Millions of readers can't put down E.L James' erotic novel, which started out as fan fiction based on Edward Cullen and Bella Swan in "Twilight." The book follows the unlikely romance of college student Anastasia Steele and billionaire tycoon Christian Grey. Both are looking for different things out of the romance: She yearns for lasting love while he's strictly in it for the S&M.
From the plot alone, it's easy to see why "Fifty Shades" has become a best-seller, and now that it's been picked up by Universal Pictures and Focus Features to be made into a movie, the question is: How can a book that screams for an NC-17 rating actually be made into an R-rated flick?
"Making this movie will absolutely be a challenge. It is going to take a devoted director who admittedly likes the books and understands that, first and foremost, this is a love story," Lisa Parker from FiftyShadesFilm.com told MTV News. "If telling the love story is the main focus, then we do believe the steamy sex scenes can be shot and edited in a way to get us an R-rated movie rather than NC-17."
Another factor to keep in mind is that bigger actors may be more eager to take on the lead roles if the content is a little more conservative. Robert Pattinson and Ian Somerhalder have already been rumored for the role of Christian Grey, and they might be wary to tackle an NC-17 movie. The director and screenwriter will also have to find a balance between the emotional love story and the sensual scenes, since the intimate part of the story is one of the big reasons people are clamoring to get their hands on this book.
"I think they are most definitely going to have a challenge," Mags Vazquez from LatersBaby.net said. "They are going to have to balance the sexy versus the smutty, and I think they'll have a challenge, but it's something that I'm sure they will be able to do tastefully."
If the studio is going for an R-rated film, readers will have to understand that not every sexual plotline of the story will make it onto the big screen. "I hopefully think the fans would be realistic and understand that they can't show some of the things that they are talking about in that book," Vazquez acknowledged.
On the other hand, the sexual content of the story is what has made "Fifty Shades" so popular, and Parker believes that if it had an NC-17 rating attached to it, fans of the book will still make it a point to see the film.
"That doesn't mean that we believe having an NC-17 rating attached to this movie would make it less wildly popular. ... The scenes that could make it necessary for this rating are part of the story, part of what makes 'Fifty,' 'Fifty,' "Parker said. "They also inform the relationship between Christian and Ana. Once again, we are confident that Ms. James will protect the integrity of her story regardless of the ultimate rating."
Do you think "Fifty Shades of Grey" will be an R-rated flick? Let us know in the comments!
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