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'Fifty Shades of Grey' film director chosen

Some are seeing the choice of 'Nowhere Boy' director Sam Taylor-Johnson as a sign that the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' film adaptation will skew slightly high-brow.

By Staff writer / June 21, 2013

Director Taylor-Johnson said in a statement that her film adaptation of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' will 'honor the power of Erika's book.' She added that 'the characters of Christian and Anastasia ... are under my skin, too.'

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Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele have found their director.

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Staff writer

Molly Driscoll is a Books and the Culture staff writer.

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One of the biggest questions for the "Fifty Shades of Grey" film – who would take the helm for the film adaptation and find some way to translate the book's explicit scenes for the cinema – has been answered. Sam Taylor-Johnson of "Nowhere Boy" has been announced as the project's director.

 "I'm so excited to be charged with the evolution of Fifty Shades of Grey from page to screen," Taylor-Johnson said in a statement Wednesday. "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." 

Author E.L. James said via Twitter that she was very happy with the choice. “I'm delighted & thrilled to let you guys know that Sam Taylor-Johnson has agreed to direct the film of 'Fifty Shades of Grey,” James tweeted.

It had previously been announced that writer Kelly Marcel will be adapting the book for the screen.

In filmmaking, Taylor Johnson is primarily known for her 2009 film “Nowhere Boy,” a biopic about John Lennon as a teenager. She has also directed short films such as 2011’s “James Bond Supports International Women’s Day.”

The Guardian called the director an “unexpected choice” in its headline about the selection, while Los Angeles Times writer Steven Zeitchick speculated that the choice of Taylor-Johnson meant that the “Fifty Shades” studio is trying to go slightly high-brow with the film adaptation.

“She is, however, known for being an acclaimed visual artist – she's won Britain's acclaimed Turner Prize – which plays into the belief that Focus and, in particular, James, want this to be a tonier version [of the book],” he wrote.

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