The global phenomenon that has become the fastest-selling book series ever, Fifty Shades of Grey by English author E.L. James, is now coming to the big screen. Universal Pictures and Focus Features announced that the adult novel will be adapted for the screen and released on August 1, 2014. Sam Talyor-Johnson, the London born director of the critically acclaimed film Nowhere Boy, about the early years of John Lennon, is going to be directing. The book will be adapted into a screenplay by Kelly Marcel, and Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti and the book’s author, E.L. James, are going to be producers.
Universal Pictures and Focus Features acquired the rights to all three books in the Fifty Shades trilogy back in March. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that she was psyched to direct Fifty Shades, “I am excited to be charged with the evolution of Fifty Shades of Grey from page to screen. For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honor the power of Erika’s [E.L. James] book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin too.” But the real question is how her style of filming will translate, and how fans of the trilogy will react to it. Before she was a director, she was a photographer and a video artist. Taylor-Johnson’s best-known artistic work is perhaps her filmed portrait of David Beckham sleeping. She has also published a book that featured 28 famous actors, among them Robin Williams, Sean Penn and Paul Newman, crying. She seems to have a theme going because her short films, Hysteria and Breach feature a woman crying and a woman laughing. Taylor-Johnson has only directed one other feature film, the aforementioned Nowhere Boy, for which she was nominated for a BAFTA for ‘Outstanding Debut by A British Writer, Director, or Producer’.
It is a seemingly interesting choice in directors given the caliber of success that the book has seen in the past year. The first book in the trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey, has already sold over 70 million copies (and counting) worldwide in e-book and print. However, maybe this is just the right kind of person to direct the film, seeing as she once said in an interview with The Guardian that she walked out of a business meeting in L.A. because she felt the entertainment industry was, “all motivated by box-office returns…the minute you go into certain realms and budgets…you lose control.” So perhaps this can restore faith in the millions of fans that she will honor the book and hopefully interpret the vision of the characters that so many fans have fantasized about.
The real question that legions of fans are clamoring to have answered is who will play the dominant entrepreneur Christian Grey and the innocent, and submissive literature student Anastasia Steele? There were rumors that the cast would be announced at Comic-Con this year, but E.L. James confirmed that the rumors were not true, and that the cast was still being decided. That has not stopped fans from filling up forums with their suggestions of who like would like to see play the characters when their fantasies hit the big screen. For the role of the young, beautiful, intimidating entrepreneur Christian Grey, fans have suggested the likes of Matt Bomer, Ian Somerhalder, and Henry Cavill, amongst others.
Matt Bomer certainly possesses the chiseled features, which were on full display when he starred alongside Channing Tatum as a male stripper in Magic Mike and has a strong, silent thing going on that can be a bit intimidating. He currently stars in television’s White Collar, and is also filming a television movie directed by Glee’s Ryan Murphy called The Normal Heart.
Ian Somerhalder is a fan favorite for the role of Christian; from his classically good looks, to his bedroom eyes, to that stare of his that can make you melt, fans have no problem believing that, if they were lucky enough to be in Anastasia’s place, they too would do ANYTHING he asked you to do. He currently stars in the television series, The Vampire Diaries, as the sexy tormented vampire Damon Salvatore. He is also filming the movie Anomaly, slated for release in 2014.
Finally Man of Steel star Henry Cavill is another fan favorite for the role of Christian. He has the gorgeous looks and the calm and domineering demeanor that the role calls for, but the question is will he have the time? He is currently in pre-production for a Guy Ritchie film called The Man from U.N.C.L.E and in production for another movie called The Great Wall.
For the role of the unworldly quiet beauty Anastasia Steele, fans have thrown a few actresses into the ring, including Gilmore Girls actress Alexis Bledel. She might just be the perfect person to display the wit and independent spirit of Ms. Steele, but the question is will she be willing to enter the world of BDSM for the role? Other suggestions include Like Crazy actress Felicity Jones. She has the look, and the acting chops to play a submissive literature student enraptured with the billionaire tormented by his own demons and need to control. She can be seen in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and is in post-production on The Invisible Woman, both slated for release in 2014. Whoever is cast, one thing is for sure, fans are desperate to find out and are eagerly waiting the day to see their favorite erotic adult novel hit the big screen!