After a long weekend of several studios pitching their ideas to the author in an attempt to win her over for the rights to the Fifty Shades film, on Monday, March 26, 2012, Deadline.com reported that Ms. James had selected Universal Pictures and Focus Features.
In an interview with Valerie Hoskins, the author’s agent, she explained what led to their studio choice.
“I sent out a term sheet of what we wanted, and the priority was that somebody came back with something that was truly collaborative, rather than, we are going to buy your book and take it away from you. All of the offers fulfilled that to a degree, but the Universal offer fulfilled it 100%, and it was done with a sense of quiet confidence. We felt very safe, that what we were being offered would be backed up by the fine print. “
-You can read the entire Deadline.com article here.
In a subsequent interview with EW.com, it was revealed that though the movie rights had been sold, Ms. James will maintain a role in the development of the movie every step of the way, including approving the script and cast.
While Universal is the more well-known name involved, just as a point of reference, we want to mention some of the movies that Focus Features has been involved with the distribution and/or production of according to imdb.com: Lost in Translation, Vanity Fair, Jane Eyre, One Day, Atonement, Pirate Radio, The Pianist, Pride & Prejudice (2005), and Something New.
It seems both the author and her agent were satisfied with their decision.
Were you surprised by the choice they made? Are any of your favorite movies associated with Universal or Focus Features?