FIFTY SHADES OF GREY Steams Up Universal and Focus

Universal Pictures and Focus Features have joined forces to adapt E.L. JamesFifty Shades of Grey. THR reports that the two studios have teamed up for the erotic thriller and its two sequels (Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed). Universal bought the rights to the book, and Focus will distribute the movie.The three-book story follows "the erotic relationship between a damaged young billionaire and a naive female college graduate." The books started off as fan fiction, inspired by the Edward and Bella characters in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight

After huge online success, an Australian publisher began distributing the books. Random House's Vintage Books bought the rights for the U.S. on March 10. The books were recently released in ebook format, and Grey rocketed to the top of the New York Times and Amazon best-selling ebook lists. A paperback has not even been released in the U.S., Vintage plans to publish a paperback edition April 17. Hollywood was obviously interested in the story, given its success. There were a number of studios that began bidding on the property, with New Regency bidding $3 million first, then Sony bid $5 million last week.

I think that Focus Features is a perfect choice to distribute this movie. They have a past history of handling projects of this type. Have you read the books? Who do you think would be a good fit to play the lead characters?


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