The Status of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" Movie

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A literature student named Anastasia Steele meets a handsome, yet tormented, billionaire named Christian Grey.
Photo Credit: Univeral Pictures
September 13th, 2012

The Status of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" Movie

-- Around the world, fans are eagerly awaiting the release of the film "Fifty Shades of Grey." The film is to be adapted from the bestselling novel of the same name by E.L. James.

The novel centers on Anastasia Steele, a college student nearing graduation, and the sadomasochistic romance she enters with Christian Grey, a successful young entrepreneur. Written by E.L. James, the erotic bestseller continues with two sequels. After the novel quickly became a literary sensation, the film rights to the novel and its subsequent sequels were sold to the Focus Features division of Universal Pictures. Once word was out that the novel is being made into a film, the Internet has buzzed with news about the status of the film. Currently, there are numerous rumors swirling about who will fill the roles of screenwriter, director, and cast. Considering the fact that those roles have yet to be filled, there is also no production timetable currently in place. Even though it is speculated that the movie could hit theaters in late 2013, this has not stopped speculation regarding who will eventually star in "Fifty Shades of Grey."

Beyond the steamy backdrop, perhaps one of the most interesting things about the novel is that it rapidly shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list even though it was only available on electronic book platforms. Around the country, female book clubs quickly began to read and discuss the book. As result of the electronic format's success, paperbacks were released through Random House.

While terms of the deal between E.L. James and Universal were not openly disclosed, it is speculated that the numbers may have reached several million dollars. Prior to the deal with Universal, the frenzy among studios to purchase rights to the book reached a fever pitch. Paramount even created a video with female employees discussing their feelings regarding the book. A producer for Fox 2000 flew to London in order to make a pitch in person. Ultimately, Universal managed to outmaneuver all of them in order to land the rights to the book.

Among top speculation regarding the status of the film is who will land the starring roles and whether the steamy sex scenes so predominant in the book will even make the film's final cut. Female fans are buzzing about which actor will land what is currently the most coveted role in Hollywood: that of sexy, mysterious, and somewhat sadistic Christian Grey. Due to the book's bestselling status, the film is practically guaranteed to be a hit at the box office, so it is little wonder there is no shortage of actors who want to win the role. The names of a number of actors are currently attached to the film as possibilities. Ryan Gosling of "The Notebook" is considered the top contender for the role of Christian. The fact that he carries a highly bankable name, proven acting skills, and has a massive online following certainly makes a strong possibility.

Still, Gosling doesn't have the gig in the bag. At the beginning of the summer, rumors were running rampant that Robert Pattinson was also at the top of the list. It's only natural that his name would turn up on the list, given the fact that the novel was reportedly inspired by the bestselling Twilight books.

While the buzz about the casting of Christian Grey is of utmost interest to female fans, there is also tremendous interest in the identity of the actress who will land the role of Anastasia Steele. There are numerous actresses being considered for the role. Among them are Alexis Bledel, Lily Collins, Scarlett Johansson, and Katie Cassidy.

At this point, Universal is apparently focusing on obtaining a director and a screenwriter for the movie adaptation of the novel, so it may take some time before we learn the identity of the actors who will fill the movie's leading roles. What is known about the film "Fifty Shades of Grey" is the identity of the film's producers. They are none other than Dana Brunetti and Mike De Luca. If those names sound familiar, they should. The two produced "The Social Network." At present, a host of possible writers is being considered for the film, including Veena Sud, Dan Fogelman, Karen Croner, and Kelly Marcel. Among that list, the most experienced is likely Fogelman, but his previous works are a far cry from the erotic genre.

Regardless of who ultimately lands the job of screenwriter for "Fifty Shades of Grey," they will have a tremendous amount of pressure to live up to while satisfying the book's hordes of fans.