THE SOCIAL NETWORK’s Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti to Produce FIFTY SHADES OF GREY Film Adaptation

     July 9, 2012


Though it’s tough to argue for the artistic merit of something that began as Twilight fan fiction written on the internet, we’re starting to get an idea of what the feature film adaptation of E.L. James’ “mommy porn” trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey might look like.  Producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti have been tapped by Universal and Focus Features to produce the big screen iteration of Fifty Shades of Grey.  Somewhat surprisingly the studios did not choose some tween pandering or hyper-commercial duo, as De Luca and Brunetti both produced David Fincher’s The Social Network, with De Luca also producing one of last year’s best films, Moneyball.  Focus Features CEO Donna Langley had this to say about the hiring:

“At its core, Fifty Shades of Grey is a complex love story, requiring a delicate and sophisticated hand to bring it to the big screen. Mike and Dana’s credits more than exemplify what we need in creative partners and we’re glad to have them as part of our team.”

Hit the jump for more.

fifty-shades-of-grey-book-coverFor those living under a rock, the erotic novel series traces the deepening relationship between a female college graduate and a young business magnate.  James’ idea of a “deepening relationship” includes a good deal of filthy, submissive sex packed to the brim with BDSM (pun intended).  I hold little esteem for this kind of smut, but I have to admit that De Luca and Brunetti’s involvement has me slightly intrigued.

I’ve no idea if this will steer closer to Showgirls or something like Story of O, but De Luca and Brunetti have some winners on their resumes.  The duo are currently producing Paul Greengrass’ next film, Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks and they’re also behind Frank Darabont’s period TNT series L.A. Noir.  Now we wait to see who they nab to direct and adapt this damn thing.  Read the full press release below.

LOS ANGELES, CA, July 9, 2012—Universal Pictures and Focus Features today announced that veteran producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti will produce Fifty Shades of Grey. De Luca and Brunetti will produce the film based on E L James’ #1 Bestselling book alongside James. The announcement was made by Universal Pictures Co-Chairman, Donna Langley and Focus Features’ Chief Executive Officer, James Schamus.

In March, Universal Pictures and Focus Features announced the acquisition of rights to the entire Fifty Shades Trilogy with Focus Features marketing and distributing the first film in partnership with Universal. To date, Vintage Books has sold 31 million e-book and print copies of the trilogy in English-language markets worldwide. In the U.S. alone, the “Fifty Shades” trilogy has sold over 20 million copies in e-book and print making it one of the fastest selling book series ever.

“At its core, Fifty Shades of Grey is a complex love story, requiring a delicate and sophisticated hand to bring it to the big screen,” said Langley. “Mike and Dana’s credits more than exemplify what we need in creative partners and we’re glad to have them as part of our team.”

“Michael De Luca is a dream producer, whose combination of vision, taste and fearlessness is the perfect match for Fifty Shades of Grey,” said Schamus.

As an award-winning producer, De Luca has made his mark on some of the most critically-acclaimed films of the last few years including 2011’s Best Picture nominee Moneyball starring Brad Pitt as Oakland A’s former general manager, Billy Beane. Brunetti and De Luca served together as producers with Scott Rudin and Cean Chaffin on The Social Network which earned critical accolades, including an Academy Award® nomination for Best Picture. Brunetti and De Luca are collaborating with Scott Rudin on the upcoming Tom Hanks’ film Captain Phillips, the true story of a cargo ship captain held hostage by Somali pirates and rescued by Navy SEALs. Other film credits for De Luca include I Am Sam, Blow, Magnolia, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Wag the Dog, American History X and Boogie Nights. Additional film credits for Brunetti include Casino Jack, 21, Fanboys, Beyond The Sea and Safe.

“I am thrilled that Mike has joined Team Fifty,” said E L James. “He brings a passion for and in-depth understanding of the characters and story, and a wealth of experience in making quality films.”

“Dana and I are both grateful and honored to be invited to join this team,” said De Luca. “We deeply respect and admire the kinds of films Donna, James and Jeb have been responsible for and are very excited to be joining Erika in a collaboration to bring her vision of this once in a lifetime, provocative and resonant love story to the screen.”

“Fifty Shades of Grey” follows the relationship of 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele. Subsequent novels in the series, “Fifty Shades Darker” (September 2011) and “Fifty Shades Freed” (January 2012) explore the couple’s deepening relationship.

  • Leonardo

    Bret Easton Ellis says in his twitter that he wants to adapt the book, that would be awesome.

  • Albert

    Has anyone ever read a page of this book? This is probably the worst written book in history. It’s completely awful, and you can know that just by reading the first 3 pages. I just don’t know what these great producers are doing by getting involved in this horrible book series.
    I feel like everyone is ignoring the fact that this book series is not literature at all. IT’S EVEN WORST THAN TWILIGHT, and that says a lot.

    • Albert


    • Gates

      I have to agree. I read the first book in the series, just to see what all the hype was about. I’m sorry I did! Oh well, it’s making someone tons of money, so let’s all jump on THAT gravy train!!

  • LEM

    I haven’t read it but have heard excerpts on various shows and the writing is awful. I think everyone should try to write something and self publish maybe you can have a movie made too.

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  • Andres Velasquez

    My asshairs are more complex than absolutely any and every part of this book (and the others in its series, I’m sure).

    It is complete garbage. The plot is garbage. The writing is garbage. The characters sven fail at being one-dimensional and epitomize every failure of character development, and the book was just completely bizzarre and just total garbage. I tried to stick with it…but I stopped about 120 pages in, I couldn’t it was just too badly written and altogether nauseatingly poor. I went on the internet to read more on the book, and it says that the book was originally a Twilight fan fiction which was simply expanded upon. The writer simply changed the character names to avoid infringement reprimand. After discovering this small tidbit, it all started to make so much more sense, this is glorified twilight fan fiction, it even fails at being that much, every bit as much as you’d expect, and then some.

    The only thing this book inspires is for the plot of Farenheit 451 to become reality, which, after reading this piece of shit excuse for a book, seems a lot more attractive.

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  • Rachel

    I agree that the Grey books are a bit on the cheezy side and the writing has a bit to be desired…however, I liked the stories and I enjoyed the characters. I did read all three books in three days. When finished I immediately thought HBO or SHOWTIME Series. These characters/stories lend themselves so well to either of these outlets – much more so than to the big screen. We all know that if the production house goes for big screen these movies will flop. Why not build on the characters and stories via the small screen? HBO and SHOWTIME have done great with OZ, DEXTER, THE SOPRANOS, and SEX IN THE CITY. I hope my thought gets out there to those who have pull.


  • Susan

    Yannick Bisson should play Christian Grey for 50 Shades of Grey. He already plays a reserved but passionate police constable in Murdoch Mysteries on CBC which has been picked up by CBS. He has smoldering eyes, looks younger than he is, and has had a long acting career.

    • Yolanda

      Yannick Bisson should play Christian Grey because of his eyes and expressions. He can look like he can kill and be hurt by some secrets of Grey’s past. I believe Yannick can bring that sexual passion of the Red Room and his deep complex love for Ana to the big screen. Check out Yannick Bisson in the series Murdoch Mysteries on Netflix

  • Lyne

    STEPHEN AMELL as Christian Grey!