's book, William is a high-profile politician who begins a secret relationship with his son's girlfriend, Anna. However, this detail has changed in the TV show, with William a renowned Surgeon instead. The action is also set in 2023, as opposed to the nineties time period when the novel and original film was out.

Damage by Josephine Hart (Paperback) – $9.37/£7.51 | Amazon

Damage by Josephine Hart (Paperback) – $9.37/£7.51 | Amazon

"The New York Times bestselling masterpiece - a daring look at the dangers of obsession and the depth of its shattering consequences." Read the novel that inspired the hit Netflix series. 

The original book has been adapted for the screen by feminist playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm alongside writer Benji Walters. Though the series - like the book and film - is told from William's point of view, the writing team wanted to delve deeper into the character of Anna and her behaviour, who is presented as an obsessive and destructive vixen in the novel.

As Charlie Murphy - who plays Anna in the show - explains: "While the original book and film were told through the voice of a male protagonist, this version, written by a woman and co-directed by a woman, with a female intimacy coordinator on board, was to give at least equal weight to the female perspective.

"It was going to be so much more empowering to my character Anna Barton," she told the Irish Independent. "I read the script and thought ‘oh my god, 100 per cent yes to this’. And I couldn’t have been more right. It was the most dynamic and fun role I could ever have imagined."

a still of Charlie Murphy as Anna in Netflix series Obsession

(Image credit: Netflix)

Hart's book was a success upon release in 1991 and became a New York Times bestseller. This led to the movie of the same name in 1992, starring Juliette Binoche and Jeremy Irons. Many have likened it to an early Fifty Shades of Grey.

Where to watch Damage:

Us and UK audiences wanting to watch the original film will find Damage available to rent and buy on Amazon Prime or iTunes.

The film has a 4-star rating on Prime, with 471 reviews. Rotten Tomatoes have given the film a 79% rating on the Tomatometer.

Actress Miranda Richardson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as William's wife in the film. Whilst losing out on the Oscar, she walked away with the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance.

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Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the former Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.