Fifty Shades of Grey

Is it a surprise that Fifty Shades of Grey — the supermarket sex book in which a young woman is held in thrall to the sexual dominance of a very rich, very handsome man — is proving to be a tricky thing to adapt to film? Not just as far as writing the script, but when it comes to finding a cast that is willing to do the material, and which is comfortable with the various forms of fame that the roles will bring.

Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson were cast in the past few weeks as the two leads, but Hunnam has already dropped out. The official reason was his packed TV schedule, but backstage talk has said that he wasn’t happy with the increased exposure (ahem) the film brings, and that his payday was quite low for the effort. He was only set to take home $125,000 for the role, according to THR. A lot of money to most of us, but a fairly small amount for an actor in a hit TV show and big summer movie property coming onto a very high-profile project.

Replacements have been suggested, and now there’s a new name in the rumor mix. Read More »

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Fifty Shades of Grey

With just weeks to go until shooting, Fifty Shades of Grey hit a big snag this weekend when Charlie Hunnam abruptly dropped out of the lead role. His decision left director Sam Taylor-Johnson scrambling to find a replacement, and the word is that Jamie Dornan and Alexander Skarsgard are among the actors being eyed.

Meanwhile, as Taylor-Johnson gets that casting in place, Closer scribe Patrick Marber will be working on quick polish of the script by Kelly Marcel. Get the latest updates on the much-discussed romance after the jump.

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Charlie Hunnam Drops Out of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Fifty Shades of Grey

When Charlie Hunnam was cast as one of the two leads of Fifty Shades of Grey, fans reacted in big ways, not all of which were positive. Now the actor has dropped out of the film, with the stated reason being that he’s got too much work to do on Sons of Anarchy to “adequately prepare” for the film. Universal’s statement is below. We don’t know who might replace him, but expect that name to be announced soon. Read More »

Fifty Shades Screentest

By now, Saturday Night Live‘s “screen test” bit is a tried and true staple. Star Wars and Back to the Future are two of the funnier examples of the sketch and, this past weekend, the NBC comedy show went a little more modern. Host Miley Cyrus, along with a slew of cast members, joked about actors such as Scarlett Johansson, Christoph Waltz, Seth Rogen, Emma Stone, Steve Harvey, Rebel Wilson and others auditioning for Fifty Shades of Grey.

Universal’s 2014 adaptation of the best selling romance/sex novel will actually star Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson but, below, see what it might look like if these other actors played the roles. Read More »

Johnson Hunnam 50 Shades

Outside of Star Wars, the cast that has probably been the subject of the most speculation in Hollywood is for Sam Taylor-Johnson‘s adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey. Speculation can now stop for the two major leads. Dakota Johnson, who appeared in The Social Network and 21 Jump Street as well as the Fox show Ben and Kate, has been officially cast as Anastasia Steele. Her male counterpart, Christian Grey, will be played by none other than Charlie Hunnam, star of Pacific Rim and Sons of Anarchy. Read More »

Fifty Shades of Grey

Briefly: The hottest book of 2011 and 2012 (hot in more ways than one) will be steaming up screens next summer. Producer Dana Brunetti revealed Fifty Shades of Grey, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and based on the erotic novel by E.L. James, will be released August 1, 2014. That means it opens against the Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy.

No word on casting yet, but expect some announcements soon. Read the full press release below. Read More »

Fifty Shades of Grey

Briefly: Even a casual observer knows that women direct far fewer big Hollywood films than men. So it’s interesting to see that the developing adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey — an extended S&M-lite sexual fantasy that has been decried as “mommy porn” as it tops sales charts — will be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. She has made only one major feature, Nowhere Boy, from 2009.

We don’t yet know much about plans that Focus is pulling together for the film, but if the movie is even vaguely as successful as the novel series, it’ll be huge.  Read More »

Fifty Shades of Grey

For months now Universal’s division Focus Features has been developing a film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, the runaway bestseller that began as Twilight fan fiction and grew into a sensation that turned every supermarket into a purveyor of bondage fantasies. The story follows the kinky romantic and sexual relationship between 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and naive college student Anastasia Steele.

Producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti have been overseeing the creation of a script, written by Kelly Marcell, and trying to figure out who can direct the film. If faithful to the novel, the movie will have to be a hard-R drama with far more sexual overtones than we usually get in a studio film. Actually, to hell with overtones — this thing is just sex. Strip out the sex, and there’s barely a book. Not your typical studio fare, but that’s the lure of dollar signs for you. (And, keep in mind, Focus is among the few major players that can claim to have released an NC-17 film.)

Now the report is that Joe Wright, who has traded in both literary adaptations (Pride and Prejudice, Anna Karenina) and modern fantasy (Hanna) is the guy the producers want for the film.

Update: Wright won’t make the film. Details below.

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