Sam Taylor-Johnson (nee Taylor-Wood) has been roped in to direct a big-screen adaptation of E L James’ erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey for Universal Pictures and Focus Features.
The 46-year-old filmmaker is the wife of Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson who played a young John Lennon in her directorial debut Nowhere Boy and his name has been talked about previously for the role of Christian Grey.
However, TheWrap has heard that he is not expected to pursue the role.
Darren Aronofsky was reportedly offered and turned down the job about a month ago and rumors have been flying about directors like Gus Van Sant, Susanne Bier and Joe Wright in the running, but instead it’s a stunning British blond that only has one feature-length film credit to her name.
Universal and Focus obviously wanted to go with a younger and female director.
Taylor-Johnson will direct the film based on script by fellow Brit Kelly Marcel. Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, the team behind The Social Network, serve as co-producers along with ’50 Shades’ author James – the pen name of Erika Leonard.
For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honor the power of Erika’s book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin, too,”
Producer De Luca added:
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.
Felicity Jones is rumored most often to be in the mix for the role of virginal protagonist Anastasia Steele.
Fifty Shades of Grey is the first in a trilogy of books (Universal and Focus acquired rights to trilogy in March 2012) that traces the psychosexual relationship of young college graduate Anastasia Steele and a power-hungry 27-year-old billionaire, Christian Grey, who has a penchant for BDSM. The series was a global phenomenon, and has sold over 70 million copies in 37 countries, surpassing the Harry Potter series as the fastest-selling paperback of all-time.