Sorry, Gus Van Sant. Apparently the proof-of-concept scene you shot with Alex Pettyfer did not convince Universal and Focus Features you are the man to direct the feature adaptation Fifty Shades of Grey, because they are still looking. THR reports that Joe Wright (Anna Karenina) has emerged as a frontrunner to direct Fifty Shades. Given its reputation, I am surprised the project is attracting acclaimed directors. But Wright makes sense as a candidate, continuing his relationship with Focus Features after Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, Hanna, and Anna Karenina. Wright has recently been linked to the Neil Gaiman adaptation The Ocean at the End of the Lane and a Houdini biopic.
Kelly Marcel is adapting E.L. James‘ novel about a literature student who “embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair” with young entrepreneur Christian Grey. Read the book synopsis after the jump.
When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires. [Amazon]