The best-selling erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey,” by E.L. James, is now being turned into a major motion picture. Universal Studios hired Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti to produce the film. Worldwide sales of the novel have reached over 70 million copies and Universal bought the rights to the movie for close to $5 million. James announced that she would be involved with the movie production and casting.
After beginning the challenging task of casting, the studio finally released actors playing principal roles. Charlie Hunnam, from “Sons of Anarchy,” was cast as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson is set to star as Anastasia Steele. After the names were released, there was immediate backlash against Hunnam from fans of the book. Subsequently, Hunnam dropped the role due to “scheduling conflicts and issues with the script.” Production was immediately delayed while the producers looked for a new Christian Grey. After a few actors read with Johnson, Jamie Dornan was awarded the role over fan favorites Ian Somerhalder and Matt Bomer.
Luckily for the producers, fans have taken to social media to show their support for Dornan and his Calvin Klein good looks.
Amid the endless hunt in finding the perfect Christian Grey, many fans have forgotten that many supporting roles are still being cast. These roles include Luke Grimes as Elliot Grey, Jennifer Ehle, as Anastasia’s mother and Victor Rasuk as José Rodriguez. The movie is set to go into production in December if the rest of casting goes smoothly.
Even if casting goes smoothly, there are still major roadblocks ahead for the film, including controversy, rewriting and ratings. Many fans are still upset over the actors cast for lead roles, because not only do they not resemble characters in the book, but many fans are miffed at the B-list actors who were cast. It will also be particularly difficult to convert the novel to script, because a majority of the novel is stream of Steele’s consciousness.
The movie will also be exceedingly challenging to portray on screen, even if the cast and the script manage to work out. There are the rumors circulating that the film might be rated NC-17. If Universal decides they want to shoot for an R-rating, many of the scenes will have to be cut out. However, removing these scenes will replace what fans loved about the book in the first place.
Since the bulk of novels were sold via the conveniently discreet eBook, it could prove challenging to fill a theater with fans that are not willing to publicly announce their love for a book that was originally an inconspicuous erotic read.
Ultimately, no one knows if the movie will be an incredible success or devastating failure.