The big-screen adaptation of E.L. James’ bestseller, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” has just locked in a director. Sam Taylor-Johnson has been confirmed by Universal Pictures and Focus Features to help adapt the first book in the trilogy.
“I am excited to be charged with the evolution of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ from page to screen,” Taylor-Johnson said in a statement. “For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honor the power of Erika’s book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin too.”
Taylor-Wood is best known for her film, “Nowhere Boy,” but has also directed a handful of short films as well. She beats out a who’s who of directors who had been rumored to tackle the flick about the kinky relationship between Christian Grey, a 27-year-old billionaire, and his college-aged and inexperienced girlfriend, Anastasia.
Prior to Taylor-Wood joining the project, Angelina Jolie, “Anna Karenina” director Joe Wright,” American Psycho” author Bret Easton Ellis and even “Milk” director Gus Van Sant had all been rumored candidates to helm the movie.
“Sam’s unique ability to gracefully showcase complex relationships dealing with love, emotion and sexual chemistry make her the ideal director to bring Christian and Anastasia’s relationship to life,” producer Michael De Luca added. “E.L. James’ characters and vivid storytelling require a director who is willing to take risks and push the envelope where needed and Sam is a natural fit.”
With Taylor-Johnson and “Terra Nova” scribe Kelly Marcel both on board, fans of the New York Times bestseller are eagerly awaiting word on who will play Christian and Ana. Small-screen hunks like Alexander Skarsgard and Ian Somerhalder have been mentioned in the same breath to play Christian, and TV actresses like Nina Dobrev and Lucy Hale are fan frontrunners for Ana.