As soon as the inevitable news was broken that literary mummy porn favourite Fifty Shades was being adapted for the big screen, every leading actor with a 6 pack and penis has been thrown into the mix for the role of Christian Grey. Less speculated though is who will be charged with bringing the whole thing to the big screen.
Ironically the notion of 50 Shades on the big screen gets me about as aroused as the thought licking bits of egg from Wilfrid Brimley’s moustache. The books, from what I have read of them, are somewhere between Penthouse and pastiche, and the film has already been done, much better, and was called Secretary (2002).
However, the directors circulated as being closest to the project have peaked my interest a little. Rather than using a small time director who would be willing to put their name to something that will get big box office as a way of launching themselves, it seems the studio is going highbrow. After Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Elephant) put together a test reel with his ideal leading man, Brit six pack purveyor Alex Pettyfer, it seems the latest name in the mix is Joe Wright.
Yes it seems the highbrow British director behind such films as Atonement and Anna Karenina is the favourite to helm the undoubted box office behemoth that will be 50 Shades. It is an odd choice, but a potentially brilliant one. As this article aptly demonstrates, a lot of people will pre-judge the film as being schlocky and hollow, Cinemax movie of the week that got the big screen treatment. However with a name synonymous with classy pictures such as Wright, this might give 50 Shades the kudos it needs to stop it being this generations Showgirls.
As he’s not signed on yet this all speculation. But is seems like some talented filmmakers obviously see something worthwhile in the source material. Although, as Jay and Silent Bob eluded too, Van Sandt isn’t always about the artistic integrity.
In the meantime here is a video of Gilbert Gottfried reading extracts of 50 Shades. Enjoy