'50 Shades of Grey' gets the movie treatment

The bestselling erotic trilogy will be adapted by Universal Pictures and Focus Features.

'Fifty Shades of Grey' was written by an author who goes by E L James and is reportedly a former TV executive.

Bestseller “50 Shades of Grey” and its sequels by E L James (a pseudonym) will be adapted into movies by Focus Features and Universal Pictures.

A film version of a book that’s raced up the bestseller charts seems like a natural fit, but that’s a little less true for “Grey” – since the book is an erotic novel, some wonder how the story’s events can be adapted to the screen and yet still stay within the limits of an R rating. 

“I think that’s going to be a collaborative process,” James told Entertainment Weekly

James told the magazine that Jeb Brody, who serves as Focus Features president of production, was the person who convinced her that Focus was the group she wanted to go with for her movie adaptation. 

“I really like clever men who challenge you," James told the website, "and with Jeb, I thought, yeah, I can work with that!”’ 

The author will retain the right to approve the script for the movie and the choice of the two leads, college student Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, a young billionaire.

James said Focus’s previous projects also helped convince her that they were the ones for her book.

“They have a great background in handling difficult material,” she said in the Entertainment Weekly interview.

The prospect of a “Grey” movie had many studios competing for rights to the novel before Focus Features and Universal Pictures won out.

“Like so many readers all over the globe, we've fallen in love with 'Fifty Shades of Grey'," Universal Pictures chairman Adam Fogelson and Universal co-chairman Donna Langley said in a joint statement. “It's a special story and working with Focus, we hope to bring audiences a film they can enjoy as much as they loved the book.”

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.

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