Gus Van Sant / Fifty Shades of Grey / Alex Pettyfer

It was around this time last year that Universal forked over $3 million or more to pick up the movie rights to Fifty Shades of Grey, author E.L. JamesTwilight fanfiction-turned-erotic bestseller. Despite the rumors that have been flying around since the beginning, though, the project still doesn’t have a director or stars attached. But apparently one guy who wants in is Gus Van Sant.

In a bid for the directing gig, Van Sant has shot a test reel of a steamy sex scene, with Magic Mike actor Alex Pettyfer playing kinky billionaire Christian Grey. This is by no means a confirmation that either of them will be involved in the final product. However, it may suggest that Van Sant is the kind of filmmaker Universal is looking for. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Despite its humble origins as a bit of Twilight fanfiction, E.L. JamesFifty Shades of Grey is picking up some interesting talent on its road to the big screen. The Social Network producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti signed on back in July, and have been looking for a writer to adapt the erotic novel ever since.

A shortlist revealed in August suggested an unexpected mix of names in the running, and as of today, Saving Mr. Banks writer and Terra Nova co-creator Kelly Marcel has emerged as the winner of the highly coveted gig. Sorry, Bret Easton Ellis. More after the jump.

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Plenty of high-profile actors and filmmakers have devoted time to deflecting Fifty Shades of Grey movie rumors in recent months, but one industry figure who’s made no secret of his burning desire to bring the S&M novel to life is Bret Easton Ellis. The American Psycho author has been pushing hard for the screenwriting job over the past couple of months, calling lead character Christian Grey “a writer’s dream” and floating casting ideas via Twitter.

Alas, it seems this particular dream is out of reach for Ellis. A shortlist of possible scribes for the Universal and Focus Features adaptation has just been revealed, and Ellis’ name is nowhere to be seen. What’s more surprising may be the writers that are. Producers are reportedly eyeing writers behind Cars 2, The Killing, and Saving Mr. Banks. More details after the jump.

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Angelina Jolie‘s people may be denying that the actress-turned-filmmaker has been in talks to direct the erotic romance Fifty Shades of Grey, but there’s one Hollywood figure who’s being totally upfront with his interest in getting involved. Bret Easton Ellis, author of American Psycho and The Rules of Attraction, has announced via Twitter that he is interested in writing the adaptation for the screen. And he already has a few ideas about who he’d like to see in the director’s chair and in front of the camera. More details after the jump.

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What began as a story inspired by a piece of Twilight fan-fiction, then turned into a best-selling eBook dubbed “mommy porn” by The New York Times, has now become a hot property in Hollywood.

Fifty Shades of Grey, written by E.L. James, is about the sexual escapades of two twenty-year olds. Originally posted online as a riff on the Twilight fan-fiction series Masters of the Universe, the story soon got picked up as an eBook, spawned two sequels and sold over a quarter of a million copies online. It’ll be published as a paperback later this year and, according to reports, the author and producers are currently setting up meetings with studios such as Paramount, Universal, Warner Bros. and Fox to talk about purchasing the film rights. Read more after the jump. Read More »

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