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’50 Shades of Grey’ Gets ‘Nowhere Boy’ Director Sam Taylor-Johnson

50 Shades of Grey Sam Taylor-Johnson
Getty Images/Vantage Books

It’s finally happening. After months of, “Nah, they won’t actually make a ‘50 Shades of Grey‘ movie … will they?,” a director has officially boarded the adaptation of EL James’ hugely popular novel. We’re still not sure if we should send ‘Nowhere Boy’ director Sam Taylor-Johnson (yes, Aaron Taylor-Johnson‘s wife) our congratulations or our regrets. After all, the jury is still out as to how Universal and Focus Features will actually make a functioning movie out of this thing.

Unless you’re a fan of indie cinema, Taylor-Johnson may seem like a left-field choice. After all, big names like Gus Van Sant and Joe Wright appeared to be circling this one not too long ago. However, Deadline reports that the former photographer and visual artist has managed to beat the big dogs and snag what’s sure to be a major hit. Like the ‘Twilight’ movies, this thing is probably going to rake in the big bucks no matter the quality. We imagine, too, that Taylor-Johnson will have enough clout to make whatever she wants for the foreseeable future if this all works out.

But seriously, can a good movie be made out of ’50 Shades of Grey’? After all, the source material began its life as borderline-pornographic ‘Twilight’ fan fiction before a rewrite transformed it into a BDSM fantasy for repressed women all over the world. The story of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele is less of a narrative and more of a collection of sexual escapades written for people with kinky fantasies. There’s nothing wrong with that (no judgment here!), but it certainly won’t make for a compelling narrative on its own.

Naturally, no one has addressed this elephant in the room, but producer Michael De Luca had this to say about the new director:

“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.”

The next step is to find actors willing to star in this thing. Considering that the idea of a NC-17 rating has already been thrown around, they’ll have to find someone fearless — and willing — to star in a ’50 Shades of Grey’ movie.

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