First ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Trailer Debuts At CinemaCon

Kudos to Lori Ness from NorthwestPrime for connecting the dots after seeing a tweet from The Hollywood Reporter’s Pamela McClintock (here) yesterday. The poster on a set of elevator doors at Caesars Palace turned out to be a hint of things to come.

Needless to say, Twitter was slammed with tweets from CinemaCon attendees, media outlets, Team Fifty members, FSoG bloggers, and especially FSoG fans.

THR’s Rebecca Ford and Pamela McClintock reported that Universal’s presentation was delivered by Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley. Her biggest reveal? Yep. The first footage from Fifty Shades of Grey.

“Nobody outside the studio has seen a frame of footage,” Langley said.
The clip showed leads Dakota Johnson (Anastasia Steele) and Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey) meeting in Grey’s office (“Mr. Grey will see you now,” says the receptionist), in coffee shops and the hardware store where Anastasia works, all familiar scenes from the book.
While based on EL James’ erotic novel, the film looks to be more romantic than sexual. There was a brief glimpse of Johnson wearing a black blindfold in a red room, but most of the focus was on the couple’s courting.

“Hearts and flowers — that’s not who I am,” says Grey at one point in the clip, which also showed a brief glimpse of him pushing Anastasia up against a wall.

To read the rest of THR’s article, please go here.

Kara Warner from YAHOO! Movies gave fans an in-depth glimpse into the screening…

Well hello there, Mr. Grey.

Christian Grey, that is, known to millions of book readers as the love interest du jour of E.L. James’s hit “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which Universal Pictures is bringing to the big screen next Valentine’s Day. As part of their CinemaCon panel Tuesday, the studio served up a veritable buffet of trailer and teaser goodness, including the first look at footage from “Grey.”

The nearly two-minute teaser opens with a cityscape look at Seattle, on a day with some sunshine but mostly grey skies. A soft, slow piano solo plays in the background (which sounds like an airy and eerie cover of Beyoncé’s “Haunted”) as we begin with Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) recounting her first meeting with Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) to her roommate, Kate (Eloise Mumford).

“So, what was he like?” Kate asks Anastasia, which we hear in voiceover as the scene of Anastasia and Christian’s first meeting plays out.

“Mr. Grey will see you now,” says his assistant to the brunette as she walks into Christian’s very spacious, immaculate office. The initial exchanges are full of shy glances from Anastasia and fixed gazes from Christian.

“He was really smart, intense,” Anastasia says to Kate, as more of their meeting plays out on screen. He passes her a pencil with “Grey” printed on it and they touch hands briefly. “He was very courteous,” she continues, as we watch Christian help her into her jacket.

“Anastasia,” Christian says as she gets on the elevator.

“Christian,” she responds, and the elevator doors close.

Now the lyrics to the song playing in the background kick in, with a backbeat that fittingly speeds up the action and the courtship. There are passionate embraces and kisses, extended time spent together, touching. We see Anastasia falling head-over-heels in love and into Christian’s world and only realizing she might be in too deep when he slowly opens a door… into a room… (book readers will know what we mean).

“I don’t know if I can be with him the way he needs me to,” Anastasia says in voiceover as we catch a quick glimpse of her lying down, a look of surprise on her face.

The rest of the teaser is a slight back-and-forth between the romance and the potentially dangerous connection between the two lovers. You can feel the intensity building, enhanced by the very colorful landscape director Sam Taylor-Johnson has created. The footage feels lush, elegant, and clean, but with an element of restraint and danger.

And then there is the not-at-all-subtle smolder of Dornan as Christian Grey. He simmers onscreen. Johnson seems perfectly natural as the innocent ingenue about to embark on a road of discovery.

Their final exchange in the teaser is a solid one: “Why are you trying to change me?” Anastasia worriedly asks Christian.

“I’m not,” Christian says, with emotion. “It’s you that’s changing me.”

Exciting stuff, right?! The multi-million $ question now is when will the rest of the world get to see it? Would seem like it would be hard to keep it a secret for too long given the nature of social media, so we’re hoping it’s soon…like tomorrow soon ;) It would be nice if the official movie account got the hono(u)r. You can follow them here, if you’re not already.

Fifty Shades of Grey the Movie
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“Fifty Shades of Grey” Billboard Campaign Launches 1/25/14

To borrow a phrase… Oh my.

Excerpt from exclusive Entertainment Weekly post:

Should you be lucky enough to be standing — or driving — by one of five specific street corners in the U.S. in the next couple of days you will see the soon sure-to-be-famous backside of the one and only Christian Grey from Universal Pictures’ upcoming film adaptation of the smash best-selling novel Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James.

On Jan. 25, the studio will begin to debut these extra large billboards, featuring Irish actor Jamie Dornan as the kinky, domineering billionaire, in five locations around the country.

The five locations that will feature the billboard with Jamie Dornan as the infamous Christian Grey are:

  • New York (Grand St. & 6th Ave)
  • Los Angeles (Wilshire Blvd. & Gayley)
  • Chicago (LaSalle & Hubbard)
  • San Francisco (Mission St. & 6th)
  • Seattle (1st St. & Wall St.)

If you’re one of the lucky ones to get to see the billboard, tweet us a picture!!

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Fifty Shades of Grey US Premiere Date Moved to Valentine’s Day 2015

Well, we all know Christian really is a hearts and flowers kind of guy, right? ;)

Not really a big surprise, but here’s an excerpt from the exclusive EW article with a statement from Universal:

…Universal says, the casting change is not the primary reason for the new release date.

More pressing is the crowded summer schedule Fifty Shades was originally competing in. Originally set to hit screens August 1, 2014, the film, based on the sexy best-seller by E L James, was set to go up opposite Marvel’s potential new franchise Guardians of the Galaxystarring Chris Pratt and Benicio del Toro. Internationally things are even busier, with many studios pushing their big tentpoles out of next June and July — to avoid competition from the World Cup in Brazil — and into August.

“We see this movie as a global event,” Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley tells EW. “The strength of this book is really worldwide, so we want to be able to take advantage of women who are invariably on vacation with their families during the month of August in Europe.”

Now the film will debut on Valentine’s Day weekend, beginning on Friday, February 13, which also coincides with the President’s Day holiday, giving Universal the opportunity to post a big three-day number for that frame.

“Together with the international marketing and distribution team, we’ve been looking really closely at the August date and becoming more and more convinced that the right thing to do for the movie was to push it,” Langley says. “So even if Charlie had stayed, we still would have been making the date change.”

You’ll want to be sure and pick up a copy of this special issue when it hits stands on Friday, because here is what you will find inside in addition to additional photos from the photo shoot:

  • interview with author E L James
  • interview with director Sam Taylor-Johnson
  • interview with Jamie Dornan
  • interview with Dakota Johnson
  • the full story behind the casting of Christian and Anastasia
  • which scenes from the book have made it into the script and which have already hit the cutting-room floor

Team Fifty Progress Report

 Delayed gratification — Resisting a smaller but more immediate reward in order to receive a larger or more enduring reward later.

While progress seems slow to anxious FSoG fans, there is progress nonetheless.

  • Producers Dana Brunetti and Michael DeLuca recently met with FSoG screenwriter Kelly Marcel.

Lunch with a couple of friends @MichaelDe_Luca & @MissMarcelpic.twitter.com/RnZXI5re

Team Fifty Meeting

  • Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter released a Q&A with Universal Chairman Adam Fogelson, the movie studio bringing the books to the big screen. To read the complete article, which includes a possible summer 2014 release of the first installment of the Fifty Shades trilogy, go here.

Q&A: Universal Chairman Wants ‘Fifty Shades’ for Summer 2014, More ‘Bourne’ and ‘Van Helsing’ Reboot http://shar.es/YMpYI 

 Retweeted by E L James
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  •  With the author herself preparing for a trip to California, Fogelson’s reply to THR’s question about Angelina Jolie being asked to direct FSoG is even more compelling.

No. We’re involved in a different project [the World War II drama Unbroken] with her. But we have had really, really interesting, great conversations with talented, serious filmmakers.

Let’s face it. We’re talking about Fifty here. Would we really want anything less than large and enduring? *raises glass* Here’s to delayed gratification ;)

Filming the Sex Scenes: A Unique Opportunity

We’ve already spoken of the controversy surrounding the story Fifty Shades of Grey. No? Let’s recap Fifty Shades of Neutral: Addressing the Controversy. Another concern we’ve seen frequently is that the explicit content of the books will not translate to film without earning it an NC-17 rating or being classified as pornography.

One of our blog contributors, Kassie, wanted to suggest her version of how the movie can achieve an R rating.

(Note to Universal, Focus Features, and author E L James: These ideas are given freely with no expectations of credit and/or compensation if used.)

With an R rating (my hope for it), the movie can give us many different visuals of sexual situations; however, the sexual encounters in Fifty Shades of Grey will need to achieve a deeper intensity because the audience will need to walk away with a perceived mix of both pleasure and pain.

So is there a way around this to make those scenes less graphic but just as effective to the audience?

I think so!

In fact, I think Fifty Shades of Grey has a rather unique opportunity to do this based on a wonderful part of Ana’s character that Ms. James built into the story. Often in the book, the reader understands how Ana is feeling based on the description of varied actions/reactions of her Subconscious and Inner Goddess. As personifications, the two are very important ‘characters’ in the story and should be utilized (not overlooked or left out), particularly during the explicit scenes.

Here is how I think this could work:

Take the first time Christian disciplines Anastasia. We have Ana’s thoughts to work with there. We can watch them get set in the position and the camera can focus on Ana’s face, putting Christian in the background out of focus. When he pulls his hand back to spank her, we are then transported to Ana’s mind. Her Inner Goddess, taking on the form of a feisty and gorgeous Anastasia, is wide-eyed but curious. Her Subconscious, taking on the form of a more straight-laced Anastasia, is hiding behind a sofa avoiding watching the scene unfold. The reader watches the scene play out across ‘their’ faces but can still hear Ana’s vocalizations and Christian’s voice coming through, thus giving the audience the full effect of the scene.

Now imagine every explicit sex scene taking on some variation of the above by continuing to incorporate the actions/reactions of both the Subconscious and Inner Goddess. They could switch back and forth between what’s actually happening and what Ana’s thinking. This would still leave the more intimate sexual encounters intact.

The audience would get a balanced view without crossing the line that would enforce an NC-17 rating. No doubt, the right director and screenwriter could make it work; and if they are careful, the most intense scenes can be made in a way that will be quite effective to the audience, even if we aren’t shown everything.

Admin notes:

If Blue Valentine can be slapped with an NC-17 rating for oral sex, there are obvious lines the FSoG movie will have to skirt along creatively in order to avoid it. That is not to say that we believe having an NC-17 rating attached to this movie would make it less wildly popular. Let’s face it. We all fell in love with Fifty right along with Ana. The ‘scenes’ that could make it necessary for this rating are part of the story, part of what makes Fifty ‘Fifty.’ They also inform the relationship between Christian and Ana. We are confident that Ms. James will protect the integrity of her story regardless of the ultimate rating.

For a list of the most popular NC-17 rated films click here. For a look at what each rating means, check out The Motion Picture Association of America’s descriptions here.

Do you think they can make this film with an R rating? Would you still go to the theater and see it with an NC-17 rating?

Hollywood WANTS to Bring the Story to Life!

After the initial buzz in January, the books started getting promoted everywhere…from the Today show to Entertainment Weekly to People Magazine.

On March 20, 2012, the LA Times reported that the author had found her way to Hollywood!

[Source]

We were ecstatic to discover that Ms. James and her agent, Valerie Hoskins, had traveled to the United States and were spending a few days in California. Meetings were scheduled with several studio representatives, including Warner Bros., Sony, Paramount, Fox 2000, and Universal, for the chance pitch their version of how to bring the story to life on the big screen.

From there, we all waited anxiously for the decision.