Our long national nightmare is finally over! And, by “long national nightmare,” I mean Deadline Chico‘s rigorous and virile coverage of the inevitable rights-selling of E.L. James‘s “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Dedicated Deadliners will remember last week’s scramble to detail not only which studios and producers were going after the book-to-movie rights of the novel burning up e-reader screens all over the world, but just how they were actually getting to the meetings. By carpool, of course! That logistics nightmare is finally over, with Universal Pictures and Focus Features emerging victorious – Focus will reportedly market and distribute the film in a partnership with Universal.

Ten studio heads allegedly “sweat[ed] it out” this weekend until the final decision was made. There is no word yet on how much the studios paid for the rights but, honestly, does anyone truly care? What is of interest when it comes the mechanics of the deal is that “the author and agent set approvals over things like script, director and lead cast, but they did not insist on a quick progress to production or even a guarantee that all three films would be made. Instead, their priority was to take their time and get it right as they target this love story explored through sexual politics, aimed at women 25-65.”

James’s novel focuses on college student Anastasia Steele and her sexually charged relationship with sexy and dominant businessman Christian Grey. Grey, Steele, we get it. The book is just the first in an (of course!) planned trilogy that will be rounded out with “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed.” So things will get darker…and then someone will be freed? I don’t even need to read the books!

I kid, of course. I’ll read the books so that I may be able to compare them with the final film product. That’s why. That’s the only reason why. Really.

Originally released as an e-book, the wildly popularity of “Fifty Shades” has spread quickly – billed as “mommy porn,” ladies round the world reportedly devoured the book, with many actually applying it to their own, real world sex lives. Hot stuff. The book will be getting a paperback release next month, but there’s still time to check it out on an inconspicuous e-reader.

At the very least, this will give our own Gwen Reyes some steamy material for more Reel Sex.

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