Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey

Here’s a fun game to play: imagine that you have no idea what Sam Taylor-Johnson‘s Fifty Shades of Grey is about. Pretend that you’ve never heard of author E.L. James, or that you’re not aware of any casting kerfuffle surrounding the replacement of Charlie Hunnam by Jamie Dornan, or even that you know that Dakota Johnson is starring in the feature. Forget about Twilight and fan fiction and every trope that’s been layered on niche romance films over the past decade. Just get rid of all of that. (Some of you, we must note, probably already live in this state, but don’t worry, you can play, too — and you should!) Now watch this first trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey. Genuine question — what the hell do you think is going on here?

read more...

Fifty Shades of Grey

Well, perhaps she’s drunk on something else besides love. Money? Bestselling but terrible novels? Drunk on money? Drunk on fan fiction? Singing superstar and national treasure Beyonce recently took to her Instagram to share a teaser of the first trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey  — and, no, we don’t think it was Bey herself who brokered this deal or even uploaded the damn thing, no matter how much the chanteuse loves her social media (which is a lot) — but it still seems like a weird little bit of cross-promotion and marketing. Why does Beyonce (the brand, or the person, or whatever) want you to care about Fifty Shades of Grey? And is this even a good fit? The teaser is, quite notably, finely tuned for Beyonce’s very own tunage, because it sure sounds like it’s set to a slowed down, kind of creepy version of her “Crazy in Love.” Crazy something. Gird your loins and take a look:

read more...

Kelly Marcel

Fifty Shades of Grey? Sure, whatever. I wouldn’t care at all about the mainstream NC-17 attempt if it weren’t for screenwriter Kelly Marcel. She’s undoubtedly a rising star, and it’s absolutely fascinating that she’ll end up with an S&M buffet on screen within a year of the story of Walt Disney getting Mary Poppins made. If you have to ask what the connection is, you aren’t ready to know. But you might be ready to know about sex. That damned thing is going to be all over Fifty Shades of Grey. Wallowing in it. Thus, it’s lucky that Marcel can so thoroughly and accurately explain it (and it gives us a bit of insight into how she’s approached the element for the film).When asked by Scott Myers at Go Into the Story about how she approached the hot stuff, she had this to say:

read more...

Jamie Dornan

It’s time to be honest about Fifty Shades of Grey. A flash in the pan elevated to feature status, it was always destined for jeers from non-fans (especially since people can write the source material off as terrible slash fiction so easily), and now that the production team at Universal and Focus have opted to sidestep the most vocal fan pleas on the casting front not once, but twice, there’s a real chance that even the people who care about it don’t care about it.

read more...

Charlie Hunnam

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

read more...

Life in the center of a hotly anticipated (by middle-aged women) fan fiction adaptation about rough sex might not be all it’s cracked up to be. At least that’s the case for Charlie Hunnam, who announced this past weekend that he would no longer be playing Christian Grey in the upcoming 50 Shades of Grey. Now, the official reason for Hunnam’s exit is the actor’s “immersive TV schedule, which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role.” Makes sense, right? The man’s got motorcycles to ride and slight Shakespearean parallels to act out on Sons of Anarchy. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, there was a far more personal motivation for Hunnam’s departure. It seems being cast in 50 Shades put the actor in a far brighter and more unforgiving spotlight than he intended, so much so that he required a set of bodyguards just to make it into a recent Sons of Anarchy premiere, fielding 50 Shades-related questions all the while. If Hunnam can maintain a high-profile acting career while avoiding that kind of crazy, more power to him (and in all honesty, avoiding 50 Shades might be a better move in the long run anyway).

read more...

Star Trek

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

read more...

Mortal Instruments

While it may not be obvious from the get-go that author Cassandra Clare’s soon-to-be-six-books “The Mortal Instruments” series originally found life as Harry Potter fan fiction, by the time audiences reach “The Institute” in Harald Zwart’s movie adaptation, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, it’s pretty damn clear that something Potter-esque is up. Something about those neatly arranged infirmary beds, something about that random bird, something about all those British accents… Lo and behold, yes, Clare did get her start by penning popular online fan fiction about Potter and company, but not the kind you’d necessarily expect (and, personally speaking, not the kind that I’d want). Do Jace Wayland’s white-blond hair and snappy retorts feel familiar? That’s because “The Mortal Instruments” was originally Draco Malfoy-centric fan fiction and what are you even saying, I think my brain just exploded. Step back, it will only get worse. “The Mortal Instruments” was originally Draco Malfoy-centric fan fiction that imagined that Draco turned good and got it on with Hermione. Sorry, Ron. Sorry, goodness. Sorry, happiness. Of course, once Clare locked up a publishing deal, she had to both alter her series to not so obviously look like a Potter rip-off and delete her original work from the web. But it’s still all there (literally, as you can still find the original fanfic if you look hard enough, and figuratively, because obviously this series is ripped from the pages of J.K. Rowling’s work), and it’s far from the only one. At turns delicious, […]

read more...

Sam Taylor Johnson

There was some discussion after Universal and Focus Features locked down the hotly sought after rights to make Fifty Shades of Grey as to whether it was the kind of movie that had to have a female filmmaker at the helm. The answer is probably a little bit conflicting for everyone. On the one hand, it’s pleasant to imagine that a story that has seemed so focus toward and done so well with women would mean a natural opportunity for a bright female filmmaker to take part of the spotlight. On the other, who’s to say that any story necessitates one gender or another behind the camera? Tough questions that will linger beyond Fifty Shades, but at least for this film, Universal and Focus’ answer is no longer in the abstract. According to Variety, Sam Taylor-Johnson is going to take the job. A relative newcomer to the directing game, she has only Nowhere Boy under her belt when it comes to features. Of course she made a mark with it, earning several award nominations for the flick and its actors — one of whom is Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass, Anna Karenina). The pair met during filming and married soon after. The casting is far from finalized, but the Variety article claims a source vouching for Aaron Taylor-Johnson as a candidate for the lead Grey male role while The Wrap says he’s not going after it.

read more...

pettyfer-abs

While E.L. James’ “Twilight” fan-fiction turned series of erotic novels, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” were popular enough that it would seem like film adaptations of the books would make unheard of amounts of money, there are still a few problems to solve that have likely kept the material from being put on the fast track to development. How would a Fifty Shades of Grey movie handle all of the kinky sex stuff, which is central enough to the storytelling that it would have to be included, but which would undoubtedly give it the dreaded R rating that restricts a film’s audience and that studios hate? Is it possible to keep in enough of the steamy stuff and still make it PG-13, or would it be stupid of Focus Features—who owns the film rights to the books—to not just bite the bullet and make R-rated film versions of these popular novels, no matter how much the restricted rating makes their bean-counters sweat? Thankfully for all you fans of latex jumpsuits and nipple clamps, there’s a man out there who feels that he has the right approach to making a Fifty Shades of Grey movie a success, and that man is veteran director of independent film, Gus Van Sant.

read more...

Kelly Marcel

Let’s be real for a second. Even if screenwriter Kelly Marcel claims that Fifty Shades of Grey is going to be NC-17, there’s no chance that it will be. For that to happen, Universal — one of the biggest studios in Hollywood — would have to convert the best-selling, phenomenon level property they spent $3m to acquire into an aggressive message aimed directly at the MPAA (which is partially funded by Universal) and risk money on the film not screening in a lot of theaters. Had The Weinstein Company gotten the rights, this might be believable, but it’s beyond the realm of possibility as it is, and there are two situations playing out that I can see here: This is a screenwriter — who from what I can tell has some serious game — pointing to the bleachers or having a laugh by going over the top. This is part of a cultivated marketing plan to make the property even more titillating and dangerous which will culminate in them either achieving an NC-17 (maybe they’ll have Ryan Gosling go down on Michelle Williams in it) before pulling it back for an R or aiming for an R regardless of the NC-17 publicity. Obviously there’s going to be sex in it, but if The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is still an R, it’ll be truly surprising to see Grey manage to go harder. But truly, the reason this doesn’t pass the smell test is that a lot of major theater chains won’t […]

read more...

Consider this the first truly meaningful piece of in-development news about the cinematic adaptation of E.L. James‘ nutty-cuckoo-popular “Fifty Shades of Grey.” With the bestselling novel currently in development with Universal Pictures and Focus Features, we’re surely bound to be getting all manner of insane rumors before the film even makes it to the big screen (what? we’ve already had insane rumors? you don’t say!), but today’s news that Universal and Focus have hired on a screenwriter to adapt the novel is the first truly hard-and-fast news bit to hit the wire. Per a press release circulated this afternoon, Kelly Marcel will write the screenplay for Fifty Shades of Grey, adding a  stunning third title to the Black List screenwriter’s slim cinematic resume. Marcel reportedly got her start in the bright-lights-big-stage biz with work in musical theater, but she’s recently transitioned over to film and television. Her two major credits are, well, to be perfectly honest, an already weird pairing, one made all the stranger by the addition of 50 Shades to her repertoire. Just what is Marcel into? What’s her style? Apparently, failed future-set television series and old school Disney trivia. Pardon?

read more...

Angelina Jolie

I’ve spent the entire morning checking to see if they somehow changed June 8th to April Fool’s Day. No such luck, but this rumor is so absurd that it either has to be correct or has to be mined from an anonymous user on the message board of a fanfic blog. Or it comes from Deadline Seattle. The paper thin report alleges that Universal has been in talks with Angelina Jolie to direct at least the first film in the trilogy based on E.L. James’s “Fifty Shades of Grey.” The project is a massive one according to studio math because the books have been so popular (over ten million copies sold in 37 countries), so theoretically getting a high profile name attached as director could help the business side of things. On the other hand, this seems like a massive gamble. Is it supposed to be a tentpole film like Hunger Games and Twilight? It has a huge built-in fanbase, but will that be enough to ensure it’s worth the price tag? Can’t people go rewatch Secretary and Indecent Proposal instead? Why are we asking all these questions? And what are the odds that this rumor is anywhere near true?

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark DRINKING? It’s the end result of a long work day, a half dozen mini doughnuts, a glass of cheap Canadian whisky, Robert Fure, and a keyboard. Suck on it, suckers! This week’s movie news after Drinking is brought to you by Revel Stoke spiced whisky (We should not get paid for this because I’m not drinking this again. Or no we should still get paid, but I’m not drinking this again). But basically the deal is I get kind of drunk and then try to type up a whole bunch of movie news before my arms stop working. If you’re wondering why I’m typing all this nonsense, it’s because we need a certain amount of buffer before we move into the news to put a proper text break in here. But totally keep reading because Will Smith NO JOKE SLAPS A RUSSIAN IN THE FACE IN THE FIRST STORY. (OH LOOK AT ME I’M FRILMCRIT HULK BECAUSE THIS IS ALL CAPITALS)

read more...

Reel Sex

The past few weeks have been incredibly exciting for anyone following the curious case of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, the sexually adventurous stars of E.L. James’s erotic romance e-book Fifty Shades of Grey. What started off as a Twilight fan fiction has turned out to be at the center of an American literary explosion not seen since James’s own inspiration was up for auction at Little, Brown, and Company in 2007. Now the foreign erotica import has not only been snatched up for seven figures by a literary arm of Random House Publishing known as Vintage (I am shocked, honestly), but as Kate Erbland mentioned Monday it has also been optioned by Focus Features and Universal. This has been a very busy month for the British author, and I don’t even have the heart to hate her for it. As an unabashed fan of erotic romance novels, I was taken aback by the fervor this bondage novel has caused, but not for the reasons many of my colleagues and friends share. Although I do tend to favor BDSM in cinema, bondage in erotic literature has never been my favorite. I’ve often felt it to be far-fetched, overly clinical, and even a bit stale. I mean, as clinical and stale as sexual power play, leather cuffs, and object insertion can possibly be when story and character development take a back seat.  This isn’t to say something like Fifty Shades of Grey couldn’t change my mind, because it instantly intrigued me […]

read more...

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 […]

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? After a whirlwind of SXSW action, it doesn’t even know anymore. Something about movie news. Interesting links, maybe. There may also be some fart jokes, but we’re trying to keep it classy. Hi, Mom! Also, tonight’s edition will prove how much this column’s author has been watching Cougar Town lately. Like Community‘s Abed Nadir, he would like to live in Cougar Town. We begin tonight with a picture of Katee Sackhoff in Riddick 3 (ooh, la la — for the Battlestar Galactica babe, not another Riddick sequel). She will apparently play the baddie in the Vin Diesel-led film, some sort of alien bounty hunter who is more than meets the eye. Random thought: When are Katee Sackoff and Busy Philipps (Cougar Town reference #1) going to get together and do a sexy twins buddy cop movie? Strong female leads, people. Come on, Hollywood!

read more...
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3