People.com Entertainment Movies 'The Woman in the Window' : Inside the Controversy Surrounding the Book and Its Long Journey to Netflix The Woman in the Window, based on A. J. Finn's popular 2018 novel of the same name and starring Amy Adams and Julianne Moore, is out on Netflix now By Jen Juneau Jen Juneau Twitter Jen Juneau is a digital news writer for PEOPLE. A '90s teen and horror film connoisseur, she started at the brand in 2016, after a decade of working as a technical writer and then moonlighting as a journalist beginning in 2013. Originally from New Orleans, Jen grew up both in NOLA and Florida and eventually attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando (still her home base!), where she earned a bachelor's in English/technical communication, with a minor in magazine journalism. People Editorial Guidelines Published on May 14, 2021 03:08 PM Share Tweet Pin Email We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission. Amy Adams in The Woman in the Window. Photo: Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix The Woman in the Window has finally hit Netflix — but the wild story behind the film's journey to the streaming giant might be even more compelling than the plot itself. Based on the 2018 novel of the same name by A. J. Finn (real name: Dan Mallory), the film adaptation has been plagued with challenges since its genesis, from reshoots and release-date pushbacks to a move from theaters to Netflix. But there is also much in the author's own backstory, including, as covered in a 2019 profile by The New Yorker, Mallory's claims that he previously lied about having cancer, after his mother was afflicted with the illness when he was a teenager. "I felt intensely ashamed of my psychological struggles — they were my scariest, most sensitive secret," a statement from Mallory read at the time, according to The New Yorker. The outlet also said Mallory admitted to lying about teaching at and receiving a doctorate from Oxford University, his mother dying from cancer, his brother dying by suicide, and more. Below, PEOPLE takes a look at some of the hurdles The Woman in the Window — starring Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Brian Tyree Henry, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Wyatt Russell and Anthony Mackie — overcame to become a hotly-anticipated new Netflix film. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories. The Woman in the Window. Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix The Woman in the Window. Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix Amy Adams' The Woman in the Window to Get Netflix Release After Multiple Delays The Controversy Behind the Author Mallory, who was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder in 2015, has been open about mental health — a central theme of The Woman in the Window — and admitted in his 2019 statement obtained by The New Yorker that he "has stated, implied or allowed others to believe that I was afflicted with a physical malady instead of a psychological one: cancer, specifically." Saying that this had happened "on numerous occasions in the past," the author explained, "My mother battled aggressive breast cancer starting when I was a teenager; it was the formative experience of my adolescent life, synonymous with pain and panic." Mallory worked with psychotherapists for 15 years, and said in his statement that during that time he "was utterly terrified of what people would think of me if they knew — that they'd conclude I was defective in a way that I should be able to correct, or, worse still, that they wouldn't believe me." "Dissembling seemed the easier path," he added. "With the benefit of hindsight, I'm sorry to have taken, or be seen to have taken, advantage of anyone else's goodwill, however desperate the circumstances; that was never the goal." The Woman in the Window author Dan Mallory, a.k.a. A. J. Finn. Eugene Gologursky/Getty RELATED VIDEO: Book Bag: PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly Editors Share Their Top Book Picks The "Confusing" Test Screenings Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, the movie's director, Joe Wright, said of the long process of making the film that included reshoots: "There were some plot points that people found a bit confusing — I would say possibly too opaque maybe." "So we had to go back and clarify certain points, but I think also we tried to make sure we didn't oversimplify anything and make things too clear," he added. "There's an enjoyment in not knowing what's going on, but at the same time, you have to give the audience something to hold on to — you have to lead them through the labyrinth of mystery and fear." Despite the setbacks, Wright, 48, told EW he was "very interested to see how people respond to the film and I can't wait for its release." "What I hope people will take away from this is a sense that our own fears can incarcerate us," the filmmaker added. "And this is a story about a woman who manages to overcome her own fears, and leave them behind her." The Woman in the Window book cover. William Morrow Amy Adams Plays a Recluse Who Witnesses Something Horrible in Trailer for Netflix's The Woman in the Window The Move to Netflix After numerous delays, EW previously reported that The Woman in the Window would be coming to Netflix sometime in the first half of 2021. Originally intended to open in theaters last May (and in October 2019 before that), Netflix purchased the film from Disney in August, according to EW. Written for the screen by playwright Tracy Letts, who also costars in the film, The Woman in the Window is one of the leftover 20th Century Fox projects delayed during Disney's acquisition of the movie-making company in March 2020. The Woman in the Window is out on Netflix now.