British filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson (photo) will direct the film adaptation of British author E.L. James' S&M bestseller Fifty Shades Of Grey. Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti will produce for Universal Pictures and Focus Features alongside James. Taylor-Johnson most recently directed the BAFTA nominated Nowhere Boy.
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 and Fifty Shades Freed explore the couple's deepening relationship. The trilogy has been translated into 50 languages worldwide since its release and has sold over 70 million copies worldwide in e-book and print, making it one of the fastest selling book series ever.
Taylor-Johnson said, “I am excited to be charged with the evolution of Fifty Shades Of Grey from page to screen. For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honour the power of Erika's book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin too.”
De Luca said, “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. E.L. James' characters and vivid storytelling require a director who is willing to take risks and push the envelope where needed and Sam is a natural fit.”
Taylor-Johnson is also in development on a film for Columbia Pictures based on the novel by Robert Goorlick, A Reliable Wife, which is also being produced by De Luca.
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