Adapting a wildly popular piece of literature must be the ultimate challenge for any screenwriter. Not only do they have to do justice to the original text while infusing their own take on it and meeting the demands of Hollywood standards, but they have to please the book's most ardent fans and the oft sky-high expectations of moviegoers all at once.
Whichever writer in Hollywood gets saddled (pun very much intended) with the task of bringing E.L. James' erotica fan fiction phenomenon Fifty Shades of Grey to the big screen will have to face all those hurdles, with the added task of adapting a 372 book consisting mostly of graphic sex, a flurry of emails between the main characters, unintentionally hilarious inner monologues ("Holy cow! I’m on Google!"), seemingly endless discussions about being hungry/not hungry, and a built-in catchphrase. ("Laters, baby.")
With American Psycho scribe Bret Easton Ellis now sadly out of the running (the Red Room of Pain would have gotten seriously interesting with him on board), who will be up for the challenge of bringing the titillating, handsome, and downright overbearing (dude, she said she wasn't hungry, stop asking) Christian Grey and the naive, beautiful, exhaustingly indecisive Anastasia Steele off the page and onto the big screen?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti (The Social Network, Moneyball) have four writers in contention for the job: Karen Croner, Dan Fogelman, Kelly Marcel, and Veena Sud. (Hollywood.com has reached out to reps for Croner, Fogelman, Marcel, and Sud for a statement regarding the report, but none could be immediately reached.)
Since every writer would bring something different to the table (watch out for the riding crop!) we dissect what their takes on Fifty Shades might be like.
Karen Croner: Croner's 1998 drama One True Thing dealt with some heavy family dynamics (cancer, infidelity) but Christian Grey comes with some serious familial baggage. Still, if Croner were to get One True Thing's mom (Meryl Streep) on board to play Christian's neglectful crack-whore mother in flashbacks, Fifty Shades would earn some serious gravitas. It will never happen, but still. Let's just imagine it!
Dan Fogelman: When you discover that 2011's seriously sexy Crazy, Stupid, Love. is on Fogelman's resume (so many women want Ryan Gosling to play mysterious billionaire Christian Grey, and his scenes in this rom-com are a major reason why), he seems like the obvious choice to pen Fifty Shades. Then you notice that he also wrote the screenplay to Tangled and both Cars movies and things get... uncomfortable. ("From the writer of Cars 2 comes an erotic journey into the world of BDSM"? Wuh?) Fogelman's Fifty Shades could be as erratic as Christian: enticing (especially if he works another shirtless Gosling into the mix), and downright frustrating (Cars 2 is arguably the worst Pixar feature).
Kelly Marcel: While the imaginative Marcel can't be blamed for Terra Nova's failure (that was the fault of those crappy dinosaurs), she does seem like the odd woman out to adapt Fifty Shades. Though, Christian does speak like he's from another century entirely, so she might not have to switch gears from Terra Nova after all.
Veena Sud: ...and speaking of failed television efforts, Sud was behind one of the most maligned series of the year, AMC's now-cancelled The Killing. Even worse, Fifty Shades would put Sud right back in rainy Seattle, where Christian and Ana reside. At least there would be no "Who Killed Rosie Larsen?"-like mystery shrouding the whole thing. Who had sex with Christian? Oh, right, Ana. A whole lot.
Who do you think would be the best screenwriter to tackle Fifty Shades of Grey? Share in the comments section below.
[Photo credit: Vintage]
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Cotillard struck up a friendship with Nolan while working on his blockbuster Inception and he hired her again for the superhero movie to star as the love interest of Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne/Batman character.
The French actress fell pregnant with her first child in 2010, right around the time Nolan's cast and crew were due to begin filming, but the loyal moviemaker insists replacing the beauty was never an option.
Speaking to America's Vogue magazine about the publication's August (12) covergirl, Nolan reveals he pushed back the Oscar winner's shooting schedule and vowed to "figure it out" so she could remain attached to the project.
Once Cotillard gave birth to little Marcel in May, 2011, accommodating Nolan also made space for a small nursery on set so the new mum would be more comfortable with her son at work.
Nolan admits it was "amazing" to see the actress bounce back from her pregnancy to deliver a rousing performance and praises her as the ultimate "Superwoman".
Theatrics slapstick and cheer are cinematic qualities you rarely find outside the realm of animation. Disney perfected it with their pantheon of cartoon classics mixing music humor spectacle and light-hearted drama that swept up children while still capturing the imaginations and hearts of their parents. But these days even reinterpretations of fairy tales get the gritty make-over leaving little room for silliness and unfiltered glee. Emerging through that dark cloud is Mirror Mirror a film that achieves every bit of imagination crafted by its two-dimensional predecessors and then some. Under the eye of master visualist Tarsem Singh (The Fall Immortals) Mirror Mirror's heightened realism imbues it with the power to pull off anything — and the movie never skimps on the anything.
Like its animated counterparts Mirror Mirror stays faithful to its source material but twists it just enough to feel unique. When Snow White (Lily Collins) was a little girl her father the King ventured into a nearby dark forest to do battle with an evil creature and was never seen or heard from again. The kingdom was inherited by The Queen (Julia Roberts) Snow's evil stepmother and the fair-skinned beauty lived locked up in the castle until her 18th birthday. Grown up and tired of her wicked parental substitute White sneaks out of the castle to the village for the first time. There she witnesses the economic horrors The Queen has imposed upon the people of her land all to fuel her expensive beautification. Along the way Snow also meets Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) who is suffering from his own money troubles — mainly being robbed by a band of stilt-wearing dwarves. When the Queen catches wind of the secret excursion she casts Snow out of the castle to be murdered by her assistant Brighton (Nathan Lane).
Fairy tales take flack for rejecting the idea of women being capable but even with its flighty presentation and dedication to the old school Disney method Mirror Mirror empowers its Snow White in a genuine way thanks to Collins' snappy charming performance. After being set free by Brighton Snow crosses paths with the thieving dwarves and quickly takes a role on their pilfering team (which she helps turn in to a Robin Hooding business). Tarsem wisely mines a spectrum of personalities out of the seven dwarves instead of simply playing them for one note comedy. Sure there's plenty of slapstick and pun humor (purposefully and wonderfully corny) but each member of the septet stands out as a warm compassionate companion to Snow even in the fantasy world.
Mirror Mirror is richly designed and executed in true Tarsem-fashion with breathtaking costumes (everything from ball gowns to the dwarf expando-stilts to ridiculous pirate ship hats with working canons) whimsical sets and a pitch-perfect score by Disney-mainstay Alan Menken. The world is a storybook and even its monsters look like illustrations rather than photo-real creations. But what makes it all click is the actors. Collins holds her own against the legendary Julia Roberts who relishes in the fun she's having playing someone despicable. She delivers every word with playful bite and her rapport with Lane is off-the-wall fun. Armie Hammer riffs on his own Prince Charming physique as Alcott. The only real misgiving of the film is the undercooked relationship between him and Snow. We know they'll get together but the journey's half the fun and Mirror Mirror serves that portion undercooked.
Children will swoon for Mirror Mirror but there's plenty here for adults — dialogue peppered with sharp wisecracks and a visual style ripped from an elegant tapestry. The movie wears its heart on its sleeve and rarely do we get a picture where both the heart and the sleeve feel truly magical.
"I really didn't think it would ever get made because I thought it was just too expensive. I just thought it would be a sweet little thing that I would give to my dad and that would be the last anyone ever heard of it." Terra Nova creator Kelly Marcel was convinced her TV idea would never make it to the small screen. The science fiction drama, which debuted on Monday (26Sep11) in America, was picked up by Steven Spielberg and has an average episode budget of around $4 million (£2.5 million).
The Inception star and her French actor/director partner Guillaume Canet welcomed little Marcel in Paris in May (11), and she has now been snapped with the tot, tenderly carrying him through LAX airport on Tuesday (06Sep11).
Cotillard was seen beaming with joy as she cradled the three month old as she walked through the terminal to catch a flight.
The moviemaker died at the Saint-Antoine hospital in Paris, France following complications from a pulmonary infection.
Famed for adapting novels for the big and small screen, he worked on Marcel Proust's Time Regained, Shakespeare's Richard III and Dante's Inferno in a 1991 TV series.
He also was behind several English language movies, such as Klimt, which starred John Malkovich, and A Closed Book, with Daryl Hannah and Tom Conti.
Producer pal Francois Margolin says, "He was one of our greatest living filmmakers, who left considerable work and will remain a reference in the history of cinema."
After fleeing Chile in the 1960s, Ruiz settled in France and made close to 100 films. He will be buried in his homeland.
Marion Cotillard and her partner, French director Guillaume Canet, welcomed a baby boy in Paris last night (doesn't that just sound so romantic? Although, I'm pretty sure "My cable is out in Paris" sounds decent too ). They named the boy Marcel, and a source confirmed to People that "Mother and baby are fine," and added that Cotillard is "very happy." We've seen very little of Cotillard since she confirmed her pregnancy in January, and I suspect we won't be seeing much of her now because she's probably going to spend the time she has left before she starts filming The Dark Knight Rises trying to lose her baby weight. Perhaps Tom Hardy is interested?
The Inception star and her French actor/director partner Guillaume Canet welcomed little Marcel in Paris on Thursday (19May11).
A source confirms to People.com, "Mother and baby are fine. (Cotillard is) very happy."
Cotillard began dating Canet in 2007 although they first worked together in the 2003 romantic comedy Love Me If You Dare.
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
When 20th Century Fox originally announced it's ambitious new Steven Spielberg/Peter Chernin-produced adventure show Terra Nova, the media-munching-masses got really excited, really quickly. After all, it's not every day that the innovative minds behind small-screen hits like Band of Brothers, 24, FlashForward, Amazing Stories and The Pacific get together for one super-sized program. Needless to say, Terra Nova was one of the big hits during May sweeps.
Unfortunately, since the spring presentation, the production's momentum has slowed down and the delay has caused Fox Television and the producer's to push the premiere of the anticipated show back from a mid-season launch to May 2011 (NOTE: the show will premiere in May, but won't return with regularly scheduled episodes until Fall 2011). It's not surprising, considering Terra Nova's themes involving grand, pre-historic science fiction and effects-heavy production demands. With only one actor set - Life On Mars' Jason O'Mara - and a whole lot of design work to be done, this minor setback ensures that the producers will have enough time to create the most visually stunning and immersive experience that the tube has ever broadcast. Come May 2011, we'll have an engrossing small screen experience to look forward to in addition to the many movies that we're all excited about.
Read on below for Fox's official press release:
TERRA NOVA, the new family adventure drama series executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, Peter Chernin, Brannon Braga and David Fury, will preview in May 2011 on FOX prior to its series premiere in the fall.
Jason O'Mara ("Life on Mars") has been cast in the lead role of JIM SHANNON, the patriarch of the show's central family. As previously announced, Emmy Award winner Alex Graves (FRINGE) will direct the pilot, and Emmy Award-winning executive producer and director Jon Cassar ("24") has joined the series as an executive producer and series director.
"TERRA NOVA will be one of the most visually stimulating and dramatically grand series to air on network television," said Kevin Reilly, President of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. "It deserves to have an equally unique launch to distinguish that the show is unlike any other, and the spring promotional platform will give us the perfect opportunity to introduce this bold show to audiences."
TERRA NOVA, an epic family adventure 85 million years in the making, follows an ordinary family embarking on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a massive experiment to save the human race. In the year 2149 the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped, overcrowded and overpolluted. Knowing there is no way to reverse the damage to the planet, a coalition of scientists has managed to open up a fracture in the space-time continuum, creating a portal to prehistoric Earth. This doorway leads to an amazing world, one that allows for a last-ditch effort to save the human race...possibly changing the future by correcting the mistakes of the past.
The series centers on the Shannon family as they join the tenth pilgrimage of settlers to TERRA NOVA, the first colony of humans in this second chance for civilization. JIM SHANNON (O'Mara), a devoted father with a checkered past, guides his family - wife ELISABETH and children JOSH and MADDY - through this new land of limitless beauty, mystery and terror. In addition to blue skies, rolling rivers and lush vegetation, TERRA NOVA offers new opportunities and fresh beginnings to its recent arrivals, but the Shannons have brought with them a familial secret that may threaten their citizenship in this utopia. These adventurers soon discover that this healthy, vibrant world is not as idyllic as it initially appears. The areas surrounding TERRA NOVA are filled with dangerous dinosaurs and other prehistoric threats, as well as external forces that may be intent on destroying this new world before it begins.
TERRA NOVA is produced by 20th Century Fox Television, DreamWorks Television, Kapital Entertainment and Chernin Entertainment. Steven Spielberg, Peter Chernin, Brannon Braga, David Fury, Jon Cassar, Aaron Kaplan, Katherine Pope, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Craig Silverstein and Kelly Marcel serve as executive producers. Alex Graves will direct the pilot episode.