'Fifty Shades of Grey' Movie Casting News: Screenwriter Confirmed, Bret Easton Ellis Trashes Decision, Author E.L. James
After months of speculation, "Fifty Shades of Gray" Author E.L. James has removed the ball gag and chosen a screenwriter to adapt her bestselling erotica book into a film. She must have heard us call out "Okalahoma!"
While a few names had been floating around - most visibly "American Psycho" author Bret Easton Ellis - James and Focus Features have been hesitant to comment, let alone confirm, much about the film adaptation so far. That all changed recently in a press release from the production company - "Terra Nova" co-creator Kelly Marcel, will write the screenplay for the movie version of "Fifty Shades of Grey," according to Focus Features.
"Kelly's work demonstrates her flawless structural technique and passionate commitment to emotion, humor and depth of character which is particularly visible in the celebrated screenplay for the upcoming 'Saving Mr. Banks,'" "Fifty Shades" movie producer Michael De Luca ("The Social Network) said in a statement.
"We were all taken with the depth and passion of Kelley's engagement with the characters and world E L James has created and we knew she was the right person to augment our 'Fifty Shades' family," said co-producer Dana Brunetti.
Ellis, a fan favorite who had expressed interest in writing the screenplay for a "Fifty Shades" movie, and seen by many as the frontrunner for the job, was none too happy with James and Co.'s decision. The author channeled his disappointment in the only constructive way a modern scribe worth his weight in e-ink can retaliate: He Twitter ranted like an eighth grader stood up for a date.
"Kelly Marcel?!? KELLY MARCEL?!? Kelly Marcel is WRITING the script for "Fifty Shades of Grey"?!? THIS is the movie they want to make? ARGH," tweeted Ellis.
He later added, "Kelly Marcel: the creator of (gulp) 'Terra Nova' and a Mary Poppins bio-pic has been blessed by EL James and no one can stop her. Dear God. "
The British-born Marcel also wrote the script for "Saving Mr. Banks," a movie about Walt Disney's quest to turn the P.L. Travers book "Mary Poppins" into a movie. Walt Disney Studios is currently making the film. The film stars Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, and Emma Thompson as "Poppins," and is written by Travers. John Lee Hancock ("The Blind Side") is aboard to direct.
Having only worked on a handful of films, Marcel is fairly new to movie game, so perhaps that's where Ellis' criticism stems from. It's no secret Ellis has a habit of making scandalous comments, either.
We haven't seen "Terra Nova," but we're guessing this is just some snipey, cynical industry jealousy.
Marcel is also co-artistic director of "The Bad Dog Theater Company," which she founded in 2010 alongside actor Tom Hardy and fellow writer Brett C. Leonard, and re-wrote the script for Hardy's shocking, visceral prison film "Bronson," which, frankly, we adored.
Ellis, and any fans holding out for his involvement in the film shouldn't despair about Marcel's lack of erotic credentials too much, though. The "Fifty Shades" screenwriter got her start in musical theater with the British version of "Debbie Does Dallas, the Musical."
Since being published last year, "Fifty Shades" has become notorious for its explicit sexual content and controversial portrayal of a relationship involving BDSM. The novel has sold more than 30 million copies in the U.S., and more than 10 million copies to British readers, making James' book the UK's fastest-selling book of all time. All three books from James' trilogy have remained in the top five of The New Yorks Times' bestsellers list for over three months.
Kellen Lutz, Ian Somerhalder, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Matt Bomer, Justin Beiber, and Max Greenfield are among many actors' names that have already been mentioned in casting the leading role of Christian Grey, a troubled businessman who seduces an innocent college graduate called Anastasia Steele. Other than confirming Marcel as the screenwriter, author James has been tightlipped about the entire movie adaptation process.