Moonheads, Assemble: Here's Everything to Know About August Moon from 'The Idea of You'

The fictional boy band from the new rom-com was inspired by BTS, *NSYNC, and One Direction.

Nicholas Galitzine as 'Hayes Campbell', Raymond Cham Jr. as 'Oliver', Jaiden Anthony as 'Adrian', Viktor White as 'Simon' and Dakota Adan as 'Rory' star in THE IDEA OF YOU
(Image credit: Alisha Wetherill/Prime)

The May 2nd release of The Idea of You marks the debut of 2024's hottest new boy band, August Moon. The Prime Video rom-com, based on Robinne Lee's book of the same name, follows the unconventional love story between a 40-year-old single mother, played by Anne Hathaway, and a 20-something musician named Hayes Campbell, brought to life by Nicholas Galitzine. If the age difference wasn't enough, Hayes is also one of the five singers who make up the super-famous British pop group August Moon, which has drawn comparisons to One Direction since the source novel's 2017 release.

August Moon mania has risen in tandem with anticipation for the film's release, as both former Directioners and current boy band enthusiasts tap into the band's charm. Their Spotify already has over 265,000 monthly listeners, and they've maintained an active Instagram full of behind-the-scenes clips and even TikTok challenges. And not to worry, the songs are genuine bops that will make their way onto countless Spotify Wrapped playlists by the end of the year. So, what do you need to know about August Moon? Read on for a primer about the fictional band and what fans have speculated are connections to 1D.

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Is August Moon based on One Direction?

Long story short, partly. Lee has been open about drawing inspiration from multiple men while crafting the character of Hayes Campbell and, yes, that included Harry Styles. Other Brits like Prince Harry, some of her ex-boyfriends, and her husband also informed the character.

As fans have discovered the book, many have noticed the similarities between August Moon and One Direction, since they both count five young artists from across the pond as members. There's also the fact that Hayes and Styles are known for their history of dating older women, most notably Styles' former relationship with Olivia Wilde.

Still, Lee has made it clear that she does not think her book should be overshadowed by its loose inspiration. “This was never supposed to be a book about Harry Styles,” she told Vogue in 2020. “It was supposed to be a story about a woman approaching 40 and reclaiming her sexuality and rediscovering herself, just at the point that society traditionally writes women off as desirable and viable and whole.”

nicholas galitzine as hayes campbell, performing on a large stage with another member of the boy band august moon behind him, in 'the idea of you'

Nicholas Galitzine as August Moon member Hayes Campbell in The Idea of You.

(Image credit: Alisha Wetherill/Prime)

As for the film adaptation, Galitzine said in an interview with PEOPLE that he "likes to distance" his performance of Hayes from easy comparisons to Styles. He explained, "I think Hayes is his own character and has his own struggles and wants and tastes, even in who he is as a musician."

"We took tons of different references," Galitzine added. "I think the boy band as a whole was an amalgam of a lot of different artists and groups. I'd love people to come to watch the movie with an open mind and embrace Hayes and August Moon, and maybe become fans of August Moon individually as well. I mean, there's some really, really catchy songs in the movie."

august moon the idea of you

From left: Viktor White, Raymond Cham. Jr, Nicholas Galitzine, Jaiden Anthony, and Dakota Adan as August Moon. in The Idea of You.


Who plays the members of August Moon?

August Moon is comprised of Hayes Campbell (Galitzine), Oliver (Raymond Cham Jr.), Adrian (Jaiden Anthony), Simon (Viktor White), and Rory (Dakota Adan).

Galitzine is best known for starring in the 2023 rom-com Red, White & Royal Blue, the hit 2023 comedy Bottoms, the recent Starz series Mary & George, and the 2021 musical Cinderella, where he first showed off the skills he utilizes as the main vocalist on all of August Moon's songs. Cham is an LA-born actor and dancer who started as a child actor; he recently appeared in the Max dramedy series Sort Of and the short-lived Fox series The Big Leap. Anthony is a professional dancer who makes his acting debut in The Idea of You; he has previously danced for Beyoncé, Khalid, and NewJeans. White (a.k.a. Slavik Pustovoytov) is a Ukrainian dancer with millions of followers on TikTok and Instagram. Adan is a dancer, model, published poet, and content creator.

What bands influenced August Moon?

The men behind August Moon have opened up about how they underwent "boy band boot camp," a.k.a. a month they spent practicing for performance scenes and building chemistry as bandmates, per J-14, which is not unlike what many pop groups do in real life.

Specifically, Galitizine has cited groups like '90s legends Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, as well as K-pop superstars like BTS, as sources of inspiration.

“Watching how BTS commands a space as a group helped me in establishing a simpatico between myself and the four lads, how we interact with each other on stage,” Galiztine told Variety, mentioning the “nonchalance” of the "Dynamite" singers' choreography in particular.

"But they're incredible artists," he added. "To be fair, I had three weeks before starting, so there was no way I was going to get to BTS level.”

V, Suga, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Jimin and J-Hope of BTS attends the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada

From left: BTS members V, Suga, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Jimin and J-Hope at the 2022 Grammy Awards.

(Image credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

While speaking with Marie Claire, Lee also mentioned a fun Easter egg that she incorporated while writing the book: All of August Moon song titles, as well as the band's name, are references to her favorite band as a kid.

"I used to be a big Duran Duran fan when I was young, and August Moon is from a lyric in one of their songs, [‘The Wild Boys’]," she shared. "In the book, all their songs, tours, and albums are named after different, more esoteric Duran Duran lyrics."

Who wrote the songs for August Moon?

To craft the original songs of August Moon, the team behind The Idea of You recruited a roster of real-life hitmakers who have worked with countless superstars (including One Direction). Frankie Pine served as music supervisor for the Michael Showalter-directed film, fresh off her work on last year's Daisy Jones & The Six, and famed vocal coach Eric Vetro worked with Galitzine.

Meanwhile, songwriter and record producer Savan Kotecha served as executive producer on the fictional group's songs. He tapped into the same pop songwriting skills he's used when working with artists like Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, The Weeknd, and others. Kotecha has also worked on music for movies like Netflix's Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, and has experience as a vocal coach on The X-Factor, the competition reality series in which 1D.

Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan of One Direction perform onstage during Z100's Jingle Ball 2012, presented by Aeropostale, at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 2012 in New York City.

From left: One Direction members Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan performing at Z100's Jingle Ball in 2012.

(Image credit: Kevin Kane/Getty Images for Jingle Ball 2012)

Kotecha's 1D connection definitely comes through in August Moon's music. The fictional band's lead single "Dance Before We Walk" has drawn countless comparisons to the real band's breakout 2011 hit single, "What Makes You Beautiful." Both songs were written by Kotecha and Carl Falk.

Speaking with The Daily Beast, Kotecha revealed that he didn't hear the similarities between the two songs until the August Moon track was released.

“It’s so funny—I’ve been asked this so much, and until 'Dance Before We Walk’ was out, it never entered [my mind],” Kotecha said of the parallels between One Direction and August Moon. “Maybe it’s stupid of me because I was so in it, and when you’re in it you kinda don’t understand what you’re doing sometimes. That was never the goal. Me and Carl never even spoke about it. I think it’s just that when we write male pop songs together, that’s what it sounds like. … People are drawing the comparisons, but I think when people see the movie, they’ll understand it’s not the same band.”

Pine also explained to the outlet that their main consideration was for August Moon to be "musically as strong as One Direction."

"But we also wanted them to be quite not as flashy as One Direction," she added. "We wanted them to feel a little bit more grounded, like with the clothing, and making them a little bit more approachable and down-to-earth.”

Could August Moon become a real-life band?

Unfortunately, August Moon will likely join Daisy Jones & The Six and Turning Red's 4*Town on the list of beloved fake bands that only exist on screen. (Although, at least 4*Town had one IRL performance.) In an interview with Elite Daily, the actors who play the boy band, save for Galitzine, assured that August Moon is only meant to exist within the sphere of the film and its soundtrack.

"I hope people can walk away from this movie and appreciate what's in the film," Cham told the outlet. "It would be an honor for fans to desire more from us, but I think what's in the film is incredible and we really did everything that we could to make it special."

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.