Universal Nabs Rights to 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Adaptation

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Universal and Focus Features have won rights to adapt E.L. James' 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' the first novel in her erotic trilogy. Described by some as "mommy porn," the series is targeted at women aged 25-65.

Deadline reports that Universal purchased the rights in a bidding war, hoping to cash in on something exciting and new -- an adult-themed film franchise.

The story is that of Anastasia Steele, a 21 year old college student who enters into a dominant/submissive relationship with Christian Grey (get it? Steele and Grey -- she totally did that on purpose), an entrepreneur in his late 20s. Flipping the script a little, Anastasia begins manipulating and suppressing Christian emotionally.

'Fifty Shades of Grey' began life as 'Twilight' fan-fiction before morphing into the slap-happy tale of romance it is now. Because of course it did. If anything, this sounds like a prequel to 'Secretary,' with the idea of the dominant male force being emotionally manipulated, and James Spader's character was named E. Edward Grey -- Edward, like 'Twilight,' Grey, like the character in this thinly-veiled upgrade on Harlequin romance.

The novels are a hit with repressed women nationwide, guaranteeing that most of them will don over-sized sunglasses and, at the very least, slump down low in their theater chair during a Sunday matinee, clutching their pearls in fear that they might run into their other sexually repressed friends, or, heaven forbid, the neighborhood dog walker or Oprah or someone whose judgment they fear just as equally.

Filed Under: E.L. James, Universal
Categories: Movie News
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