Securing the Producers of Fifty Shades

As we knew, E.L. James and her agent, Valerie Hoskins, were Back in Hollywood sorting out the next step in the movie puzzle (one with 50 pieces, of course!) — the selection of a producer and/or producers.

Several well-known names were rumored to be on the short list, but according to Deadline.com, both Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti have been named producers to the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie. They have previously teamed up on The Social Network. (Tackling current phenomenon, from Facebook to Fifty Shades seems fitting in a way, doesn’t it?)

Mr. De Luca has worked on movies as vanilla as Pleasantville to as risque as Boogie Nights.

Ms. James’ approved of the choice expressing, “I am thrilled that Mike has joined Team Fifty. He brings a passion for and in-depth understanding of the characters and story, and a wealth of experience in making quality films.”

Sounds perfect to us!

Interestingly, the article goes on to address the rumor about Angelina Jolie being involved in the movie, stating “an informal conversation” had been held with her about directing. With the inclusion of this tidbit, we hope it means we’ll soon hear who has been chosen to direct the project!

Mr. De Luca and Mr. Brunetti, welcome to Team Fifty!

Fifty Shades Back In Hollywood!

With author E L James and her agent, Valerie Hoskins (Valerie Hoskins Associates), back in the U.S. this week, we are anxiously awaiting news on the next step in the movie process, which will most likely be the selection of a producer.

In the meantime, like many of you, we have been following the tweets of writer/producer/director (American PsychoBret Easton Ellis since he first said the following:

Bret Easton EllisBret Easton Ellis@BretEastonEllis

I’m putting myself out there to write the movie adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey”…
We love to hear anyone in the industry expressing interest over the story! We thought this was particularly interesting because many fans have suggested Christian Bale would give a great portrayal of Christian Grey based on his performance as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.
He went on to divulge in tweets that he had notified his team about making a pitch this week. The fan response seems to be divided, however, with some fans expressing that the screenplay should be written by a woman. There has been an outcry over the actors and actresses he voiced he could imagine in the roles of Christian and Ana, especially when he ruled out fan favorite Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries). He has since tweeted that he would be contacting Ian.
We here at FStM aren’t worried, though. We realize these were just his initial suggestions before a potential meeting with Ms. James, who we also know has her own picks in mind. (Information she is withholding even from her own mother!)
As always, we are confident Ms. James will make her final selection for a screenwriter based on who is willing to be true to her vision of the movie, just as she did when she chose Universal Pictures and Focus Features to award the movie rights to. Per this article with Deadline.com, Ms. Hoskins said the movie “needs to be classy, sexy rather than full of sex” and they are seeking people to work with who have an understanding that this is meant to be a collaborative effort.
So who would you like to see adapt the screenplay? Would you prefer a woman for the task?

E L James U.S. Book Tour Stop in Chicago

On April 30th, I and blog contributor Kassie attended a reception hosted by The Book Stall at Chestnut Court for Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James at the The Standard Club in Chicago, Illinois.

The ticket price of $75 included drinks, hors d’oeuvres, all three books from the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy, a personalized autograph in the book of your choice, and an autograph in each of the other two books. A second ticket price of $40 was added later, with the only difference being a copy of the first book in the trilogy as opposed to a complete set.

(Source)

The event was very well organized, and the venue was beautiful. There were 400+ people there to hear Ms. James speak briefly, field a few audience questions, and sign books.

(Source)

Attendees were first treated to special guest speaker Ann Marie Walker, who gave us ten humorous and relatable ‘Signs You Might Have it Bad for Christian Grey.’ Ann Marie is a writer living in the Chicago area. If you’d like to read her posts that include the signs, as well as her review of the evening, please visit her blog here.

Roberta Rubin, owner of The Book Stall, then introduced author E L James to a vocally appreciative audience who gave her a standing ovation. Ms. James stepped up to the podium and declared, “H-o-l-y shit!” The tone for the evening was set. Yes there was a dress code. Yes there was a tuxedo-wearing wait staff offering classy food and drink. But with those two words, E L James let everyone know that she is exactly what she professes to be…a down-to-earth woman who has a sincere “This is just crazy that all of this is happening” attitude.

The Book Stall owner, Roberta Rubin, and author E L James (Source)

One fan asked the author if she was going to write another book. She explained that she actually had two already written but that she would need to go back and edit them before they would be ready for consideration. Another fan asked if she was going to continue the FSoG story, to which she laughingly replied, “…I’m kind of sick of these kids.” To the infamous question of whether or not she would ever publish a book in the series told from Christian’s POV, she relented and said, “Never say never.”

Eventually, a line formed for the autograph signing. Staff came around with a yellow post-it note for you to write your name on, and you were instructed to adhere it to the title page of the book you wanted personalized.

Ms. James was seated behind a table with her agent, Valerie Hoskins, watching on nearby and publicist Russell Perreault from Vintage/Anchor Books at Random House standing next to her. Mr. Perrault was responsible for taking the book(s) from the next person in line, opening it/them to the appropriate page, and then sliding each one in front of Ms. James for her to sign.

(L to R) Agent Valerie Hoskins, Kassie,
author E L James, and Publicist Russell Perreault

When I was given the opportunity to speak with Ms. James after the reception, first and foremost, I wanted to thank her for sharing her words with us. This meeting was almost three years in the making, and she was every bit as humble as I knew she would be, insisting that it was us she needed to thank because she truly believes that none of this would have happened without our support. So whether you are a long-time fan, just discovering the “love story with a kink,” or fall somewhere in between, rest assured that you are appreciated.

If you have been to, or are planning on attending, a book signing and have pictures you’d like to share, please email them to us at 50shadesmoviefansite@gmail.com.

Fifty Shades Movie Deal Secured

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?

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.