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Sam Taylor-Wood to direct 50 Shades of Grey film

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Jun 19, 2013 | 6:26pm EDT

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."

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