British moviemaker Sam Taylor-Johnson has been chosen to direct the Hollywood adaptation of erotic bestseller 50 Shades Of Grey. The Nowhere Boy filmmaker, formerly known as Sam Taylor-Wood, will adapt the E.L. James book for Focus Features, whose bosses have acquired the rights to the raunchy read.
A statement released by producer Michael De Luca reads: "Sam's unique ability to gracefully showcase complex relationships dealing with love, emotion and sexual chemistry make her the ideal director to bring Christian and Anastasia's relationship to life.
"E.L. James' characters and vivid storytelling require a director who is willing to take risks and push the envelope where needed, and Sam is a natural fit."
Anna Karenina's Joe Wright had previously been considered a favourite to take on the film adaptation.
The appointment of Taylor-Johnson is the first major step for the film - they have yet to cast the lead roles of masochistic billionaire Christian Grey and adventurous college student Anastasia Steele.
Canadian TV star Stephen Amell recently ruled himself out of the running to play Grey after meeting with film producers, while Emma Watson previously insisted she had no interest in portraying Steele after leaked studio documents suggested she was moviemakers' top choice for the job.
In a new interview with Playboy magazine, The Social Network star Armie Hammer revealed he had to tell his agent not to pursue the project: "No one actually offered me the movie, but while I was working on Lone Ranger my agent brought it up, and I said 'Nope.' I mean, come on - it's just mommy porn."
Fifty Shades of Grey fans, grasp on tightly to your blindfolds, chains, and metal balls, because we're that much closer to whipping the exceedingly anticipated film-adaption into production. The kinky adaption from Focus Features and Universal Pictures already scored Kelly Marcel as screen writer, and now the inevitablely risqué flick has found itself a director: Sam Taylor-Johnson.The filmmaker, wife of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, is best known for her directorial debut Nowhere Boy, which chronicled the origins of John Lennon's life (and helped to launch her husband's acting career). The British director will venture into the Red Room of Pain, setting Anastasia Steele under the command of the domineering, jaw-droppingly gorgeous Christian Grey.
Michael De Luca, producer of the hot and steamy project, shared how Taylor-Johnson snagged the coveted role as director. According to Deadline, De Luca stated, "Sam's unique ability to gracefully showcase complex relationships dealing with love, emotion, and sexual chemistry make her the ideal director to bring Christian and Anastasia's relationship to life. EL James' characters and vivid storytelling require a director who is willing to take risks and push the envelope where needed, and Sam is a natural fit." Bravo, Sam!
And for all the obedient Christian Grey submissives worried about the film leaning on the side of caution, don't fret: the eroticism and S&M scenes will not be dulled down. It will be rated NC-17, so we're expecting to practically watch porn on the big screen pretty much. Follow Cori on Twitter @gimmegimmeCOR | Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @Hollywood_comMore:'Fifty Shades of Grey' Screenwriter May Adapt 'The Little Mermaid'Fifty Shades of Grey' Movie Finds a Writer'Fifty Shades of Grey' Will Be Rated NC-17
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Soon after being hired to adapt the uberpopular Fifty Shades of Grey, screenwriter Kelly Marcel was quoted saying that her big screen version of the erotic drama would be "raunchy" and could even require an NC-17 rating. A nice promise to fans, but could it really happen? Hollywood doesn't play nice with sex — gratuitous violence still earns an R, actors can drop a few f-bombs in a PG-13 movie, but women keep their bras on even in the heat of passion, and the idea of showing a man below the belt (unless Michael Fassbender is on board) is not even an option. Sorry, Fifty Shades. There is no way you're going to be an NC-17 movie.
In fact, after watching François Ozon's 2013 Cannes Film Festival entry Jeune et Jolie (Young & Beautiful), it's possible that there isn't an American or studio-appropriate director even fit to turn Fifty Shades into something remotely watchable. In his erotic drama, Ozon examines the emerging sexuality of a 17-year-old girl over the course of a year. Isabelle (Marine Vacth, a 23-year-old Yves Saint Luarent model-turned-actress) has a burning desire for sexual pleasure, but it can't be met by boys her own age. So she turns to prostitution, an after-school gig where that allows her to freely encounter an assortment of older men with sexual demands of all varieties.
Ozon doesn't damn his character for her decisions or make excuses. Isabelle comes from a picture perfect family with a laissez faire attitude. She's close with her younger brother, who picks her brain about dating. One minute she's having a nice meal with her folks, the next she's telling her mother to get out of her life. She's a typical teenager. But Isabelle has secrets — ones we never see touched in mainstream teenage dramas despite them being prevalent and important. She craves sex and Ozon presents the journey with an unflinching eye.
Vacth effortlessly plays both sides to Isabelle's character. When she's with her family, Isabelle is nurturing, observational, and fragile. When she's experimenting with sex, she allows carnal instincts to wash over her. Ozon allows the character's "dates" to be sensual and raw. That's rarely the case in adult-themed dramas, let alone Hollywood's depiction of teen sex. Jeune et Jolie avoids any PSA moment and Vacth is bravely on board, letting subtle glances at Isabelle's evolution slip into impassioned sex scenes. Later in the film, Isabelle glows with sexual confidence, catching the eye of all the men around her (including her stepfather). She's empowered and Ozon finds a way to make it thrilling, terrifying, and wicked funny all at once.
The source material for Fifty Shades of Grey is often chastised for painting main character Anastasia Steele as a thoughtless, subservient lover to her male counterpart, Christian Grey. Author E.L. James' prose is presented without a winking eye — even at its most ridiculous. Knowing that François Ozon's sensibilities stand outside Hollywood thinking, is there room for improvement for the Fifty Shades movie? Maybe we don't even need one thanks to Jeune et Jolie, a sizzling, stark drama that finally does justice to early days of sexual hunger.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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The smoldering S&M passion of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey may soon be enfolded in luxurious tracking shots, impeccable fabrics, and delicate, sun-dappled lighting. Yep, Joe Wright, the director of Anna Karenina and Atonement, is in talks with Focus Features and Universal to adapt E.L. James' bestselling bodice-ripper Fifty Shades of Grey, The Hollywood Reporter says.
It'd be a surprising move for Wright, who's previously chosen more lofty projects. But like David Fincher's take on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, a Joe Wright-directed Fifty Shades of Grey could prove to be a fascinating transformation of a trashy subway-read into something more. That's the direction Universal's reportedly been taking in their search for a director, having already started discussions with other such pedigreed helmers as Bennett Miller, Patty Jenkins, and Gus Van Sant, who recently shot test footage with Alex Pettyfer in the role of the 27-year-old billionaire title character, Christian Grey. More than any of these others, Wright has demonstrated an affinity for smoldering passion in his work. I mean, this is a guy who actually made Aaron Taylor-Johnson swoon-worthy. And Wright's Ophuls-style tracking shots would certainly make Steele's repeated proclamations of "Holy crap!" more palatable.
Who do you think should direct?
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
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British filmmaker Joe Wright has emerged as a favourite to take on the big screen adaptation of erotic bestseller 50 Shades Of Grey. Reports suggest executives at Focus Features, who have acquired the rights to the E.L. James book, are keen to convince the Pride & Prejudice and Anna Karenina director to swap his period movies for steamy sex scenes and sign him up to tackle the project.
However, fans shouldn't get their hopes up just yet - an offer has yet to be made to Wright, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Casting decisions have yet to be made for the lead roles - this week (begs06May13), Canadian TV star Stephen Amell ruled himself out of the running to play masochistic billionaire Christian Grey after meeting with the film's producers, while Harry Potter beauty Emma Watson recently insisted she had no interest in portraying adventurous college student Anastasia Steele after leaked studio documents suggested she was moviemakers' top choice for the job.
Pierce Brosnan hasn't stepped into James Bond's shoes for over a decade, but you wouldn't know it when you meet him. The Irish actor — who turns 60 this month, but doesn't seem to age — seems to be carrying on the suave legacy of Bond. Especially when it comes to his affinity and appreciation for women.
Hollywood.com caught up with Brosnan to discuss his latest film Love Is All You Need and when it came to the subject of his co-star, Danish actress Trine Dyrholm (whom Brosnan says has "the Meryl Streep touch" to her craft), he put it simply: "I've been blessed with all the leading ladies I've been with, they've all been rather gorgeous and beautiful and I love women." When it came to the subject of his Oscar-winning director Susanne Bier, he put it simply: "I've worked with some great directors from Barbra Streisand to Susanne Bier to when I did Remington Steele, there were some fine lady directors on that show. I love working with women. I love women. There's just an ease and a grace." Brosnan. Pierce Brosnan.
But, it wasn't just his fondness for working with talented females like Dyrholm and Bier that drew him to a project like Love Is All You Need. The film a glossy but heartfelt romantic drama about a hairdresser named Ida (played by the vivacious Dyrholm who gets naked, literally and metaphorically), a cancer survivor whose husband has been cheating on her, and Philip (Brosnan, in what Bier describes as "one of his most touching performances"), a hard-working businessman and widower. Philip and Ida meet at their respective children's nuptials at a picturesque French villa and the two begin fall in love. "It goes right up there on the shelf with, dare I say, Mamma Mia," Brosnan says of the film, which taps into similar theme of finding yourself — and, of course, love —at any age.
Another one of the film's emotional cores — dealing with a devastating loss — is one that hits especially close for Brosnan. In 1991, Brosnan lost his first wife Cassandra Harris to ovarian cancer. They had one son together, Sean, as well as her children from a previous marriage Charlotte and Christopher. (Brosnan remarried in 2001 to his wife Keely Shaye Smith, with whom he has two sons with, Dylan and Paris). "All of that life pain that I went through — somewhat publicly, somewhat privately — is in the past but I can certainly identify and draw upon it," he says of playing a part like Love Is All You Need's Philip, a man who is still dealing with his pain.
"This character and this movie and this script found me at the right time in my life to be able to sit still and explore my own tragedies, my own pain, my own loss, what it's like to be a single parent," Brosnan continues. "In the hands of Susanne Bier, you surrender to that and allow yourself to go there. It just made sense. Her style of direction is very quiet and specific, strongly so at times. But there's great liberation in there because of the cinematic style that she uses. There were many emblems within the story: fatherhood, being a widower, being a single parent, a man of business, being alone, being middle-aged, dealing with time, time past, time present, time future."
And time, it seems, has since been kind to Brosnan. Not just in terms of his rugged good looks, but finding peace and comfort within himself and his career. "I painted myself into a corner sometimes I feel with the style of performance I'd given or the kind of actor I was trying to create when I came to America with Remington Steele," Brosnan admits. "As you get older there's a loosening of the ties to the ego and the posturing of who you are and how you behave. There's an ease within my own being now and there's a confidence, simple as that really, with performing... there's a great joy in being an older actor now. You have to adapt to your age and your years. It's nothing but humble gratitude of having come down the road so far."
Then again, it's hard not to be humbled with gratitude when you have labor of love projects like the big screen adaptation of Nick Hornby's A Long Way Down (in which he stars alongside Aaron Paul, Toni Collette, and Imogen Poots, whom he refers to as "The Quartet...we were joined at the hip") and, of course, Love Is All You Need. Love, being the key word.
"It all melded together from day one," Brosnan recalls, adding, "[my cast and director] embraced me with such a warmth and generosity and I, in return, did the same and we just hit the ground running. The experience of filming on a day-to-day basis was nothing but joy. It's criminal how much fun we had. It was a magical summer." Who knew Bond was such a softie?
Love Is All You Need opens in limited release on May 3.
Follow Aly on Twitter @AlySemigran
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Filmmaker Gus Van Sant has enlisted Magic Mike star Alex Pettyfer to film a test sex scene for the upcoming Fifty Shades Of Grey movie. The director reportedly shot steamy sample footage to the show's producers in a bid to land the coveted job of adapting E. L. James' erotic novel for the big screen.
According to TheWrap.com, Van Sant recruited British actor Pettyfer, who bared all to play a rookie stripper in Magic Mike, to tackle the role of sado-masochistic billionaire Christian Grey.
The footage they shot is believed to be a sex scene, but it is not known which actress hopped into bed to play leading lady Anastasia Steele for the test tape.
Studio bosses at Universal Pictures are aiming for a release date in summer 2014.
Back in January ever-reliable source James Franco let it slip that he thought that Milk and Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant would be taking on mommy porn project 50 Shades of Grey, the hottest property in town that doesn't have a director or stars attached to it. It seemed absolutely impossible. What would this former art-house director want with this schlocky blockbuster? Well, now it looks like it might actually be happening.
According to The Wrap, Van Sant shot a test reel of a love scene between the lead characters Christian Grey, a billionaire with a taste for bondage, and Anastasia Steele, his young torture victim and sex slave. Alex Pettyfer, who last bared his bod in Magic Mike was cast as Christian Grey. I'm sorry if this is rude, but it sounds like Van Sant and Pettyfer making blue movies on their off time sounds more like a kinky hobby than it does like the start of a possible billion-dollar franchise.
Universal Pictures and Focus Features, who hold the rights to the movie version of the book that everyone's mom read by the pool last summer, have recently said that no director has been in talks and no actors have been signed. That meanst that this Van Sant reel is because he really wants the job or, well, he really wants some very personal footage of Pettyfer and his glistening abs.
But would this movie be good for his career? The book, while popular, is critically loathed and making a film adaptation of the sexually graphic material seems harder than Christian Grey in a whip store. Would the book's fans want to see an auteur's vision of their beloved material. And will Van Sant's highbrow fans show up to see this decidely low-brow skin flick? Probably not. But that the studio is will to make such a strange and bold decision regarding the direction of this project (there are three books after all) is so far the only thing recommending seeing 50 Shades of Grey at all.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
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Australian rock group Wolfmother will be dissolved at the end of the week (28Apr13) after the band plays one final gig. Frontman Andrew Stockdale has confirmed he will be disbanding the group following a show with Aerosmith in Melbourne on Sunday (28Apr13).
The singer will continue as a solo artist and his bandmates, Ian Peres, Elliott Hammond, Vin Steele and Hamish Rosser, will reportedly stay with him as backing musicians.
Stockdale is the only remaining member of the original Wolfmother line-up after numerous changes over the years.
The singer's debut solo album, Keep Moving, which was originally billed as Wolfmother's third studio record, is due for release next month (May13).
You know the old cliche: if a furtive sociopolitical hacktivism group says something, it must be true. That's why the world was so ready to get on board with infamous hacker team Anonymous' revelation that Emma Watson would be taking the lead role in Focus Feature's developing film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. Alongside fellow so-called purveyors of social justice M3du5a, Anonymous broke into the archives of German film studio Constantin, publicizing the association of the 22-year-old Harry Potter vet's name with the Fifty Shades project, thus provoking widespread conversation about whether or not Watson would be right for the part. And although the former Hermoine has as vigilant a fan base as one can muster without resorting to mass extortion, there are plenty who don't think Watson would be a good fit for the Fifty Shades "heroine" Anastasia Steele... Watson included.
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On Sunday, the actress tweeted the following message in response to the rumors:
Who here actually thinks I would do 50 Shades of Grey as a movie? Like really. For real. In real life.
— Emma Watson (@EmWatson) March 17, 2013
... followed by a succinct, resounding:
— Emma Watson (@EmWatson) March 17, 2013
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If you ask me, that's what really drove the point home. In conjunction with Fifty shades author E.L. James' affirmation that no actors have been cast yet, this news should provoke fans of the pop lit sensation to return to their buzzing imaginations to figure out who else might work for the part. To the folds of your brain, Shadesmiths. You've got some dream casting to do.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
[Photo Credit: Ivan Gavan/Getty Images]
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